Channel 4

Channel 4, BBC and NFTS to launch new freelancer support programme

In partnership with the National Film and Television School, the programme will provide free masterclasses, workshops, training and wellbeing sessions across two weeks in October 2023.

The sessions will be delivered online to ensure it is accessible to all freelancers across the country, and will explore topics as varied as financial planning, networking and development.

Sinead Rocks, Managing Director of Nations and Regions at Channel 4, said: “The TV production sector is facing unprecedented challenges and we know that many freelancers are struggling.

Channel 4 commissions new comedy thriller from writer of Derry Girls

Like Derry Girls, McGee’s new comedy focuses on a Northern Irish female friendship group, but this time one in their late thirties. Robyn, Saoirse and Dara have been friends since high school. Now, Robyn is a mother with three young boys and a penchant for swearing, Saoirse is a successful writer who can’t help but self-destruct, and Dara still lives in her childhood bedroom whilst caring for her elderly parent full-time.

"There is a mental health crisis that follows any war": James W Newton on the making of Evacuation, his powerful documentary on the fall of Kabul

It's the combination of such raw, immediate footage, and the completely candid testimonies of civilians and soldiers, that makes James W Newton's documentary on the Taliban's capture of Kabul in 2021, Evacuation, so indelible.

The Piano to continue search for Britain’s next top pianists with two more series

Channel 4 has commissioned two new series of The Piano, this time with seven episodes instead of five. Like series one, each episode will feature one public piano in the UK and some of Britain’s best undiscovered virtuosos.

Series one’s stand-out performer was the 13-year-old blind and neurodivergent Lucy. Since captivating the nation, she has gone on to play at the coronation concert in front of royalty.

How to get a start in television

Kicking off the online event, Edi Smockum, MD of recruitment specialist ThinkBigger!, whose clients include Channel 4, said the aim of a CV was to “get a clear and positive account of what you have to offer”.

She said a CV can run to up two pages, “but never be embarrassed if you’re a new entrant – one page is absolutely fine”. It should, she said: “stress achievements and skills”; “get your key messages across quickly and strongly at the very beginning”; and “keep the presentation simple”.

Wanted: dox that appeal to Gen Z

Uncovering remarkable stories, surfacing subcultures and recovering forgotten voices are what British documentaries excel at. It’s a crowded market at the top tier, where the likes of Louis Theroux and Stacey Dooley front mainstream documentary series.

In the more niche parts of the business, however, you have to keep your ear close to the ground to discover timely, youth-skewing subjects.

Where next for TV ad revenue?

The downturn in UK TV advertising revenue is beyond dispute, with marked declines in the first half of 2023. But what is the full picture and when might we see a recovery?

Channel 4, reliant on ad revenue to fund its content, has paused most commissioning, dropped productions and reduced episode counts for shows in the pipeline. With characteristic sensationalism, The Mail on Sunday reported on 10 June that Channel 4 staff had branded the situation a “bloodbath”.

Channel 4 and Sky extend partnership to keep F1 free to watch

The deal has been ongoing since 2019 and has now been extended until 2026.

Sky will continue to broadcast live coverage across the practice, qualifying and sprint races, with racing fans being able to head over to Channel 4 to catch the highlights. Both Channel 4 and Sky will air the Grand Prix races live, meaning the biggest events in the racing calendar will continue to be available for free for viewers across Britain.

Discovering New Voices and Stories in Documentaries | RTS Futures

Want to be a documentary maker? Hear why unique stories and fresh voices are always in demand on TV.

On this RTS Futures panel were the teams behind the RTS Award- winning documentary The Evolution of Black British Music (BET UK), and Channel 4's recently launched Youth News strand:

Cicelia Deane - Editorial and Commissioning Executive, BET UK

Femi Oyeniran - Film maker, actor & producer

Nicky Slimting Walker - Film maker, actor & producer

Debbie Ramsay - Commissioning Editor, News and Current Affairs, Channel 4