Lifestyle

Introduction

  • Welcome to Lifestyle (formally known as Daytime & Features).
  • We’ve re-branded to LIFESTYLE as it encapsulates the type of shows we commission, resonates with audiences as they search for content & aligns with the C4Lifestyle digital presence.
  • Lifestyle is concerned with how we live & what we care about (homes, family, food, travel, health, etc) – the things that touch our lives every day.
  • Lifestyle now has a key role in supporting Channel 4’s Fast Forward strategy:
  1. Delivering linear share across daytime, shoulder peak and 8pm at more competitive, lower tariffs.
  2. Nurturing high volume, lower cost formats that drive streaming
  • We already have some of Channel 4’s biggest shows on our slate: Great Pottery Showdown; Location, Location, Location; George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations & Amazing Spaces; Love it or List It; Air fryers, Matt Baker, Middle Aisle, Junior Bake-Off; Help! I bought a Village; A New Life in the Sun; Chateau DIY and new favourites such as Michael Mosely’s Secrets of the Big Shop, Pop Master TV, Worst House on the Street & Britain’s Most Expensive Houses.

In 2024 / 25 we’re concentrating on finding, developing, and commissioning a new generation of lower cost returnable shows in the lifestyle space, that complement our existing hit shows, feel relevant and timely and embody Channel 4’s unique tone of voice and deliver a sense of purpose and attitude. We want to celebrate & reflect Britishness in all its quirky fabulousness.

  • These need to be broad appeal shows that will primarily live first on linear – but have a long tail that means they’ll thrive and drive streaming viewing as well.

How we want our Lifestyle viewers to feel

  • The audience wants uplifting content & the promise of happy endings and resolution / reveals.
  • Format that does the hard work for the audience & makes it easy to join across the ep.
  • Broad subjects that feel relevant to most people in some way, tackled in unexpected ways.
  • We want emotion in our shows – that ultimately always leaves the audience feeling uplifted.
  • Feel good tone is crucial – however we know the audience loves a sense of unpredictability & spontaneity – but we always need resolution of some sort, and ideally a good hook and reason to watch next ep.
  • Immersive and inspiring formats rather than finger-wagging, preachy or too overtly instructional.
  • Competition in unexpected places can revive and reinvigorate classic topics.

Top Tips:  8  things to think about – all beginning with ‘T’

  • Title: A killer title will bring the audience and do the marketing heavy lifting for you. Air Fryers: Are They Worth It? was pretty much commissioned off the title alone.
  • Territory: Is it big / broad / relevant?
  • Talent: If they’re not big names they need to be big on expertise and renowned in their field. Something to say and a reason for us to listen.
  • Trends:  Is it ‘a thing’ or about to be ‘a thing'? Is the time right to do it now?
  • Take Out: Learning new things from the comfort of the sofa, for example ‘Bake Off’, where knowledge and insights from Paul and Prue bring added value.
  • Transformation: An opportunity for both the contributors’ skills to evolve and for them, personally, to change and grow.
  • Talkability: Emotion, tone, drama, reveals – considering what will make people not only watch our shows but talk about them too. Whether that be via social media or just by the kettle at work.
  • Thumbnail: What’s the image that’s going to sell the show to the audience?

We have a number of opportunities in 2024 / 2025. Because of our focus on delivering most of the channel’s lower cost output you’ll need ingenuity and creativity to deliver a brilliant idea on a tight budget.

We’re looking for clever & innovative production models that mean we can deliver quality content (eg: clever hybrid of access meets format / simple formats)

We’d like to hear about YOUR brilliant lifestyle idea that can come into us for between £100k-£180k per ep.

We have REAL / GENUINE opportunities for:

  • 60’ eps - very low-cost Lifestyle - up to £100k an ep.
    • (Would consider limited number of singles in VERY BROAD, POPULIST SPACE – e.g.: the much-imitated Airfryers: Are they Worth it? 😊 NB: The bar here is VERY high).
  • 60’  - low to mid cost lifestyle - up to £180k an ep.

