Channel 4

Channel 4’s commitment to diversity has been recognised with nine nominations for the Creative Diversity Network Diversity Awards 2011.

Altogether, Channel 4 has been nominated in six out of the 10 categories for the Awards, which celebrate creativity and diversity in the broadcasting industry.

Channel 4 dominates the Best Factual Programme, Best Nations & Regions Portrayal and Diversity Innovation Award categories, taking two out of three nominations for each category.

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and Life of Rhyme have both been nominated for Best Factual Programme, and in the Best Nations & Regions Portrayal, This is England and Shameless both received nominations.

E4’s award winning drama Misfits has been nominated for the Radio Times Drama Award, whilst hit comedy PhoneShop is in the running for Best Comedy and Entertainment Programme.

Popular E4 drama Skins also received a nomination for the Community Engagement Award, for its work in the community offering acting and writing opportunities on the show for young people.


The nominations in full are:

Best Breakthrough Talent

Levi David Addai – Writer of ‘Micah’, broadcast on Channel 4 in July 2011, part of Channel 4’s Coming Up season. This was Levi’s first network television transmission.


Radio Times Drama Award

Misfits (Clerkenwell Films for E4)


Best Comedy & Entertainment Programme

Phone Shop (Talkback Thames for Channel 4)


Best Factual Programme

Life of Rhyme (Acme Films/Lemonade Money for C4)

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields (ITN for C4)


Best Nations & Regions Portrayal

This is England (Warp Films for Channel 4)

Shameless (Company Pictures for Channel 4)


Diversity Innovation Award

Battlefront (Raw Television for Channel 4)

The Rap Beatbox Choir (Fresh One Productions for Channel 4)

Helen Warner is to step down from Channel 4 after five years at the broadcaster to concentrate on her writing career.

As Head of Daytime Warner commissioned Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, Four in a Bed, Live Deal or No Deal as well as new formats Phil Spencer: Secret Agent, The Renovation Game and Drop Down Menu.

Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt said: “Helen has done a great job in daytime. Her many successes include reviving Coach Trip and turning it into a huge daytime hit and overseeing the launch of Come Dine with Me into the peak time schedule. “

Warner joined Channel 4 as Daytime Editor in January 2007, becoming Head of Daytime in September of the same year. During that time she has been responsible for creating and maintaining a distinctive and strong daytime line up. Following the success of her first novel, RSVP, which was published in March this year, Helen has secured a new three book deal with Simon & Schuster. Her second novel, IOU, is out in March 2012.

Helen Warner said, “I will be sad to leave Channel 4 but having secured a wonderful new three book deal, this is quite literally the start of an exciting new chapter of my life.”

Hamish Mykura is to leave Channel 4 after 10 years at the broadcaster. As Head of Documentaries he was responsible for hit series ranging from One Born Every Minute and 24 Hours in A&E to Educating Essex and Fighting on the Frontline.

Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt said: “Hamish has been an inspiring and dynamic Head of Documentaries, keeping Channel 4 at the forefront of innovative film-making. He has a talent for generating programmes that are genuinely creative as well as popular, and reflect every angle of modern Britain.”

Mykura was made Head of More 4 in 2008. Under his leadership, it grew from the 12th to the 8th most watched UK digital channel, whilst True Stories established itself as the premiere international documentary strand in the UK.

In Documentaries Mykura oversaw Cutting Edge and First Cut as well as a range of new fixed camera rig series which became major hits for Channel 4. Katie: My Beautiful Friends, Amish: The World’s Squarest Teens and Seven Dwarves were series that brought minority subject matter to a mainstream audience.

Mykura ran the Specialist Factual department at C4 from 2004 to 2008. His commissions included award-winning docudramas Trafalgar Battle Surgeon, Nuremburg: Goering’s Last Stand and City of Vice. He gained a reputation for risk-taking with challenging single films such as Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel and 9/11: The Falling Man, polemical series including Richard Dawkins’ The Root of All Evil and innovative new formats such as the anatomy series of Gunther von Hagens.

Hamish Mykura said: “I’ve loved every minute of my time at Channel 4. The Channel gives such a range of film makers an opportunity to reflect the modern world. It’s a great institution and I’m sure it will go from strength to strength under its present leadership.”

Hamish will make an announcement about his future plans in due course.

Channel 4’s long serving and highly respected Controller of Research and Insight, Claire Grimmond, is to step down from her role with the broadcaster.

