60 Facts About Channel 4


Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network.

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In 2010, Channel 4 extended service into Wales and became a UK-wide television channel.

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The Broadcasting Act 1980 began the process of adding a fourth; Channel 4 was formally created, along with its Welsh counterpart, by an act of Parliament in 1982.

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Result was that Channel 4 as seen by the rest of the United Kingdom would be replaced in Wales by Sianel Pedwar Cymru ("Channel Four Wales").

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The first person to be seen on Channel 4 was Richard Whiteley, with Ted Moult being the second.

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At its launch, Channel 4 committed itself to providing an alternative to the existing channels, an agenda in part set out by its remit which required the provision of programming to minority groups.

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Channel 4 co-commissioned Robert Ashley's television opera Perfect Lives, which it premiered over several episodes in 1984.

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In 1992, Channel 4 faced its first libel case by Jani Allan, a South African journalist, who objected to her representation in Nick Broomfield's documentary The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife.

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On 31 December 2004, Channel 4 launched a new look and new idents in which the logo is disguised as different objects and the 4 can be seen in an angle.

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Channel 4 made E4 free-to-air on digital terrestrial television, and launched a new free-to-air digital channel called More4.

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New programmes such as the weekly, half-hour The Morning Report news programme were among some of the new content Channel 4 provided for the station, with the name 4Radio being used.

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In November 2009, Channel 4 launched a week of 3D television, broadcasting selected programmes each night using stereoscopic ColorCode 3D technology.

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On 29 September 2015, Channel 4 revamped its presentation for a fifth time; the new branding downplayed the "4" logo from most on-air usage, in favour of using the shapes from the logo in various forms.

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Channel 4 commissioned two new corporate typefaces, "Chadwick", and "Horseferry", for use across promotional material and on-air.

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On 31 October 2017, Channel 4 introduced a new series of idents continuing the theme, this time depicting the logo shapes as having formed an anthropomorphic "giant" character.

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On 28 March 2007, Channel 4 announced plans to launch a music channel "4Music" as a joint venture with British media company EMAP, which would include carriage on the Freeview platform.

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Channel 4 announced interest in launching a high-definition version of Film4 on Freeview, to coincide with the launch of Channel 4 HD.

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In June 2022 after a six month long investigation, Ofcom found that Channel 4 had breached its broadcast licence conditions on two grounds: Missing its subtitles quota on Freesat for 2021 and failure to effectively communicate with affected audiences.

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Channel 4 was established with, and continues to hold, a remit of public service obligations which it must fulfil.

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The remit changes periodically, as dictated by various broadcasting and communications acts, and is regulated by the various authorities Channel 4 has been answerable to; originally the IBA, then the ITC and now Ofcom.

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Public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular:.

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Channel 4 was carried from its beginning on analogue terrestrial, which was then the standard means of television broadcast in the United Kingdom.

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Channel 4 is available outside the United Kingdom; it is widely available in the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

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Channel 4 website allows Internet users in the United Kingdom to watch Channel 4 live on the Internet.

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Channel 4 is provided by Virgin Mobile's DAB mobile TV service, which has the same restrictions as the Internet live stream had.

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Channel 4 is carried by the Internet TV service TVCatchup and was previously carried by Zattoo until the operator removed the channel from its platform.

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Channel 4 makes some of its programming available "on demand" via cable and the Internet through All 4.

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Channel 4 is a "publisher-broadcaster", meaning that it commissions or "buys" all of its programming from companies independent of itself.

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Additionally, Channel 4 began a trend of owning the copyright and distribution rights of the programmes it aired, in a manner that is similar to the major Hollywood studios' ownership of television programmes that they did not directly produce.

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Channel 4 pioneered the concept of 'stranded programming', where seasons of programmes following a common theme would be aired and promoted together.

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In 2010, Channel 4 organised Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a comedy benefit show in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

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In 2021, Channel 4 decided to revive The British Comedy Awards as part of their Stand Up To Cancer programming.