We know whittle shows are unattainable at those tariffs – however if you have a way of making one work, (by imaginative & creative production models / bringing in additional ££ etc) without compromising production values then we’ll be all ears.

We’ve been clear about the tariff range we’re working with and it’s worth remembering that that’s not a floor, but it IS a ceiling – so please don’t bring this department shows that will require a C4 contribution of over 180k.

We would LOVE IT if you proactively pitched us an idea at circa £120k an ep – it means we can make our cash go further and that means we’ll have more opportunities for you!!

We will want to try a few ideas so wouldn’t consider more than 3/4 eps for first series (we also know that 3 episodes is the sweet spot for bingeing shows hence the appeal).

Areas of particular interest

Parenting & Family: Parenting and family are a tough, beautiful subject with endless opportunity for humour, take-out & insight.

  • Getting inside people’s homes is appealing to us, the ability to sit back in judgement on how other folk do things but that also have joy and warmth and introduce new experts and tips.
  • Who is the Marie Kondo of the parenting space? Who’s doing innovative and exciting things in this territory? 
  • What does family look like now and how will your casting reflect that?
  • What about teens? How do we bring a cross-generational audience?
  • Is there a juicy international format that’s ripe for a domestic version?

Health & Wellbeing is one of our biggest obsessions.

  • It’s important territory for our audiences – fact v fiction has become less clear in social media and now the AI age for consumers which is why strong trusted platforms like ours are critical in getting messages across, even if it’s difficult to do.
  • Scope to revisit and refresh traditional territories by applying modern values.
  • Keep what we know works: eg. Before / After reveals – but rather than judging and shaming contributors, go beyond surface level transformations and help contribs get to the root of their issues / the role of society / big business and the world we live in plays rather than putting all of the onus on to individuals.
  • Needs to be authentic, something people can relate to, quietly judging one minute then going ‘oh my god, I do that’ or ‘that explains why’ - its the bigger picture.
  • Trad Features shape can feel old-fashioned – how can you innovate with form / structure / introduce hooks to encourage ‘watch next ep’.
  • Competitive high-pressure environments that create compelling emotional narratives.
  • Talent need to have something to say / authority in the space.
  • Think about talent pairings. If they don’t have something to say or opinion is all science-based then it's not going to work. Pair them with a personality who has authority in the space.
  • Is there anyone from the old guard we could bring back who still resonates with audiences?

Consumer

We are keen to hear consumer ideas for the lower cost tariff. In Lifestyle our consumer titles are all about empowering the audience, (Secrets of the Middle Aisle) giving them tips and hacks to spend smarter (Joe & Katherine’s Bargain Holidays), get great value, reflect consumer trends (the OG Airfryers: Are They Worth It?) all with trademark Channel 4 wit.

Travel / Escapism

We want to encourage people to think of exploration or mischief rather than just travel.  Getting out into the world and bringing the world to our viewers.  The world they’ve not seen, or the world people think they’ve seen but haven’t really. Might be unfamiliar and intrepid or familiar or iconic but through a different lens. This lens could be the presenter, attitude, or perspective.

  • Might be a new format that carries a bit of rub: possibly a singular presenter with their own in-built comedic take on the world, or a duo or gang whose dynamic generates the rub. We’ve seen that over the years with Miriam and Alan. Shows with identifiable characters are so clearly defined you can put them into any situation and sparks will fly or comedy will happen. That’s what we are looking for in Travel. People who guarantee added value to whatever backdrop they land in.
  • Also think about ideas where The Title, is the Top Line and is the Format. (eg: An Idiot Abroad or Breaking Dad, or our own upcoming Bargain Holidays with Joe and Katherine).  Each of those titles suggests that not everything is going to be easy; there’s an imp in the mechanism, a challenge afoot, a doubt to be disproven. And the format can go anywhere that top line takes it.
  • Don’t just think of travel as travelogue. How else can you take our viewers out and about? Look at Amanda and Alan on BBC Two – a show that brings you all of the escapist joy of Italy, but it’s not a travel show. So what big talent could you bring us and what could they be doing abroad that isn’t just driving from tourist site A to tourist site B
  • Don’t want: Straight travel with food, single presenters or duos traveling round Britain; traditional travelogues that are based on an a-to-b-to-c geographical journeys. We already have enough of those and so do our competitors.

