In November 2007, Channel 4 will be twenty-five years old. Today, such TV events as the 'Big Brother/Jade Goody Affair' have put the channel itself at the centre of public debate. Yet during its foundation years on British screens, Channel 4 was seen as more controversial and dangerous than this. Published for Channel 4's 25th anniversary, this book explores the channel's most important foundation period, under its inspirational first Chief Executive, Jeremy Isaacs. Charged by Parliament to be innovative, experimental, and educational, the new channel had to attract audiences and make a space for new voices. Did it fulfill its brief? It also assesses the legacy of the channel and asks: has it changed the nature of British television, and has the enfant terrible grown up, or is it still a youthful rebel?Dorothy Hobson had unique access to Channel 4 and the team involved in developing it, the ITV companies and fledgling independent producers over its foundation years.
Accessibly written, her book uses the words and stories of those involved, and vividly reviews the new channel's successes, problems, adversities, as well as audiences' and press responses to television's new baby and its programmes.
Dorothy Hobson is Senior Lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies, University of Wolverhampton. She is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society & her publications include "Crossroads": The Drama of a Soap Opera' (1982), and 'Soap Opera' (2003).
Preface; 1 Birth of the Channel; 2 Television's New Baby - the first three months are the worst; 3 Commissioning Editors - people and progress; 4 ITV Companies and Independent Producers - supplying programmes; 5 Managing Creativity - the Channel 4 business; 6 Programmes - creative innovation or more of the same?; 7 Channel 4's Audience; 8 1987 A Year of Change; 9 Channel 4 and its Legacy; Notes; Bibliography; Index.