Grimmond joined Channel 4 as research manager in 1993 and has worked with each Chief Executive Officer and creative leader since.

Her pioneering approach is credited with bringing about a closer relationship between content development, programme research and audiences across the organisation.

Overseeing the consumer research and channel development of Film4, E4 and More4 Claire played a pivotal role in supporting Channel 4 as it transitioned from a single linear channel to a multi-channel, cross platform organisation.

Her department has put viewer insight at the centre of decision making, helping ensure Channel 4 is at the forefront of both creative and commercial decision making.

Commenting on her departure Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham said: “Channel 4’s relationship with its audience is unrivalled in UK broadcasting and this is down in part to the huge contribution of Claire Grimmond across the past 18 years. Over this time she has revolutionised the way we use research and insight to inform creative and business strategy throughout the organisation. Her recent projects range from helping deliver an invaluable public value framework that underpins Channel 4’s remit and licence requirements, now published as part of our Annual Report, to developing research to measure the impact of on demand viewing and devising commercial research projects to reinforce Channel 4’s trading position. I would like to personally thank her for her contribution to the creation of the new Audience, Technologies and Insight department and wish her all the very best for the future.”

Claire Grimmond added: “Across my career at Channel 4 I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most talented people in the television business and to see the organisation grow from a single channel to a multi-platform portfolio. Audience research has been there every step of the way and I leave knowing research excellence is embedded at the heart of the organisation. It’s been an exhilarating journey and I wish everyone at Channel 4 good luck for the future.”

Claire is Channel 4’s BARB board director and represents the organisation at industry events and forums. She will make an announcement about her future plans in due course and will remain at Channel 4 until the end of the year.

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Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt, today announced new commissions across factual, drama, and comedy, signalling her ambition to make Channel 4 the home of creative risk by backing new talent, distinctive authored voices and programming that asks urgent questions about how we live today.

Speaking at the presentation of Channel 4’s Annual Report, Hunt said, ‘I believe Channel 4’s future lies in pieces that take risks. Risks on new talent, risks on difficult subject areas, risks with style and execution. It’s more important than ever that Channel 4 is prepared to challenge the status quo, to provoke debate and, above all, to be brave.’

Vowing to tackle vital issues of social policy in frank and engaging factual programming, Hunt pointed to Drugs Live, a science series that will take an unmediated look at the effects of illegal drugs and alcohol on the body. Programme makers will work closely with leading research institutes from around the world to bring much needed clarity to a social issue often mired in controversy or confusion. Under strict clinical conditions, the series will explore how addictive different substances are and examine their effects on the human body – both in the short and long term. The four-part series is commissioned from Renegade Pictures by David Glover and executive produced by Alan Hayling.

The dark underbelly of modern life is held up for examination in distinctive pieces from Bafta-nominated Charlie Brooker (Dead Set) and one of our most eminent contemporary writers, Robert Jones (Lennon Naked, Party Animals, Buried, No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Cops).

Jones’ new four-part political thriller, Coup, explores the relationship between a democratically elected government, big business and the banks. Greenlit by Channel 4 Head of Drama Camilla Campbell and produced by Company Pictures/Newscope Films, Coup is based on the novel A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin, directed by Ed Fraiman (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Merlin, As If, A Thing Called Love) and produced by Johann Knobel (The Shadow Line, Shameless, Inspector George Gently). Executive producers are Jason Newmark, Ed Fraiman, George Faber and Charles Pattinson.

The modern world is also the subject of Black Mirror, a new darkly comic drama series written by Charlie Brooker (Dead Set) and commissioned by Head of Comedy Shane Allen. Over the last ten years, technology has transformed almost every aspect of our lives before we’ve had time to stop and question it. In every home; on every desk; in every palm – a plasma screen; a monitor; a smartphone – a black mirror of our 21st Century existence. Tapping into our contemporary unease about the way our lives are changing the three stand-alone dramas are suspenseful, satirical tales with a techno-paranoia bent – all audacious ‘what if’ stories: some comic, some shocking. Black Mirror is executive produced by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, and series produced by Barney Reisz for Zeppotron.

In a brand new departure for Channel 4’s comedy team, Nerys Evans has commissioned the department’s first ever original animation. Happy Families is a quintessentially British satire on suburban family life. Written by brothers Jack and Harry Williams (Honest, The Amazing Dermot & Roman’s Empire) and drawn by Alex Scarfe the six part series is made in LA by Rough Draft, the company behind The Simpsons Movie.

