BAFTA nominated It’s A Sin stars Callum Howells and David Carlyle have backed a petition against the privatisation of Channel 4.
It was announced yesterday, Monday April 4, the government would go ahead with plans to privatise Channel 4 – which is currently funded by advertising, but is publicly owned.
What does Privatising Channel 4 Mean?
Channel 4, founded by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in 1982 to deliver programmes for under-served audiences and over the years has provided programmes and shows that would’ve been thought to be too controversial for other broadcasters, like the BBC such as Russell T Davies series of shows for the broadcaster; Queer as Folk, Cucumber, Banana and, more recently, the BAFTA-nominated programme It’s a Sin.
However, the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries posted in a series of tweets she came ‘to the conclusion that government ownership is holding Channel 4 back’ and confirmed the government was pushing forward with plans to privatise the company.
This would mean Channel 4 would no longer be publicly owned and be sold off to a private company. The Broadcaster has responded to the news, in a statement, calling it ‘disappointing’.
The statement read: ‘With over 60,000 submissions to the Government’s public consultation, it is disappointing that today’s announcement has been made without formally recognising the significant public interest concerns which have been raised.
‘Channel 4 has engaged in good faith with the Government throughout the consultation process, demonstrating how it can continue to commission much-loved programmes from the independent sector across the UK that represent and celebrate every aspect of British life as well as increase its contribution to society, while maintaining ownership by the public.’
Channel 4 stars Fight back
However, star’s who’ve made their names with Channel 4 shows are fighting back against the prospect of privatisation – including the BAFTA nominated stars of It’s a Sin, Callum Howells and David Carlyle, who have shared a petition on UK Change which has already received more than 46,000 signatures.
They aren’t the only stars to speak out against the government’s plans, Matt Lucas, Kirstie Allsopp, and Alan Davies are among the Channel 4 alum to take their views to Twitter.