Features

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Who we are

The Features department is primarily focused on commissioning popular factual programming into Channel 4 weekdays in peak. 8pm returning series, eye-catching one-offs and smart events are our priority, but we also commission series for 10pm mid-week and Sundays at 8pm. In addition to Channel 4 the Features department also serves More4 with peak factual content.

Channel 4 Features programmes have content which is aspirational yet attainable. The format should be informed by a compelling and, ideally, fresh insight around human behaviour. Whether that’s relating to homes, fashion or food, our shows set out to reflect both the way we live now and how we can live life better. When we can do that by surprising our audiences with a new ‘home truth’, all the better.
As a team we’re excited by innovation, eccentricity, audacity, mischief and bold attention-grabbing propositions that really matter to our audience. At a time when it’s increasingly competitive at 8pm and securing viewer-engagement with popular factual formats is more challenging than ever, it is key that new ideas are coupled with genuinely new thinking around form, structure and tone.

A handful of signature series illustrate the breadth of our slate. At one end it includes the daring young-skewing relationship series Married at First Sight. At the other end the much-loved and uplifting Great Canal Journeys with Tim and Pru provides charm and an unexpected layering of insight. In-between, programmes like Kirstie and Phil’s insightful look at modern day property problems in Love it or List it continue to deliver volume at 8pm.

Consumer series - thinking about the application of that term beyond straight shopping - such as What Britain Buys, How to Lose Weight Well and Superfoods: The Real Story and Food Unwrapped are important to the department and channel.

Our property portfolio is in good shape and includes a balance of long-running series such as Location, Location, Location, Grand Designs and Restoration Man alongside new takes on bricks & mortar such as Inside Out Homes, Ugly House to Lovely House, George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year and Old House New Home. That said we are always looking to find the gaps in our offering where there’s space to tell new and different stories.

We are proud to work with some of the sharpest, original and most passionate on-screen experts in Britain. Presenter and expert-led programming is at the heart of everything we do, so investing time and energy finding and developing new voices bringing a different attitude to heartland features territories is key to the ongoing success of the department.

On More4, Penelope Keith will continue to uncover the UK’s Hidden Villages, Charlie Luxton will step inside a new set of extraordinary Homes by the Sea while much-loved stars from the scripted world such as Patricia Routledge give us an exclusive take on topical stories featuring national treasure from yesteryear such as Beatrix Potter.


What we are looking for

Insight
When pitching to Features, please focus on current conversation-setting ideas with sharp top-line insights. Ask yourselves why you love the concept, what’s different about it, why now is its time and then then focus on the hook that turns a purposeful idea into a must-see purposeful idea that is uniquely Channel 4.

Diversity
We expect ideas that have diversity and ethnic diversity at their core, that offer unique and inspiring perspectives on the modern world.

Engage the Audience
It may sound obvious, however emotional engagement and pull-through across the hour, in an ever-increasingly packed schedule are both crucial.

Every successful Features series delivers on an emotional level. We want the viewer to feel engaged across the hour, informed and uplifted by the subject matter. We need to know from you what will make your idea into the show that everyone is talking about, or make it trend on Twitter.

The Visuals
The programme stylistically must be instantly recognisable and have high production values.

The Briefs

At 8 pm in weekdays we are always looking for must-see brands that innovate around our Features heartland topics like Home, Fashion and Food.

At 10 pm we're looking for audacious brands that deliver at a more risky and experimental level – what does post-watershed Features look like? It must appeal to 16-34 year olds and result in giving us something we’ve never seen before.

We have one 8.30pm half hour slot on Mondays. The focus here is on marrying entertainment with a high level of take-out and revelation that can play successfully here, bridging the gap between Dispatches and the 9pm slot.

On More 4 we are looking for National Treasures and their passion projects, celebrating the best of British talent, experts, locations and lives.

Who to Contact

For any diary queries please contact the relevant Genre Assistant, for all other programme queries please contact the Features Assistant.

Contacts