Relationships & Love: Whether it's family, romantic, friendship, etc, the way that we live with each other underpins pretty much all our successful shows.

  • So, when you’re thinking about ideas for us – think about how the relationship aspect of the idea can amplify the proposition.
  • We think ‘relationships’ is a good partner to other subjects –

**WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR DATING SHOWS!**

What haven’t we mentioned / thought about? What do you think we’re missing? What are the unexpected wholesome treats – that empower, lift up or inform the audience about their lives?

NB: ** Our Property bucket is well and truly overflowing with amazing shows – we’re not actively looking for any new property ideas (for now)** (except for the daytime brief below)

If you’re not currently working with someone in the team it's always best to send ideas into our email - Lifestyle ideas.

We look at ALL ideas we get via that route and it’s by far the most efficient way for you to get your idea seen by us.

If you have an established relationship with a Comm Ed please do continue to pitch to them – but PLEASE DON’T pitch the same idea to different Comm Eds – we all discuss the ideas & who’s pitching.

And please tell us upfront if you’ve already pitched an idea to another department in C4.

DAYTIME – 5pm Property Whittle Brief:

15 x 60’ Episodes - £80k per ep

The afternoons on Channel 4 are a place to bask in the warmth of the European sunshine and dream of a different life – a place of opportunity where you swap the drizzle and potholes of the UK for one of blue skies, open spaces, seaside, and sunnier climes. We know the audience comes to us for this sort of content and so in 2025 we’re going to super-size our offer to them.

We already have some cracking shows that deliver all the feels of this core lifestyle and now we want to dial up the jeopardy and add in a touch of competition.

We’re looking for a competitive format / sunshine / property series that blends the real-life aspiration of shows like APITS / A New Life in the Sun & Chateau DIY and throws in a healthy dose of competition (a la Four in a Bed / Come Dine with Me).

Eligibility Criteria:

As an indie you must have at least 3 of the following 4 qualities:

  1. Demonstrable experience of delivering high-volume / lower cost content.
  2. Experience of delivering property shows.
  3. Experience of delivering a European shot series (& understand the associated challenges & restrictions).
  4. A collaborative spirit to work with a dedicated Comm Ed / Commissioning Exec to nail the tone we’re looking for at 5pm.

If you don’t hit the eligibility criteria, we are open to creative collaborations / co-productions between suppliers, and we can help you find a partner if your idea is shortlisted.

Please submit your two-page document with your idea and your supporting statement demonstrating your production model.

If you already work with us please send to the Comm ed / Comm exec you work with.

If you are new to working with us and don’t have a contact, please submit via Lifestyleideas@channel4.co.uk and 5pm PROPERTY IDEA as the subject line.

Deadline for initial submissions: 3rd May 2024

We will be shortlisting 3 ideas to get funded development to deliver a tonal taster and / or indicative casting / talent taster & enhanced treatment deck.

 

The Lifestyle Team

Head of Lifestyle: Jo Street

I love meeting with suppliers & having creative conversations however its always best to pitch specific ideas via a comm ed / Lifestyle inbox.

Based at the Glasgow Hub
Contact: Jo Street
Assistant: Lydia Francis

Commissioning Editor: Deborah Dunnett

Based at the Glasgow Hub
Contact: Deborah Dunnett

My slate includes Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig, Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland and Matt Baker our Farm in the Dales & Farm of a Lifetime. Some of my recent Channel 4 commissions include a competitive whittle with gob-smacking elimination mechanic and utterly heart-warming prize, a consumer review show with surprising talent and a celebration of the UK’s most OTT interiors with Laurence Llewelyn Bowen. 

I also have a lot of gentle access, travelogues and gloriously bucolic backdrops, so what I’m focusing on now are bolder weeknight lifestyle formats. New ways into evergreen territories that audiences love and devices or entry points that feel so fresh and exciting they will generate publicity regardless of who's at the helm.

