Culture secretary

‘Channel 4’s salad days are over,’ Culture Secretary told TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp in Twitter exchange | Ents & Arts News

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries says Channel 4’s ‘salad days are over’ and it’s ‘time to look to the future’ in an online dispute with TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp about the privatization of the broadcaster.

The couple exchanged public messages on Twitter following the publication of an opinion piece by Mrs. Dorries in the Mail on Sunday, addressing the government’s decision to push ahead with sales plans.

Read more: Big Breakfast to Big Brother – will privatization take over Channel 4?

Channel 4 shows have included The Big Breakfast (pictured), Big Brother and Gogglebox. Photo: Mike Floyd/ANL/Shutterstock

Former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who created Channel 4 in 1982, had ultimately wanted him to be “free from the restraints of the state,” the culture secretary wrote in the article, describing opposition to the decision as “lazy, overworked, uninformed rhetoric from leftist mob luvvie lynch”.

Allsopp, who presents Channel 4 property show Location, Location, Location, reacted to the the government’s initial announcement on the privatization earlier in April with a tweet saying ‘no real Tory would sell Channel 4’ and that ‘Lady T is going to turn in her grave’.

The Twitter Exchange

Responding to Ms Dorries’ article, the TV presenter said it was ‘crystal clear that she doesn’t understand @Channel4 or why it matters’ and that ‘the divisive article abuses her position and illustrates why she is totally unsuited” to her role.

In another article, Allsopp questioned whether it was “really ministerial” to call privatization protesters a “lynching” while “complaining at the same time about being accused of fascism.”

Channel 4 is state-owned but receives no public funding, with over 90% of its revenue coming from advertising.

Richard Whiteley launched Channel 4 with Countdown in 1982. Photo: ITV/Shutterstock
Richard Whiteley launched Channel 4 with Countdown in 1982. Photo: ITV/Shutterstock

In response to Allsopp’s messages, Ms Dorries suggested that Ms Thatcher’s memoir, The Downing Street Years, was evidence that she intended to sell the chain. She also said Channel 4 could not be preserved in its current state due to “falling advertising revenue and falling investment” in new programming.

“There is of course the bonus that a sale will bring to the whole industry, namely that the proceeds of the sale will be reinvested in people from all walks of life, especially those in communities left behind, because talent is everywhere, not just in the SE,” she said.

“We will invest in skills to benefit from the incoming demand from our booming film and TV sector due to the favorable tax benefits/reliefs and funding this government has put in place to encourage the film industry. to regard Great Britain as his homeland.

“I also like C4, especially Location Location, but as I say in my article, it’s time to look to the future. The days of chain salads are over. Being government owned is restrictive It’s time for C4 to fly the nest into a very exciting future.”

Originating in Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra, the term “salad days” is an expression referring to a time of youth and carelessness, or the height or peak of something.

What happens next?

Channel 4’s sales plans would be set out in a white paper later in April and will be included in a new media bill for next spring.

Several Tory MPs and peers, including Sir Peter Bottomley, former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, Chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee Julian Knight, and former cabinet ministers Damian Green and Jeremy Hunt have publicly questioned privatization plans. .

Sir Peter, who represents Worthing West, said he opposed the sale ‘because I am a Tory’, while Labour’s shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell described the privatization as akin to “cultural vandalism”.

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Several actors and producers have also expressed their opposition to the plan.

Stephen Lambert, managing director of Studio Lambert – which produces programs such as Gogglebox and Naked Attraction – said there was “simply no real reason” for Channel 4 to be privatised.

Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar, who starred in Kumars at No. 42 and Unforgotten, said the channel was not meant to compete with streaming services.

BAFTA-nominated It’s A Sin star Nathaniel J Hall told Sky News the channel is “the sparkling jewel of the UK’s outstanding broadcast portfolio” and that privatization would be “the death knell for its creativity and its fierce independence”.