Ahead of COP26 this November, Channel 4 has announced ‘Climate Matters’, a collection of programmes offering a unique, entertaining and sometimes irreverent look at the climate crisis affecting us all.
Programmes include: Arctic Drift: A Year in the Ice – the story of a ship full of international scientists who stay frozen in the Arctic for the best part of a year studying the impact of climate there; Celebrity Trash Monsters – celebrities are charged with wearing their household rubbish for a week in a bid to make them more mindful of their life styles; How We Forgot To Save the Planet – Comedian Kieran Hodgson explores the history of climate change in Britain; and Joe Lycett vs The Oil Giant – Joe Lycett investigates a big corporation which is often accused of greenwashing.
All shows will air on Channel 4 and be available able to stream on All 4. More information on the shows below.
Arctic Drift: A Year in the Ice – Saturday 16th October, 18:30
Arctic Drift: A Year in the Ice is a landmark documentary on the most critical topic of our time. It tells the epic story of a vital, pioneering scientific expedition deep into the spectacular Arctic Circle; the epicentre for understanding a future impacted by climate change.
Arctic Drift follows 300 scientists on board the German icebreaker, Polarstern, the ship that is their home and research base, frozen into a fragile, drifting ice floe for nearly a year. The MOSAiC expedition that was 10 years in the planning, has taken an intrepid, international team of climate scientists thousands of miles to secure the previously unattainable data we desperately need to transform our understanding of climate change -before it is lost forever.
In one of the harshest environments on the planet, we follow the dangers, dramas and challenges that face the team, as they brave the brutal Arctic winter in their search for answers locked within the sea ice, ocean and atmosphere, allowing us to understand for the first time how this dynamic and enigmatic landscape regulates temperatures and climate across the globe.
Production company: Wild Blue Media
Executive producers: Cameron Balbirnie / Gary Hunter
Director/producer: Ashley Morris
Celebrity Trash Monsters – Sunday 17th October, 21:00
Comedian and climate change warrior Jon Richardson is setting three celebrities a daring challenge.... to wear their own trash! The experiment is Jon's bid to make them question the amount of waste they produce and cut down their household's carbon footprint.
Footballing legend John Barnes, model Jodie Kidd, and TV personality Kerry Katona have bins full to overflowing every week - and admit that they're clueless about the impact their waste has on climate change.
For two weeks, Jon Richardson's hot and uncomfortable experiment will see the celebs live their normal lives both at home and at work whilst wearing specially designed trash suits, which expands every day as more rubbish is added. From school runs and weekly shops, to public engagements and work commitments, the celebrities will truly feel the weight of every bit of rubbish their family consumes and throws away.
The celebrities start the experiment in Kent, the Garden of England – which is obliterated by their rubbish as the horror of their excessive waste is laid out in front of them. As they uncover their heavy and smelly trash suits, already filled with a week’s worth of their waste, it soon becomes clear this is going to be far more thought provoking than any of them had imagined.
Each celebrity has a particular area for improvement. For John Barnes, his love of ready meals and single-use plastic is a sight to behold. For country-lover Jodie Kidd, her family’s meat consumption needs urgent attention. And for Kerry Katona, her family’s love of daily take-aways, which generate bags full of waste each week, is alarming; and attracts the flies from the outset.
Mid-way through the experiment, Jon Richardson doorsteps each of the celebrities - and it’s clear they need help. After setting them bespoke challenges designed to give them a harsh wake-up call about their most offensive trashy habits, Jon asks them to set new household rules for their family to live by. The question is, will everyone play ball?
Jon measures the celebrity's carbon footprint at the start of the experiment and again at the end to see how much they’ve improved. The celebrity who manages to slash their household's C02 emissions the most, wins the competition.
Who’ll reduce their carbon footprint the most? And who’ll have to pay the price for their family’s overconsumption?
Production Company: Naked (a Fremantle label)
Executive Producers: Natalie McArdle, Matthew Cox
Show Runner: Ben Cook
How We Forgot to Save the Planet – Tuesday 19th October, 22:15
Ahead of the Cop26 summit, comedian Kieran Hodgson explores the history of climate change in Britain and our failure to act on the matter sooner in this follow-up to the 2019 show, How Europe Stole My Mum.
Irreverent and personal, this one-off special subverts the conventions of factual shows as Kieran and an all-star cast guide viewers on a journey to understand how we forgot to save the planet and what we need to do to fix it.
Written and presented by Kieran Hodgson, How We Forgot to Save the Planet is filmed in Glasgow and packed full of hilarious impressions, historiography, archive, and sketches. Morgana Robinson, Simon Bird and Laura Lovemore also star.
Production company: BBC Studios and Guilty Party Pictures
Executive Producers: Simon Bird, Jonny Sweet, Spencer Millman, Steven Canny
Director: Amanda Blue
Producer: Mark Bignell
Joe Lycett vs The Oil Giant – TX TBA October
Comedian and consumer champion Joe Lycett is set to interrogate the troubling problem of greenwashing, a practice where companies exaggerate their green credentials in their marketing output. The new one-off observational film for Channel 4 will air ahead of COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which kicks off later this month in Glasgow.
In Joe Lycett vs The Oil Giant (w/t), a 1 x 60 documentary from Rumpus Media, Joe will be focussing his efforts on energy giant Shell, their marketing, and their continued exploration for new oil reserves.
In May 2021, the International Energy Agency released a report with a plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The report called for a halt to the exploration and development of new oil fields. That same month, the District Court in The Hague ruled against Royal Dutch Shell, parent company of Shell, judging that the company currently “disregards its individual responsibility” to reduce its overall emissions, and ordering the Shell group to start reducing them by 45% by 2030. Royal Dutch Shell confirmed in July 2021 that they will appeal the ruling.
On a quest to hold Shell to account and find out more about their business activities, Joe will meet experts in the field and approach campaigners on both sides of the debate, before making a sensational “advert” about their activities and attempting to air it on primetime TV.
Prod Company: Rumpus Media
Executive Producer: Morgan Roberts
Director: Paul Taylor with Joe Lycett
Food Unwrapped – TX TBA November
Food Unwrapped launches a new series with a look at how the UK food industry is meeting the challenges of our changing climate. Kate investigates why cucumbers come wrapped in so much plastic and discovers a British innovation that hopes to tackle supermarkets reliance on plastic use for fruit and veg. Amanda finds out what happens to the 10 million pumpkins Brits dump every year after Halloween and the impact it has greenhouse gas emissions. And Matt goes in search one of the biggest carbon emitters of the whole food industry, meat production. He explores a new UK based protein source that could help cut the nation's reliance on foreign soy that endangers rainforests.
Production company: Ricochet
Executive Producer: Sandy Watson
Series Editor: Glenn Swift
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