UK FTAs to simultaneously air ‘culture short’

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A unique collaboration will see the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 come together for the first time to share a short film for all viewers at the same time across their channels. A total of 21 channels will simultaneously broadcast the film.

This rare TV moment will serve to mark and celebrate the role UK broadcasters play across our culture.

In a press statement, the broadcasters explained: “The UK’s free to air broadcasters aim to provide focal points that reflect and even shape life across our nations. The value of this has been highlighted in recent weeks with viewers seeking trusted information as well as entertainment – demonstrating the power of their television and digital services to bring people together during a period of profound uncertainty. Free to air broadcasters also support and invest in the UK creative economy, commissioning programmes from independent production companies across the country.

Providing a unique perspective on the lives of people throughout the country is at the heart of each service. Encapsulating this core purpose that unites the broadcasters, a specially created film, entitled Our Stories, will be simultaneously shown across the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, including each broadcasters’ additional channels this evening [July 8th] at 8.58pm, ahead of scheduled programmes which will follow at 9pm as billed. This is the first time such a collaborative and co-ordinated approach across the UK public service broadcasters to launch a campaign has been undertaken; the launch itself aims to reach 50 per cent of the country’s adult population”

The film will air in a one-off roadblock special tonight on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV, S4C, 4Seven, E4, More4, Film4, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe, 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select, Paramount Network, and BBC Four. It will also continue to play across all channels throughout the month.


Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “British free to air television – commissioned from the UK and produced in the UK – is here for everyone. We bring people together for the big moments – from a royal wedding to the World Cup. We are there at times of crisis and to provide comfort, laughter, education and entertainment. We do something special for the UK and provide authentic British programmes that our rivals simply don’t offer.”

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive, ITV said: “Our mission is to tell stories that reflect the diversity of life today in our nations and regions. We aim to engage with viewers from all walks of life. From the excitement of our big entertainment shows, to the power and creativity of dramas and soaps to the depth and breadth of our documentaries and national and regional news and sport, our focus is reflecting a full range of experiences, bringing people’s lives centre stage and providing insight into how we see ourselves as well as how we look out into the wider world.”

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, Channel 4 commented: “Channel 4 has a unique role to play in public service broadcasting – we were created to challenge the status-quo and in doing so tell the stories that otherwise may not be told. This mission and with it our commitment to super-serve the young audiences who place their trust in us and authentically represent and reflect the diverse experiences of people across the UK, has never felt more urgent and important. This film is an incredible celebration of British storytelling and the beautiful, harrowing, funny and necessary stories we collectively share with the audiences we serve.”

Ben Frow, Director of Programmes, Channel 5 added: “The importance of PSBs is clear to see in this turbulent world. We inform and we entertain, with powerful content for everyone in Britain. At Channel 5, viewers are at the absolute heart of every show we make, with a diverse and expanding range of programmes – from drama to documentaries, entertainment to the extreme world. We are proud to be part of this united campaign celebrating the role the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all play for the nation.”

Simon Pitts, Chief Executive of STV, said: “The variety and quality of the content of PSBs represents all aspects of peoples lives, from our news and current affairs, to drama to our leading entertainment, we make a unique contribution to British life. This film showcases and celebrates the richness of this contribution.”


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