Features and Formats

The Features and Formats department commissions a diverse range of unscripted programmes particularly focusing on returnable lifestyle series, youth-skewing formats and broad talent-led shows.

 

We deliver over 400 hours of programming across the portfolio from channel defining competitive shows like The Bake Off franchise, iconic features shows like Amazing Spaces, innovative formats like Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, reality series like Celebs Go Dating, and much more besides.

What we LOVE

In all our shows we want to spread joy – we like colourful worlds, talent with a glint in their eye, and shows with cheek and attitude. We want creative and original ways in to broad subject matters, and we’re looking for fresh formats that will bring a young audience but also deliver volume at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm.

What we’re looking for

We want popular primetime formats that are warm and joyous, entertaining and escapist and encourage shared viewing – think family features at 8pm and 9pm progressing to cheekier formats later in the schedule.

Our shows cover a wide range of universal territories - from food to finance, travel to transformation, health to relationships, property to porn and we are always on the hunt for original and entertaining ways in.

Tonally, we love ideas that create a world, evoke an atmosphere, or mash up genres. The Bake Off creates a real sense of event and celebration and delivers the nation a warm hug of a watch; Flirty Dancing turned dating into a romcom and brought old fashioned Hollywood glamour to the small screen and the BAFTA nominated Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back reinvents the consumer show with comedy.

The Good Life

2020 has taught us that the best things in life are often free. Now more than ever viewers will want to escape to the good life, and we want warm series that celebrate activities that require more love than cash.

This could come in doc formats like Escape to the Chateau or River Cottage where loveable characters take on an authentic mission, or in a gentle talent led series like Mortimer & Whitehouse Gone Fishing that sees national treasures doing something they love. And just as Grayson’s Art Club engaged the nation and celebrated the artist in all of us, we’re also after a fresh and distinctly Channel 4 take on gardening that is accessible for everyone.

Glorious Escapism

The success of Devon and Cornwall demonstrates that you don’t need to travel far to enjoy aspirational backdrops. What other undiscovered beautiful British vistas could provide some much-needed escapism?

And as soon as it is possible to do so we’re looking to get on the road again. We had success with Paul Hollywood in Japan – who else do we want to go on an adventure with? We’re after unusual and inventive ways into travel like An Idiot Abroad or buddy travelogues – who are the female versions of Fred, Gordon and Gino?

Property

Property is the Holy Grail of our schedule and we continue to have success with our long running brands like Location, Location, Location and Ugly House to Lovely House. But we’re looking to find the next big property format to sit alongside them. Could we launch a reality series like Netflix’s Selling Sunset? Or can we learn from shows like DIY SOS and launch our own big-hearted property show?

Broad Formats for Post Bake-Off Slot

After the Bake Off, a huge broad audience is sitting waiting for some warm, joyous entertainment and new formats like Snack Masters or event pieces like Sink or Swim have performed really well here. We want your biggest and boldest ideas for this slot! No genre or approach is off limits, as long as it has ambition, modernity, wit and is likely to appeal to millions.

Could there be a new celebrity gang-show like The Real Full Monty or Harry’s Heroes? What’s the new provocative real-life format like Married At First Sight? What would modern nostalgia or living history look like here? Which genres can you fuse together, or which classic territories can you update?

Cheeky Features and Formats

10pm is a place to play with naughtier formats that skew younger and play with form and genre. Romance and sex often work well here, as Flirty Dancing and Mums Make Porn have shown. However, many other lifestyle genres could work here, as long as your idea has a witty enough approach. How can we reflect the colour and joy of diverse worlds in glossy and optimistic formats like The Rap Game, Queer Eye or Ru Paul’s Drag Race?

Head of Features & Formats: Sarah Lazenby

based in London

GENRE ASSISTANT: James Barry

slazenby@channel4.co.uk

Deputy Head of Features and Formats: Sean Doyle

based in Belfast and Glasgow 

GENRE ASSISTANT: James Barry

sdoyle@channel4.co.uk

Commissioning Editor: Vivienne Molokwu

based in London

vmolokwu@channel4.co.uk

Commissioning Editor: Clemency Green

based in London

GENRE ASSISTANT: James Barry

cgreen@channel4.co.uk

Commissioning Editor: Jonny Rothery

based in London

GENRE ASSISTANT: James Barry

jrothery@channel4.co.uk

Commissioning Editor: Tim Hancock

based in London

thancock@channel4.co.uk

Commissioning Editor, Deborah Dunnett

based in Glasgow

ddunnett@channel4.co.uk

Commissioning Editor, Daniel Fromm

based in Bristol

dfromm@channel4.co.uk

Assistant Editor: Jasper Hone

based in Bristol

CONTACT:

jhone@channel4.co.uk

Programme Coordinator: Cerise Carroll

Based in London

CONTACT: 020 7306 6432

ccarroll@channel4.co.uk

Genre Assistant: James Barry

Based in London

CONTACT: 020 7306 6446

jbarry@channel4.co.uk

Programme Coordinator: Michelle Shaw (maternity leave)

based in London