And the innovation continues online with a major cross-platform specialist factual commission examining the science behind using food as medicine. Patients suffering from a range of medical conditions and symptoms will attend The Food Hospital, where they will be prescribed specific diets to find out if their health problems can be alleviated by the food they eat. The science will be put to the test nationwide as viewers will be invited to take part in a scientific study into how changes in diet can improve, if not cure, illnesses and ailments.

Alongside original commissions, Channel 4 continues to land some of the most eagerly anticipated US acquisitions. Hunt today announced that Channel 4 had secured the rights to series 1 and 2 of 20th Fox Television’s version of cult smash The Killing. Based on the wildly successful Danish television series, Forbrydelsen, the slow-burning crime thriller centres around the murder of a young girl in Seattle and the subsequent police investigation. Speaking of the acquisition, Hunt said: ‘This intense, atmospheric crime thriller redefines the genre and sits perfectly alongside Channel 4’s stable of award-winning, critically-acclaimed US shows’.

Channel 4 Television Corporation has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard after taking action on climate change by measuring, managing and reducing its carbon emissions by 2% over a three year period to September 2010.

The Carbon Trust Standard recognises organisations that have achieved a genuine reduction in carbon emissions. Based on a rigorous, independent assessment, it certifies that organisations have measured, managed and reduced their carbon emissions across their own operations, and are committed to reducing them year on year.

Maeve McLoughlin, Corporate Responsibility and Environmental Advisor at Channel 4, said: “We’re delighted to have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard. It is a great way of showing that we are on the front foot when it comes to carbon management best practices, and gives us an opportunity to communicate our environmental credentials with integrity to those that matter.

“Cutting carbon is a priority for us as a business and delivers tangible bottom-line benefits. We have already cut our carbon emissions by 2% as part of the initiative and are committed to making further reductions in the future. Going through the assessment process to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard helped us to not only quantify our footprint, but also benchmark our performance and identify areas for improvement bringing tangible and significant cost savings across our operations. In the current climate it’s essential that we remain competitive, and the Carbon Trust Standard is another way we can stay ahead of the game.”

In order to effectively reduce carbon emissions, Channel 4 undertook an audit of carbon usage at its offices in order to identify opportunities for optimisation and to aid energy management and target setting. It then implemented a number of reduction programmes to ensure that the operating procedures and practices of Channel 4’s offices minimised the carbon impact. Practices included implementing computer shutdown software and solar control measures and maintaining day to day energy efficiencies through a computer based building management control systems.

To further manage its carbon emissions Channel 4 made a number of investments in energy efficient technology including investing in its building management control system in order to upgrade software and improve control. In addition the channel ran a number of high profile employee environmental awareness campaigns including an Energy Day in June 2010 where an Eco-Driving Simulator and an Eco-Gym were brought into Channel 4 to raise awareness about energy efficiency.

Harry Morrison, General Manager, Carbon Trust Standard Company said: “Being certified with the Carbon Trust Standard is proof that an organisation has taken genuine action to reduce its impact on climate change. We congratulate Channel 4 on this achievement.”

Going forward Channel 4 will work closely with employees and suppliers to continue reduce its carbon footprint. In particular it will focus on identifying and implementing energy efficiency measures in addition to developing the reporting system for indirect emissions including transport related activities.

When Kate Middleton marries her Prince on April 29th, an estimated 2 billion people are expected to tune in. Even at a time of dramatic world news, the marriage of Prince William will be the global event of the year.

Filmed throughout the weekend of the wedding, The Unofficial Royal Wedding will show the many different ways this event is being marked and what it means to the nation.

Through user-generated videos, the film will feature the instant reactions of spectators across Britain and the world as they have their first glimpse of the dress, the vows and the kiss on the balcony.

Viewers will be providing video material of their own celebrations and flip cams are being provided internationally to capture reactions across the world from a children’s home in Calcutta to a party under the Brooklyn Bridge.

The programme will follow a cast of characters across Britain over the weekend with very different views on the wedding including Carrie Reichardt – known as The Baroness, an anarchic ceramicist and artist who has been producing anti-royal wedding memorabilia.

