West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris
has slammed the government’s plans to privatise Channel 4 which they will set out in next month’s Queen’s Speech. The Metro Mayor who represents the West of England which is home to one of the channel’s key Cultural Hubs has called the decision “reckless” and described Channel 4 as “a victim of the culture wars”.
Channel 4 bosses have called the news “disappointing”. They have warned that some of its programmes could be put at risk by privatisation.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This is an ideological decision by a Government that doesn’t like public service broadcasting. But the British public does. We’ve been wowed by Channel 4 news coverage from Ukraine and we love the unique regional content – much of it made in the West of England – that they bring to our screens.
I am deeply concerned about the possible threat to the Creative Hub in Bristol and the knock on effects across my region’s amazing creative sector. This is a local issue for me but it’s also a national one. I don’t see why local jobs and brilliant content enjoyed by the country should fall victim to Tory Culture wars.”
Commissioning departments represented in the Creative Hub in Bristol include: Daytime, Drama; Factual and Popular Factual. Creative Diversity also has a presence in Bristol to help nurture and develop on and off-screen talent.