The fall-out from Coronavirus and helping people rebuild their lives will feature strongly in our output – but we are particularly keen to hear your non-Covid ideas. We are looking for noisy and impactful journalism. The kind of programme that could only be made for Channel 4. The kind of programme that causes trouble or raises eyebrows. The kind of programme that gets talked about AND leads to real change. The more ambitious the better.
Our flagship current affairs programmes is Dispatches and we are seriously looking for major domestic and international investigations – real wow stories that have the ability to cut through and get talked about: think Starbucks & Nespresso: The Truth About Your Coffee, Britain’s Coronavirus Catastrophe, and The Battle for Hong Kong. We’re keen that some of our investigations have a real mischief-making feel about them like the recent Celebs for Sale did. Unique access with strong current affairs purpose is important to us. Everything we do should be rich in humanity. We’re also looking for strong counter-cultural programmes that challenge the current way of thinking.
We’re particularly keen to hear about ambitious climate change content to mark COP-26, British politics, Brexit, and institutional racism.
We will be operating on a range of different tariffs over the remaining course of 2021 and beyond.
Our consumer programming offers expertise and fresh insight. The focus should be exposing pricing tricks, uncovering sophisticated scams, finding good quality for less, saving money, and hearing insider knowledge. But for us they should have an added twist of being unpredictable, approaching the topic in a way that the other channels possibly wouldn’t do. We’re looking for pitches with a sense of fun and mischief that also have a topical edge. These can be mini-series such as strong journalistic examinations of major brands – a good example was our recent The Truth About Amazon series. There are also opportunities for populist ideas for singles such as Coronavirus: How Clean Is Your House?, Inside John Lewis: Trouble at the Tills or Christmas Luxury For Less.
We’re also looking for ideas around healthy living. We have a new series with Michael Mosley that builds on the success of his Lose a Stone in 21 Days series, and we are always keen to see ambitious ideas in this area that will have a broad appeal.
In terms of subject areas, no subject is off limits if the journalism is significant and it has the potential to make a lot of noise.
Having great case studies or access can be brilliant, but nine times out of ten it is not enough. What is the journalism at the heart of the story that you are bringing those towards?
Once you have that revelation, consider what impact it will have. What are the news lines it will bring? Will those news lines create noise? And if not, is the subject enough or the way in which you treat it different enough to make the programme punch through in a crowded schedule?