On the day of the wedding, she will be hosting a ‘Mad Hatters’ tea party for her anarchic friends in a lavish ‘Cruel Britannia’ themed setting in her home. Fancy dress and crockery will be compulsory and her neighbour, a fetish model, will be sporting Union Jack nipple tassles whilst serving cupcakes to guests.

Someone who is unlikely to purchase The Baroness’s work is Anita Atkinson, who has held the Guinness World Record for the largest royal memorabilia collection in the world. The programme will follow the ardent royalist as she travels from her cottage near Durham to London the day before to set up camp outside Westminster Abbey – the same spot where she camped for the Queen Mother’s funeral.

Another collector of sorts is former jewel thief Lenny Hamilton, a well-known face in the London crime scene of the 60s who says he was tortured by Ronnie Kray with a red hot poker. Lenny is heading down to his local pub with friends to watch the royal wedding. A fan of Kate Middleton, he’ll be drawing on his ‘professional’ knowledge to talk the programme through the jewellery on the day.

In Purley, Surrey, 11-year-old Frances Russell will be holding a street party for up to 40 households. Much to the surprise of her mother she has single-handedly organised permission to hold the party and is busy trying to organise a band, marquee, bunting and tables as well as the adult volunteers she has rounded-up to help.

On the day, she will be pedalling her bike up and down the leafy road to co-ordinate activities to ensure the smooth running of the event. The Unofficial Royal Wedding will also feature entertaining footage from Alison Jackson’s fake royal wedding.

Renowned for her satirical use of lookalikes to produce paparazzi-style images, she staged royal scenes earlier this month on The Mall, followed by a reception for her Wills and Kate in a KFC and a London pub.

Don’t miss this one!

‘We may not have much, but all of us know the most important thing in this life… We know how to f*@king party!’

Frank Gallagher William H. Macy stars as the Gallagher family’s alcoholic patriarch, Frank in Shameless US – from Emmy® Award-winning executive producer/writer John Wells (ER, The West Wing, Southland) – and is every bit as dysfunctional as his British counterpart, created by award-winning writer Paul Abbott (State of Play).

Set in Chicago, Shameless US finds the sprawling Gallagher clan struggling to make ends meet in today’s recession. Not helped by the fact that their mother is AWOL and father is either passed out on the living room floor or with agoraphobic girlfriend Sheila (Oscar nominee – Joan Cusack), oldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) is left to the impossible task of keeping her five younger brothers and sisters on track.

Wells and Abbott have collaborated on the adaptation and are executive producers of the US series. Andrew Stearn (The West Wing, Southland) is co-executive producer. Paul Mortimer, More4 said: ‘More4 is delighted to add another drama series to its slate of high-end American programming.

‘We’re pleased to be able to bring free to air, quality drama premieres to our discerning audience and in 2011 we expect to add more titles to the mix.

‘Shameless US is the latest critically acclaimed US series to air exclusively on More4, and we’re proud to have William H. Macy and his cast-mates sitting alongside other award-winning talent on the Channel.’

Jeffrey R. Schlesinger said: ‘We couldn’t be more pleased to have More4 as the home for Shameless USA….

‘The original Shameless grew and thrived on Channel 4 for many years, and it’s only fitting that the US version, from acclaimed producer John Wells, should also be presented to UK viewers by the Channel 4 family, which has also been the UK home to Wells’ previous acclaimed series such as ER, The West Wing and Southland.’

Paul Abbott said: ‘I’m thrilled to hear that More4 has brought back the American reformat version of Shameless.

‘Not because it forms another revenue stream for any of us, but because John Wells and his stunning team of writers have evolved something that we in the UK know implicitly and cherish into a piece of entertainment that has become its own thing.

‘That’s a really hard thing to describe, but when you see the weight of the casting talent and the absorption of Shameless’s core key component – for me at least, which is HUMANITY – then I’d defy a single viewer to be disappointed by this cultural translation.

‘I cannot tell you how moved, relieved and entertained I was the first time I saw a raw assembly of the complete episode. It’s epic and transporting, just like ours was, but with completely different paint brushes.’

John Wells said: ‘I have hoped to bring Paul Abbott’s marvelous Shameless world to American audiences ever since Paul first told me what he was up to with Shameless over seven years ago.

‘We’re honored to be working with Paul, and to have the luxury of spending some time with his wonderful characters.’

In addition to Macy, Cusack and Rossum, Shameless stars Justin Chatwin, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Jeremy Allen White and Laura Slade Wiggins.

