Karen Bradley and David Olusoga on Channel Four privatisation

Firstly, there’s this from Tory former Culture Secretary Karen Bradley(£) – here.

“…as culture secretary in 2017, I conducted a review into this very issue. That review found that Channel 4 has a significant positive impact on life in the UK – more than many people realise.

For nearly 40 years Channel 4 has brought innovative British programming into homes around the country. Gogglebox, Derry Girls, and This is England have all told parts of our national story in a way that it is hard to imagine another broadcaster having done; this is the essence of having a shared culture as a country.”


“This makes Channel 4 a vital pipeline for the independent production sector – which it helped to create – supporting jobs and businesses across the UK. Through its supply chain, Channel 4 supports almost 10,000 jobs and generates about £1 billion a year for the UK economy. The “publisher broadcaster” status would almost certainly be scrapped by a private owner, with no regard to the fact that we are all richer because of it.”

… and David Olusoga in The Guardian:

“The Thatcher government intentionally designed Channel 4 to be disruptive. Its function was to unleash a culture of entrepreneurship and to bring this about the channel was structured differently to the BBC and ITV. Channel 4 did not make its own programmes. TV producers were encouraged to set up companies and seek commissions from the new broadcaster. Channel 4’s function therefore was to incubate a culture of risk-taking that was very much in keeping with the Thatcherite vision of a share-owning, home-owning Britain of small business owners.

For almost four decades, Channel 4 has operated exactly as its Conservative architects envisaged.”

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