Channel 4

UKTV's global ambition

Dad's Army (Credit: UKTV)

Marcus Arthur may be a BBC veteran, but the winds of change blowing through UKTV these past nine months or so have been like no other in his lengthy BBC career.

Last June, he succeeded Darren Childs as the outfit’s CEO. His appointment followed the end of the joint venture with Discovery, which finally gave BBC Studios full control of UKTV and its seven-channel portfolio (its three lifestyle channels were acquired by Discovery as part of the separation) and the online hub, UKTV Play.

Year of the Rabbit to return for a second series

Freddie Fox, Matt Berry, Susan Wokoma (Credit: Channel 4)

Matt Berry once again plays no nonsense hard-hitting boozer detective Rabbit, joined by his hopeless partner Strauss (Freddie Fox) and the country’s first ever female police officer, the tenacious Mabel (Susan Wokoma).

The unlikely trio come together to help fight crime in London’s East End, with the end of series one seeing them face their biggest foe Lydia (Keeley Hawes).

After initially fooling everyone, by feigning feelings for Strauss and getting Mabel to join her secret female society, Lydia’s plot to take down London was stopped by Rabbit and the gang.

First Dates set to move to Manchester

Credit: Channel 4

First Dates originally aired in 2013 and the popular format has been repeated in over 20 territories, with a spin off show, First Dates Hotel, created in 2017 taking the search for love to France and Italy.

Hundreds of couples have been matched up in the search for their soulmate, with the help of Maître d’ Fred Sirieix and his team.

The show has led to a host of engagements, marriages and even a baby.

The series production company, Twenty Twenty, has moved First Dates to Manchester as part of their commitment to UK regions.

Ian Katz discusses the future of Channel 4 with RTS audience

Katz, a former Newsnight editor and deputy editor of the Guardian, said that as a journalist he’d spent many years attempting to get climate change “into the heart of the political and the media agenda and mostly failing.”

But overnight Channel 4’s debate ensured that the subject came under the spotlight during the election. “I’m very proud of that,” he said. “It was an extraordinary achievement.”

Katz, speaking at an RTS Early Evening Event, described Channel 4 News as “probably the highest quality news programme in the world.”

Bake Off host steps down

After three years and 51 showstoppers, Toksvig has decide to step down from The Great British Bake Off to spend more time on different projects, such as her upcoming Channel 4 series The Write Offs.

Toksvig described working on the show with Noel Fielding, Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood as “one of the greatest pleasures of my life”, describing her friendship with them as one that will “continue beyond the confines of television.”

New shows coming to Channel 4 in 2020

Kevin McCloud’s Rough Guide to the Future

Alice Levine (Credit: Channel 4)
Alice Levine (Credit: Channel 4)

Kevin McCloud has high hopes for the future and technology, but the same cannot be said for comedians Phil Wang, Jon Richardson and broadcaster Alice Levine.