By Chris King • 04 April 2022 • 22:14
Tory Government to privatise Channel 4.
image: channel 4
Alex Mahon, the chief executive of Channel 4, in an email to staff today, Monday, April 4, informed that the Government is expected to privatise the television channel. Should this move go ahead then it will bring an end to 40 years of private ownership for the channel that was inaugurated in 1982.
This action was also confirmed to mirror.co.uk by a Government source, and is expected to be included on May 10 – alongside other proposed reforms to public service broadcasting – in a Media Bill in the Queen’s Speech.
Despite the business performing well, and being funded entirely by its commercial activities, a review concluded that Channel 4 is being ‘held back’ by its government ownership. As a result, the entity is expected to be put up for sale to a private bidder by Nadine Dories, the Culture Secretary.
“This is 2021, not 1982 – and the broadcasting landscape has changed beyond recognition”, the review is said to have warned, citing competition from streaming services such as Netflix.
Responding to the announcement, Mr Mahon reminded his staff that the channel’s “vision” for the next 40 years had been “rooted in continued public ownership”, but that “ultimately the ownership of C4 is for the Government to propose and Parliament to decide.”
He went as far as to threaten that the channel would only change its model “if or when” it is ordered to do so by Parliament.
This decision is bound to attract severe criticism from all angles, with 95-year-old Sir David Attenborough last summer urging ministers to “stop short-sighted political and financial attacks” on public service broadcasters.
Some of television’s best-loved shows have come out of Channel 4, including Countdown, Gogglebox, SAS Who Dares Wins, and Great British Bake Off.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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