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5 items from 2011

Channel 4 to air two Alternative Christmas Messages

22 December 2011 2:29 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Christmas broadcasts will feature Seven Dwarves's Max Laird and Vic Godard from Educating Essex

For the first time since it began broadcasting its own version of the Queen's annual Christmas address to the nation in 1993, Channel 4 is to air two Alternative Christmas Messages.

One will make a "plea for tolerance" and be delivered by the stars of some of Channel 4's diversity programmes, including Max Laird from Seven Dwarves and Beauty and the Beast contributor Susan Campbell-Duncan, who has a facial disfigurement.

The theme of their broadcast will be "Just Be Yourself" and they will be joined by Karen Gayle from My Transsexual Summer and acid-attack survivor Katie Piper – the second time she has recorded an Alternative Christmas Message for Channel 4.

The second alternative message will feature Vic Goddard, the headteacher of the comprehensive school that appears in Channel 4 documentary Educating Essex, and his deputy Stephen Drew. »

- Tara Conlan

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Ortis Deley 'will work with Channel 4 again' after athletics axe

8 September 2011 10:18 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Ortis Deley will work for Channel 4 again in the future, despite his recent axe from presenting its athletics coverage. The Gadget Show presenter's role was "scaled back" after the broadcaster received hundreds of complaints over his large amount of live errors while fronting its coverage of the Iaaf world athletics championships. He was later replaced by Rick Edwards. Channel 4's director of creative diversity Stuart Cosgrove has admitted to the coverage's "false start", but insists that Deley will not be axed completely from the channel. (more) »

- By Tom Eames

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TV industry 'quite corrupt' with reality stars, says Channel 4 executive

27 August 2011 6:18 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Panel discusses legal and ethical issues behind structured reality shows such as The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea

The television industry is "quite corrupt" in the way it deals with people who take part in reality shows, according to a Channel 4 commissioning executive.

Tina Flintoff, the Channel 4 features commissioning editor, said that while TV is "more honest that it's ever been" in some areas, "there's no point denying it's not a corrupt business". "Television is quite corrupt and we are all guilty of it," Flintoff added.

Her comments came during a session on reality television and exploitation at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Flintoff and other panellists explored the legal and ethical decisions behind observational documentaries and structured reality shows such as ITV2's The Only Way is Essex and Channel 4's Made in Chelsea.

Presented with a hypothetical observational documentary about a »

- Tara Conlan

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Youth culture movies: too soon?

18 August 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Some say the magic number of years to wait before making a film about a youth culture is 13. Others say you just need a good script. Jane Graham asks the people who've made them

No British youth subculture worth its drugs has gone unnoticed by film-makers, but the 90s rave culture has proved notoriously difficult to pin down with any degree of artistic or box-office success. There was much to enjoy in 1999's Human Traffic, Justin Kerrigan's portrayal of a bunch of clubbers going through the highs and comedowns of an E-enhanced night out in early-90s Cardiff. Yet Kerrigan's vision, though it noted the melancholy in the air, offered little in the way of thoughtful analysis of the scene and its legacy.

It seemed likely that might be down to the haste with which Kerrigan tackled his subject; released during the same decade it was evoking, there simply »

- Jane Graham

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Big Brother 2011: will it thrive on Channel 5?

15 August 2011 5:28 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The reality show's relaunch this week could give it a fresh start – but it may struggle to find wide media support

Nearly 11 years to the day since "Nasty" Nick Bateman's confrontation with Craig Phillips first made Big Brother a bona fide TV phenomenon, the daddy of all reality shows has its second coming on Thursday on its new home, Channel 5.

The Richard Desmond-owned broadcaster is promising the "friskiest ever" series when the new-look Celebrity Big Brother begins this week.

No one is expecting a return the halcyon days of the early noughties when Big Brother regularly brought Channel 4 audiences of 4 million plus, big online audiences and page after page of tabloid coverage throughout the summer months.

However, the trick for production company Endemol and executives at Channel 5 – which declined to put up anyone to talk about the show – will be to revive a format tarnished by the Shilpa Shetty »

- Ben Dowell

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