Brief for Contestable Pot 2021

Do you want to create the next innovative, channel-defining format for Channel 4? We are looking for great, crazy, brave, funny, entertaining, risky, and entirely new ideas to be funded from a contestable pot, overseen by Deputy Director of Programmes, Kelly Webb-Lamb.

The key for these ideas is that they are cross-genre, are creatively brilliant, and that they speak to the three pillars of scale, noise and fun. They need to be returnable and to have the potential to grow to a large order. We’d like them to say something about the world – but to wear that with a lightness of touch. We want them to reach a broad audience; to appeal to young viewers but not exclusively. They could be feelgood, or challenging. They could have talent at their heart, or no talent at all. They could be live, or pre-recorded. What matters is that they have the potential to be talked about, enjoyed and to become a regular in our schedules.

Your idea might have an element of reality as well as documentary. It may have a scripted part of a popular factual format. It might bring narrative rigour to bear on a quiz or entertainment show. Crucially – the ideas need to feel genuinely innovative and never to have been heard of before. We are looking for the scale and noise of The British Tribe Next Door, mixed with the fun and returnability of Gogglebox. We’d like the innovation and humour at the heart of The Island to marry up with extraordinary topical story-telling of Jade. The fun and breadth of First Dates to meet the creative freshness of Crazy Delicious. And so on…

It's also important that the successful ideas have digital sewn into them. We want to talk to you, from the very first conversation, about how your idea will engage viewers on social, and how it might have a life across the portfolio, and bring audiences to All4.

We are looking to commission at least two new series for 2021. Ideas should be taken to any unscripted commissioning editor/ Head of Department in the first instance. The slot is (probably) mid-week 9pm, though we’d be open to 8pm or 10pm/ weekends if the idea felt better for those slots and still met all the requirements, and the number of episodes is flexible – but ideally 4-6 episodes for a first series. These ideas can be pitched through any of the genre HoDs and they will be taken to three commissioning rounds led by Kelly Webb-Lamb across 2020, in the spring, summer and autumn.