Channel 4 wants to be “braver” and “more ambitious,” said Jo Street, the network’s head of daytime and features.
Street made the comments during a “Commissioners” panel at the Edinburgh TV Festival alongside head of drama Caroline Hollick, head of factual, Danny Horan and head of entertainment and events Phil Harris.
“I think the next phase for us is what do we do outside of property, we get pitched that all the time,” said Street, who is also the head of Channel 4’s Glasgow hub. “I’m very much, urging people who probably will be watching this: don’t pitch us that sort of safe middle ground, we get so much of that, and I want people to be bolder with what we do. We want to be in territories that we’re not currently in.”
“We need to be more ambitious, and I think we need to kind of get back to doing the shows that people imitate us for. I don’t see enough ideas I like coming through. So, that’s my big statement of intent that I need people to be braver and more ambitious for us.”
Street also offered a preview of a new show she recently commissioned, “Outrageous Extensions,” hosted by British rapper Tinie Tempah, who, she revealed, has a passion for architecture. In the series, Tempah visits some of the most expensive and outlandish home extensions across the U.K.
Other new shows announced during the panel include drama series “Queenie,” an adaptation of Candice Carty-Williams’s best-selling novel, #MeToo-themed series “Chivalry,” written by and starring Sarah Solemani and Steve Coogan, and a new Claudia Winkleman gameshow called “One Question.”
The panel also briefly discussed the potential privatization of Channel 4, with head of entertainment and events Phil Harris saying: “I feel like this moment of privatisation is really galvanising not only for producers but for us. I feel like it’s really forced us to kind of sit and – and that’s what Ian’s great at – in our [head of department] meetings we can reconnect with like, you’ve got this chance to make a change with entertainment and what are you going to do about it. The time is now, and that’s sort of an amazing – it’s scary – but galvanising thing to do.”