C4 and Screen Scotland Christmas Entertainment Pilot

Over the last two years Channel 4 Entertainment have launched a series of pilots at Christmas, including One Night In Hamleys, The Greatest Snowman and Jon and Lucy’s Christmas Sleepover. 

We want to continue to launch new ideas around Christmas and this year we are partnering with Screen Scotland to award a Christmas pilot to a Scotland based indie.

We are looking for a 1 hour format with a maximum tariff of £250K, inclusive of talent. 

The format can either be pre or post watershed, but it must be returnable - as a one-off annual treat like The Greatest Snowman, or a potential returning series that can live outside of the Christmas wrapper like One Night in Hamleys.

We are open all different types of ideas, but the format’s topline should be clear and simple & ideally something that can accommodate big name talent, while allowing opportunities for newer faces.

The Wishlist:

·       Ideally the show has Comedy Entertainment at its heart.

·       Talent at Christmas is essential to draw in an audience - the format could be based around a singular talents voice, or an ensemble. Who would be a Christmas treat?

·       It could be in or out of studio, we have no preference.

·       We would welcome a new take on List shows, if it felt innovative.

·       It could be a ‘Review of the Year’, again this would need to feel innovative.

·       It could be a Panel format, if the gameplay was Christmas themed and could be broadened out for a series. 

·       We are open to cross genre ideas – perhaps it could be a Comedy Entertainment spin on Features territory - Is there another way to do Access like we did with One Night in Hamleys? Or perhaps it’s an Ents Spin on something in the Snackmasters space.

·       Christmas is a good place for nostalgia, but ideas would ideally live beyond the Xmas wrapper (unless it could become an annual Christmas treat)

·       Pre-watershed 8pm – family viewing is essential, ideas should be warm, feelgood and funny with a subject, talent and format that is broad and accessible. 

·       Post Watershed 10pm – naughtier and cheekier in tone, but still warm and not cruel. 

·       We would welcome the show to have Scottish tones and themes, however we are not exclusively looking for that.  


There will be an opportunity to have development funding dependent on the idea.

  • 18th May - Webinar with Phil Harris, Steven Handley and Screen Scotland. 11.15 - 11.45am.
  • 13th June – Opportunity to discuss topline ideas with Entertainment Commissioner Steven Handley in Glasgow. Spaces are limited and meetings will be for a maximum of 30 minutes, so please send toplines ahead of your meeting by June 10th. Slots will be allocated by emailing Alex Bootherstone and cc’ing Rebecca Thompson ABootherstone@Channel4.co.ukRThompson@channel4.co.uk 
  • June 30th – Deadline for submission of ideas. We would like treatments, but sizzles supporting the idea will also be accepted. Some ideas may be awarded development funding if necessary.
  • 25th July – Final submission of any ideas awarded development funding, with a decision of the winning idea in August.


The pilot will be equally co-funded by Channel 4 and Screen Scotland’s Broadcast Content Fund (BCF), and companies must meet the eligibility and spend criteria of the Broadcast Content Fund, including having a substantive base in Scotland. 

Commercial provision:

Under the terms of the BCF, Screen Scotland - contracting as Creative Scotland (CS) is entitled to recoup development funding and receive a share of producer's net profits from the exploitation of any subsequent commission. CS takes security in the form of 10% share of IP which is reassigned on repayment of development funds.