Culture secretary

Channel 4 sales plans are being reviewed, new culture secretary Michelle Donelan confirms

The government will review plans to privatize Channel 4, the new culture minister has said, with the sale of the public broadcaster on hold.

Michelle Donelan, who replaced Nadine Dorries as Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the Liz Truss reshuffle this month, said the “business case” for the sale of Channel 4 will be reconsidered.

“As the Prime Minister has said, we need to re-examine the business case and I am certainly doing so,” Ms Donelan said. BBC Radio 4 today program.

“We are looking in particular at the business case for selling Channel 4 and making sure we are still on board with that decision.”

When asked to confirm whether she was willing to review the policy, the Culture Secretary said: ‘I am the type of politician who bases his decisions on evidence, who bases his decisions on listening, and that’s what I will be doing more in the weeks to come.

“I will take this approach with regard to Channel 4 and every aspect of my memoir.”

She added, “I will review the business case and announce it in due course.”

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His comments suggest a U-turn could be on the cards, just months after the DCMS announced it would officially initiate the sale process for the ad-supported broadcaster.

In April, the government said that after a 10-week public consultation, ministers had concluded that public ownership “holds it back in the face of a competitive and rapidly changing media landscape”.

Ms Dorries said at the time: ‘I have come to the conclusion that government ownership prevents Channel 4 from competing with streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.

“A change in ownership will give Channel 4 the tools and the freedom to thrive and prosper as a long-term public service broadcaster.”

She added: “I will seek to reinvest the proceeds from the sale into leveling up the creative sector, putting money into independent production and creative skills in priority regions of the country – delivering a creative dividend for all.”

The sale of Channel 4 requires new legislation, as Channel 4’s unique position as a commercially funded public broadcaster is enshrined in law.

The broadcaster does not currently receive any government funding and does not receive any license fee money.

Channel 4 History

By Joe Duggan

Channel 4 was launched in 1982 as a rival to the three main terrestrial channels, BBC One, BBC Two and ITV.

Transmission began on 2 November 1982, the day after its Welsh counterpart S4C.

The first broadcast was Countdownwith host Richard Whiteley announcing “when a brand new channel’s countdown ends, a brand new countdown begins”.

It has remained one of the longest running game shows in the world.

The first edition of Channel 4 News aired later that evening, the UK’s only hour-long news programme.

Hit shows that found favor with younger audiences included a live music show A tube hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates and the revolutionary Comic series.

The channel also championed American football, becoming the first UK station to broadcast the Super Bowl live in 1983.

Impactful documentary series Dispatches was launched in 1987, with a popular quiz show Fifteen against one on television screens the following year.

In the 90s, the anarchic Friday night show Word quickly became a cult classic, giving electrifying UK TV debuts to Nirvana and Oasis.

Big brother was launched in 2000 and ushered in a new era of reality TV shows after becoming a national hit.

During the decade, Channel 4 also launched free-to-air sister channels E4 and Film Four, with films from the latter earning 144 Oscar nominations and 37 wins.

by Steve McQueen 12 years of slaveryDanny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Martin McDonagh Three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri are among the films developed or co-financed by Film Four to win the Oscars.

Recent hit series on the commercially funded but state-owned broadcaster include Glasses box and the winner It’s a sinwhich creator Russell T Davies revealed was rejected by most other channels beforehand.