Commissioning Editor: Jayne Stanger

Based at Leeds NHQ
Contact: Jayne Stanger

My slate includes a raft of shows that are at the heart of our daytime schedule: Help! We Bought a Village, Chateau DIY, A New Life In the Sun, Sun, Sea and Selling Houses and Countdown. I also look after the live slate for daytime with daily show Steph’s Packed Lunch and Sunday Brunch. Some of my recent commissions are Sex Rated, a sex positive and cheeky relationship show for 10pm and at the other end of the spectrum Amanda Owen’s Farming Lives for More 4.

I am looking for the next 5pm daytime and Channel4 Streaming hit. Plus new returnable features ideas, with big talent, bold takes and strong format beats that are not on the channel at the moment but definitely should be. I am also looking for smart takes on traditional areas for More 4 presented by talent that feel like old friends.

Commissioning Editor: Gill Brown

Based at the Glasgow Hub
Contact: Gill Brown
Assistant: Leah McGunnigle

I have the privilege of looking after some of the department's big brands including Location Location Location, Love It or List It and Amazing Spaces. I commissioned Good Grief with the Rev Richard Coles for Channel 4, Huge Homes with Hugh Dennis for More 4 and new for daytime in 2023 Strangers on a Plane & Narrow Escapes which will launch later in 2023.

For daytime I’m always keen to hear about ideas that will offer the audience inspiration and escapism and I’m interested in the different shapes features programmes can take – what can we borrow in terms of form from other genres and then add features subject matter, process or learning to?

Senior Commissioning Editor: Clemency Green (Maternity Leave)

Based in London
Contact: Clemency Green

I look after a range of shows across daytime, peak, E4 and More4. I am across our property portfolio, where some of my commissions include the George Clarke slate, Worst House on the Street, Katie Price’s Mucky Mansion, Building Britain’s Super Homes, Renovation Nation and Tinie Tempah’s Extraordinary Extensions.

I look after some of our biggest brands like The Great Pottery Throwdown, Escape to the Chateau and Made in Chelsea.

I will be on maternity leave until April 2024.

Commissioning Editor: Nicole Streak (Maternity Cover)

Based in London
Contact: Nicole Streak

I am covering Clem’s maternity leave and will be managing all her active projects. I am not taking any development meetings at the moment & will be focussing on delivering current projects & paid developments.

Commissioning Executive: Jasper Hone

Based at the Bristol Hub
Contact: Jasper Hone

My slate, for Channel 4 & More4 peak, includes Food Unwrapped, Britain’s Most Expensive Houses, Highclere: Behind The Scenes, Little Trains & Big Names, 999: On The Front Line, The UK’s National Parks, and GPs In The Wild (w/t).

I’m always on the lookout for low tariff ideas that can play on Channel 4 weekends against the entertainment juggernauts, and smash hit returners for More4 that could deliver in volume. I like national treasures curating engaging topics and escapism, but they must be truly authentic to the talent involved.

Commissioning Executive: Barry Agnew

Based at the Glasgow Hub
Contact: Barry Agnew

My slate includes A Place in the Sun, Great House Giveaway, Sarah Beeney’s New Lives in the Country, & Come Dine With Me. I also meet with indies and discuss new ideas. While my primary focus is on Daytime, E4 & More4 programming, I am also happy to discuss innovative and contemporary takes on traditional lifestyle and features.

Assistant Editor: Cerise Carroll

Based in London
Contact: Cerise Carroll

I am the Assistant Editor for the Features team, and head of talent for Lifestyle meeting & tracking all new, on-screen talent opportunities.

Programme Coordinator and Genre Assistant: Lydia Francis

Based at the Glasgow Hub
Contact: Lydia Francis

I have the ever-challenging 😉 task of looking after Jo’s diary and am Programme Co-ordinator for the Lifestyle slate.

Assistant & Programme Coordinator: John Cannon

Based at the Glasgow Hub
Contact: jcannon@Channel4.co.uk

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