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Channel 4 has a strong reputation for history programmes and documentaries.

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Channel 4 is obliged to carry schools programming as part of its remit and licence.

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Channel 4 ignored the religious programme advisory structure that had been put in place by the BBC, and subsequently adopted by ITV.

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Since 1 November 1998, Channel 4 has had a digital subsidiary channel dedicated to the screening of films.

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On 8 March 2007, Channel 4 screened a documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle stating that global warming is "a lie" and "the biggest scam of modern times".

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Against Nature: An earlier controversial Channel 4 programme made by Martin Durkin which was critical of the environmental movement and was charged by the UK's Independent Television Commission for misrepresenting and distorting the views of interviewees by selective editing.

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However, Channel 4 was defended by Stonewall director Ben Summerskill who stated: "In spite of his ridiculous and often offensive views, it is an important way of reminding him that there are some countries where free speech is not repressed.

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Channel 4 has devoted more airtime to examining Iran than any other broadcaster and this message continues a long tradition of offering a different perspective on the world around us".

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Since the 2010s, Channel 4 has become the public service broadcaster most likely to amend their schedule at short notice, if programmes are not gaining sufficient viewers in their intended slots.

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Channel 4 moved the next episode to a late night slot on a different day and continued to broadcast the remainder of the four-part series in this timeslot.

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Instead of Hammond's competition, Channel 4 decided to schedule the fifth series of Devon and Cornwall in its place at 8pm on Friday nights, with this documentary being put up against Channel 5's World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys in the same timeslot.

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The invasion of Ukraine has prompted Channel 4 to acquire and schedule the comedy series Servant of the People as a last minute replacement.

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Since its launch in 1982, Channel 4 has used the same logo which consists of a stylised numeral "4" made up of nine differently-shaped blocks.

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In 1996, Channel 4 commissioned Tomato Films to revamp the "4", which resulted in the "Circles" idents showing four white circles forming up transparently over various scenes, with the "4" logo depicted in white in one of the circles.

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Channel 4 has, since its inception, broadcast identical programmes and continuity throughout the United Kingdom.

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Since the launch of subsequent British television channels, Channel 4 has become typical in its lack of regional programming variations.

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Part of Channel 4's remit covers the commissioning of programmes from outside London.

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Channel 4 has a dedicated director of nations and regions, Stuart Cosgrove, who is based in a regional office in Glasgow.

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Channel 4 is available in Ireland, with adverts specifically tailored towards the Irish market.

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Channel 4 believe that a scaling-back of such operations on ITV's part would be detrimental to Channel 4's national news operation, which shares much of its resources with ITV through their shared news contractor ITN.

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In mid-2006 Channel 4 ran a six-month closed trial of HDTV, as part of the wider Freeview HD experiment via the Crystal Palace transmitter to London and parts of the home counties, including the use of Lost and Desperate Housewives as part of the experiment, as US broadcasters such as ABC already have an HDTV back catalogue.

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On 10 December 2007, Channel 4 launched a high-definition television simulcast of Channel 4 on Sky's digital satellite platform, after Sky agreed to contribute toward the channel's satellite distribution costs.

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On 25 March 2010 Channel 4 HD appeared on Freeview channel 52 with a placeholding caption, ahead of a commercial launch on 30 March 2010, coinciding with the commercial launch of Freeview HD.

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Channel carries the same schedule as Channel 4, broadcasting programmes in HD when available, acting as a simulcast.

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On 20 February 2018, Channel 4 announced that Channel 4 HD and All 4 would no longer be supplied on Freesat from 22 February 2018.

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Channel 4 HD returned to the platform on 8 December 2021, along with the music channel portfolio of The Box Plus Network.

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Channel 4 originally licensed an ancillary teletext service to provide schedules, programme information and features.

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In 2003, Channel 4 awarded Teletext Ltd a ten-year contract to run the channel's ancillary teletext service, named Teletext on 4.

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