Leeds remains fully tuned in to the possibility of becoming the new home of Channel 4, after being shortlisted to become one of the broadcaster’s three new national bases.
Channel 4 bosses revealed today that Leeds is being considered as a possible home for its national headquarters or as one of two ‘creative hubs’, along with Greater Manchester, Liverpool, West Midlands, Glasgow, Cardiff and Bristol.
Those backing the Leeds City Region bid told of their delight at making it through to the second round of a selection process which now sees Channel 4 visit each place on the shortlist to take in a presentation and Q&A.
The broadcaster will announce its decision in October.
After the shortlist was revealed, supporters of the Leeds bid explained just why Leeds is a stand out case for Channel 4.
“Channel 4 will be very surprised by the talent pool here,” said Kirkstall-based filmmaker, rap artist, songwriter and producer Dave-O. “If we win, it’ll attract more talent to come to the region and will allow the talent we have got to stay.”
Having been the face of the Leeds 2023 European Capital of Culture bid, Dave-O featured in a video as part of the City Region’s pitch to Channel 4 - attention that has led to his music being played on Radio 1.
He said: “For me to have that opportunity from this bid... imagine what it could do for the rest of the region.”
Andrew Sheldon, creative director at Leeds-based TV producers True North, summed up why Leeds is the ideal spot, saying: “Look at the legacy of great programme making, the companies we’ve got, the universities turning out kids that can do things we could never have dreamed of a few years ago.”
Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region, said choosing Leeds could be the “edgy thing” that Channel 4 is all about. He said the city must remain “hungry” to win and that it had “a compelling cocktail” of reasons to convince Channel 4.