The series is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with John Wells Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Shameless is distributed around the world by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.

 © Courtesy of Channel 4 Television

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced today that Channel 4’s hit reality TV show, ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’ has been nominated for the YouTube Audience Award, given to the most popular programme of the last year at the upcoming Philips British Academy Television Awards.

Also nominated in this category are Downton Abbey, The Killing, Miranda, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, The Only Way is Essex and Sherlock. Past winners include The Inbetweeners(2010), Skins (2009) and Gavin & Stacey (2008).

The YouTube Audience Award is the only Award voted for by the public. It rewards the programmes that have captured audiences’ imaginations and were the most watched, loved and talked about. A panel of entertainment journalists collated the shortlist, which features a variety of genres, including drama, entertainment and comedy.

From Tuesday 19 April until 5pm on Friday 20 May, members of the public will have the opportunity to vote for the YouTube Audience Award at

Tina Flintoff, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment at Channel 4 said: “We are absolutely delighted that so many people came to the series and enjoyed it.

“To be nominatedfor this award is the icing on the cake and we hope that fans of the show will vote for us to win. “

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, added: “It is fantastic to see such an eclectic list of programmes nominated for this year’s YouTube Audience Award.

“These programmes have captured the British viewers’ attention and have earned their place on this year’s shortlist.”

Hosted by Graham Norton, the Awards will be held at Grosvenor House, London, on 22 May 2011.

Big Fat Gypsy Weddings – Channel 4/Firecracker Films Big Fat Gypsy Weddings is a visually arresting portrait of the lives of gypsies and travelers in Britain today…

Picking up where the hugely successful Cutting Edge film of the same title left off, the new series follows the extraordinary rite-of-passage events – including weddings, communions and christenings – to offer a window into the world of the gypsy and traveller community.

Each stand-alone episode gives insights into the community’s attitudes toward gender roles, education and outsiders. The series also explores the remarkable rituals, traditions and beliefs held by this minority group.

Warm, intelligent, engrossing and funny, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings tells intimate stories on an epic scale, laying bare an exotic unseen Britain that exists right on our doorstep.

Will you be voting for BFGW? I will be; I love the show!

Courtesy of © Channel 4 Television

Airing on Thursday 5 May at 10pm on Channel 4, comedian David Walliams guides us through cinema’s most shoddy moments including atrocious monsters, terrible sex, baffling foreign accents and truly contemptible acting which are all so brilliantly bad that they do in fact make an awfully good movie.

The Appalling Accents category features Dick Van Dyke and Audrey Hepburn launching a brutal assault on the English language whist Nicolas Cage commits crimes against the Italian language in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Imitating Demi Moore at a pottery wheel, David introduces Rules for Romance Movies taking examples of how not to do it from Twilight, Hope Floats and Jennifer Lopez luring a lover in Gigli – It’s turkey time. Gobble, gobble. ‘Apparently once you’re a really successful actor you don’t have to bother anymore’ explains David…

Enter the Atrocious Acting field including John Travolta’s alien performance from planet unconvinceon in Battlefield Earth and Jude Law’s somewhat overacting in Sleuth.

Hollywood’s biggest budget balls-ups often originate in the special effects department and there is many an example in the Naff FX category, Kurt Russell ‘surfing’ in Escape from LA to name one. From between the sheets David narrates the most Ghastly Sex scenes to ever grace our screens.

Elizabeth Berkley’s energetic performance in Showgirls is almost as disturbing as Chucky getting it on with his new bride.

Dressed as the stereotypical villain complete with blond wig and European accent David reveals his Top 5 Most Unconvincing Villains including X-Men’s Toad and Arnold Swartzenegger’s Freeze in Batman and Robin.

He also shares his Top 5 Arnie Puns, Top 11 Worst Movie Lines (‘You complete me’ Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire), Top 5 Most Baffling Movie Monsters, Top 5 Annoying Movie Characters (including Jim Carey in The Cable Guy and Adam Sandler as the son of Satan in Little Nicky), Top 5 Hilarious Indian Action, Bad Bond moments, Mortifying Deaths and Gary Oldman acting on his knees in Tiptoes, a film about dwarves as just one example of what was once acceptable now being wholly unacceptable.

Finally it all comes down to one and David divulges his Most Awfully Good Movie. Don’t miss it!

Courtesy of © Channel 4 Television

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