Factual Entertainment

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FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT ON CHANNEL 4

Channel 4 Factual Entertainment is home to a wide range of award-winning and ground-breaking constructed reality, popular documentaries, and factual features shows including The Island with Bear Grylls, The Great British Bake Off, The Undateables, Gogglebox, Child Genius, Travel Man, and Naked Attraction.


Channel 4 Factual Entertainment tells us something about the world – but crucially, it’s told in an entertaining way. Our primetime shows aim to grab viewers with their audacity and ambition, whilst engaging with warmth and humour.

Factual Entertainment Series

Our three key priorities are, firstly: to look for the next generation of big high-concept series for 9pm. The Island with Bear Grylls is one of our key shows, but where do we go next beyond survival? How can we add mischief to what have been more traditionally lifestyle spaces? How do we reflect and ask questions about our changing world? And how can we be provocative and entertaining in territories that are more about our everyday lives?

Secondly, we are looking for returnable, warm, funny television that could play on Friday evenings and have the breadth, accessibility and longevity of First Dates and Gogglebox. These are shows that engage 16-34s, are always entertaining and become talking points. Naked Attraction also noisily plays to this young audience.

Finally, we are keen to hear ideas for ambitious, self-contained, returnable formats for mid-week that we could pilot. These ideas need to be playful and bold, and often twist their subject matter in a counter-intuitive way.

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Popular Factual

We are also looking for the next generation of entertaining, popular documentary series. These might be more constructed than they present – such as The Undateables or Child Genius. The authenticity of subject-matter is key to success with our documentaries, but unlike classic docs, they are cast and produced, albeit with a light touch.

We also want access with a twist: what are the latest incarnations of series like Big Fat Gypsy Weddings or 15 Kids and Counting – character-led, returnable, in extraordinary precincts? And… how do we find a way in to institutions or household brands? This could be for purer docs, e.g. Inside Rolls Royce or The Billion Pound Hotel, or we could use the institution to construct an entertaining factual format.

We also want to engage 16-34s in other issues: docs like A Very British Brothel or Inside the Ku Klux Klan open up worlds that are unfamiliar and shocking, but use humour as their tool of engagement.

Talent

We are currently looking for surprising diverse talent that we could build series around. We’d like to hear ideas which would allow us to see another side of comedians and established entertainment talent, as well as experts. We work with celebrities on Celebrity Island and Child Genius vs Celebrities, both of which are returning this year. Our shows have also recently featured Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Doherty, Richard Osman, Anna Richardson, Bear Grylls, and Richard Ayoade. This year we will also be working with Ant Middleton on Escape (w/t). Our talent offers warmth and accessibility but also a subversive and entertaining take on the world e.g. Richard Ayoade in Travel Man is an anti-lifestyle presenter. In what other ways could we turn features territories on their heads through great talent? In the forthcoming Britain Today, Tonight, Kayvan Novak plays every character in a satirical news show. Who else can we develop to offer a unique take on the world?

Factual Entertainment