If you’re not currently working with someone in the team its always best to send ideas into our email - D&Fideas@channel4.co.uk .
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.
OUR TIPS FOR PITCHING
An idea needs a great title (that is available to use) that either tells the audience what they’re going to get or is invitational and playful enough to get them curious enough to watch.
We need more than top line, we want to understand what slot you’re pitching the idea for, your approach, tone, execution & format, so that we can assess quickly whether it’s something we want to take forward and champion.
We always prefer you to pitch one or two really strong ideas that you’ve honed and believe that you can get us obsessed with too rather than 10 or 15 top lines in the hope that one sticks.
We want ideas pitched that will knock our socks off, that we ‘get’ in one line and that feel audacious and unexpected. That’s not to say it has to feel outrageous and extreme – just that there’s something in it to make it feel really special (eg: a novel starting point, money can’t buy prize, extraordinary access, unexpected casting or talent etc).
Every broadcaster wants distinctive ideas – we need you to articulate what it is about your idea / execution that will make an idea really stand out specifically for us at Channel 4.
We want Channel 4 feature shows to be talked about, noticed, so what’s the twist you’re bringing that says to the audience “only Channel 4 would do it that way”?
WHAT WE’RE ACTUALLY LOOKING FOR IN 2022 / 23
FEATURES - C4 @ 8PM
- ‘Formatted Features’ – especially titles that can drive viewing on C4 at 8pm.
- 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 as 8pm can still be a bit hectic in households.
- Broad subjects that audiences they can watch together (be it in family / friendship groups in shared homes).
- Unexpected angles of attack into familiar features territories: Punchy / noisy takes on relevant and relatable subjects…. EG: Health idea called Know your Sh*t… a show that starts with a very niche but also universal aspect of daily life but allows us to get into the really broad canvas of health…
- We also want to be bolder with more emotional story telling in our shows but with content that ultimately always leaves the viewers feeling uplifted.
- Relaxing & feelgood tone is crucial – however we also know the audience really values a sense of spontaneity & unpredictability – where could things ‘go wrong’ but will always turn out OK in the end.
- Immersive and inspiring formats rather than finger-wagging, preachy or too overtly instructional.
It’s worth thinking about gentle (& not so gentle) competition in unexpected places as a good way of reviving and reinvigorating classic features territories
- 60’ shows, across a range of tariffs - have slots for 4 / 6 /8/part series @ £120k per ep - £180k per ep.
- Monday nights – we have a real need for 30’s shows with a bit more of a consumer edge and that pair well with Dispatches / Current Affairs shows. £90k-£130k an ep ideally.
- Sunday night 7pm - 60’ lower cost (£100k-£120k) (an alternative to antiques audiences) needs a purpose – Escape to the Chateau plays here what would be a nice stable-mate to that?
We’re happy to look at features shows for 9pm and 10pm (although it’s not the key focus for us just now) – but tonally there’s a shift in audience expectation & a much greater emphasis on ideas that will drive an audience to ALL4. (Katies Price’s Mucky Mansion a great example of ALL4 driving content)
The obsession for us all is what’s next at 5pm on Channel 4?
We genuinely want to try something else – and we’ll know it when you pitch it!
What is the next turn of the wheel at 5pm in terms of shape / structure across the week?
What does an AFFORDABLE whittle looks like for us? What territory? How do you guarantee the calibre of casting & production values on a £60k an ep budget?
We know 5pm is an opportunity to attract younger audiences but anything we go for must speak to a really broad demo (the majority of the available audience is 55+ at this time of day – so please bring us ideas that have genuine breadth as well as wit & cheek that will get them talked about.
We’ll continue to look at ideas in that more escapist / aspirational mould but we’ve got some exciting new titles launching – in particular a couple of property titles that we’re excited about – Help! We bought a Village and Renovation Nation, a Sarah Beeny spin off as well as the returners like Great House Giveaway and Chateau DIY coming back
We get pitched A LOT of ideas for More4 and there are limited slots... as many of you know the CPH is pretty challenging on the channel, but the ambition remains really high.
We’re gravitating towards soft docs series that let the audience become ‘armchair experts’ – with series that feel like ‘intelligent comfort viewing’.
We like national treasures curating engaging topics that they genuinely care about or new faces engaged in authentic & escapist endeavours.
Shows need to deliver on the promise of looking visually beautiful & have clever & innovative production models to deliver the quality and ambition we’re after.
And EVRYTHING that we commission for More4 must be repeatable on C4.
We tend to look at commissions in 3 categories – at tariffs ranging £50k- £120k.
- The ‘big ticket ‘ / tentpole’ series (like Great British Dig, Great Big Tiny Design Challenge) We’re particularly interested in ideas that we could strip Mon-Fri (or even longer) at 9pm- that could feel disruptive and create a feeling of scale and event on the channel.
