Channel 4 privatisation: Demonstration planned in Leeds today backed by Tracy Brabin and Armando Iannucci
and live on Freeview channel 276
Two large birthday cards to mark the channel’s 40th anniversary are to be handed in at the offices calling for the channel to stay in public hands.
The cards commemorate the channel’s first broadcast 40 years ago today and include the logos of over 40 independent production companies which have signed up to the Channel 4 Ain’t Broke coalition launched earlier this year.
Channel 4’s birthday comes just days after a senior minister, Andrew Mitchell MP, pointed out that he and the Chancellor are both against the sale, which has given campaigners hope that when current Culture Minister, Michelle Donelan, finishes “re-examining the business case” on privatisation, the plans will be dropped.
Today’s campaign has been organised by Equity, the performing arts and entertainment trade union, and the public service group We Own It, with support from Armando Iannucci, the Archbishop of York, City of Leeds Council Leader, Coun James Lewis.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “As Channel 4 turns 40, it’s my absolute pleasure to wish it a ‘happy birthday’ on behalf of its new neighbours – the people of West Yorkshire.
“It’s had an amazing year. 55% of all spend in the nations and regions. 400 roles outside London. 1.5 billion views on All 4. Its strongest ever financial performance to date. And all because of its unique mandate to the public.
“Our talented creatives are grateful for the jobs, our indie companies are grateful for the work, and our audiences are grateful for the high quality programming it always delivers. Privatisation would threaten all of this.
“I stand shoulder to shoulder with Equity in the fight to keep Channel 4 public and keep it in Leeds. It was smart to settle in West Yorkshire, and I’d encourage any person or business – no matter their age – to the same.”