- National treasures curating lovely loveliness (Richard Hammonds Beautiful Rivers, Mariella’s novel landscapes).
- Low cost scalable / repeatable series: This is the space we don’t get pitched anywhere near enough original ideas. What are the populist / low risk territories for that heartland ABC1 audience that can repeat anywhere – uncomplicated, and with potential to become fixtures of M4.
More4 the West Midlands
This is a two-stage development fund, hosted by the Daytime and Features team at Channel 4 and managed by Daytime & Features Commissioning Editors Kate Thomas and Jayne Stanger. It is open to production companies based within the West Midlands Combined Authority area and/or one of the three West Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership regions (Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire), with ideas suitable for More4.
More4 Northern Ireland
Indies in Northern Ireland are invited to apply for More4 Northern Ireland, a collaboration between Channel 4 and Northern Ireland Screen. This development fund is managed by Commissioning Editor Deborah Dunnett and Commissioning Executive Jane Handa, both from the Daytime and Features team, as well as Naomi Rose, Assistant Editor within Specialist Factual.
To make sure we are inclusive and accessible to all, please let us know if you require any adjustments or assistance for meetings and communications with you.
The Daytime and Features Team
Meet the team of Commissioning Editors.
Commissioning Editor: Deborah Dunnett
My slate includes Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig, Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland and Matt Baker our Farm in the Dales. 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
My slate includes A New Life in the Sun, Countdown, Escape to the Chateau DIY, new quiz The Answer Trap and our tentpole Daytime live show Steph’s Packed Lunch.
What I’m interested in finding is the next innovation of those classic lifestyle territories across Daytime and Features and how we present something fresh and inspiring to our audience.
Commissioning Editor: Clemency Green
I look after a range of shows across peak, E4 and More4. I am across our property portfolio, I look after the George Clarke shows….including Amazing Spaces and Old House New Home, the Kirstie Allsopp craft shows as well as The Great Pottery Throwdown and Escape to the Chateau. Some of my recent commissions include Flipping Fast which is a competitive property flipping format with a massive prize at the end; and How to Save a Grand in 24 Hours, which is a 360° makeover for family finances and homes. I also have a couple of gardening shows due to TX this year for C4 and More4. Over on E4 I look after Made in Chelsea, and I am actively looking for more returnable series for E4.
I want ideas that are immediately easy to engage with and bring a burst of joy to the audience, they should be driven by characters, expertise, escapism or voyeurism…. we do love to see inside other people houses!! I like ideas that engage with real world trends, although not niche, and have grabby titles. I want populist shows with scale. Territory wise I am very open as long as they feel broad and accessible - property, competition formats, food, hobbies, body image and makeover are all of particular interest to me.
Commissioning Editor: Kate Thomas
My slate includes Four in a Bed, Mend it for Money and The Great House Giveaway in Daytime, and Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country in Features. I also have a couple more exciting projects that are close to being announced!
I’m keen for another 8pm Features idea that will be a real ratings winner and a returner for Channel 4, as Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country has been. Likewise in Daytime, I’d like to be pitched another smash hit returner that can deliver in volume – as The Great House Giveaway has done so brilliantly. And of course, my door is always open for More4 and E4 ideas.
Assistant Editor: Jasper Hone
Based at the Bristol Hub
My slate, for Channel 4 & More4 peak, includes Food Unwrapped, Devon & Cornwall, How To Build British, The World’s Most Beautiful Landscapes and Wildest Wales (w/t).
I also manage the peak Features slate in tandem with Cerise Carroll.
Assistant Editor: Barry Agnew
Based in the Glasgow Hub
My slate includes A Place in the Sun, Come Dine With Me, Countdown, Find It Fix It Flog It and I’m also across the department’s Global Format Fund Quizzes, so a nice varied slate.
I also look after the programme deliverables for the Daytime slate in tandem with Lydia Francis.
Programme Coordinator & Genre Assistant: Cerise Carroll (maternity leave)
Based in London
I am the Programme Coordinator for the Features slate, looking after Clem and Deborah’s output specifically. I also look after Clem and Kate’s diaries and am the point of contact for all new, on screen talent opportunities.
Programme Coordinator and Genre Assistant: Lydia Francis
Based in the Glasgow Hub
I have the ever-challenging 😉 task of looking after Jo’s diary and am Programme Co-ordinator for the Daytime slate.
Assistant & Programme Coordinator: John Cannon
Based in the Glasgow Hub
I am the interim Programme Coordinator for the Features slate whilst Cerise is on Maternity Leave. I'm currently looking after Clem And Deborah's output specifically