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Channel 4 privatisation could put us out of business, say TV production firms

Channel 4

Channel 4 privatisation could put us out of business, say TV production firms

More than 40 small TV and film production companies behind shows such as Derry Girls and Say Yes to the Dress have come together to warn that the government’s proposed privatisation of Channel 4 could put them out of business.

The 44 companies, dotted across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Yorkshire, have taken out a full-page advertisement in Tuesday’s edition of the Daily Telegraph – apparently timed to hit readers during the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

The ad, placed in what is traditionally seen as the Tories’ house newspaper, argues that selling Channel 4 – which is state-owned but commercially funded through TV ad revenue and is not required to turn a profit – would be the antithesis of the government’s pledge to “level up” businesses and communities across the country.

“It would cost jobs, reduce investment, and place companies at risk in the nations and regions,” the ad states. “From production companies who should know.”

Firms that have co-signed the ad include Hat Trick, the maker of the hit comedy Derry Girls, and True North, the indie behind shows such as Say Yes to the Dress: Lancashire.

“A privatised Channel 4 would be a disaster for all small to medium-sized production companies,” said Jannine Waddell, the managing director of Waddell Media, the producer of series including Britain’s Most Expensive Houses.

“No matter what the government says, the programming remit would change and that would hurt all of us. Would a commercially focused owner really get behind something like the Paralympics? We are Channel 4’s biggest supplier in Northern Ireland, and the impact here would be massive.”

Last month the former culture secretary John Whittingdale, who led a 2016 exploration to privatise Channel 4 that was ultimately abandoned by the government, said any new owner would have to maintain the broadcaster’s commitments to regional output and commissioning shows from independent producers.

A report by Ampere Analysis found that over the past two years Channel 4 worked with more than 200 small production companies, more than any other broadcaster, with 140 of those relying on it for half or more of all their TV work. It argued that a new owner would make deep cuts to Channel 4’s programming to make it more profitable, which could put up to 60 small production companies at risk of going out of business.

“The view across the industry is that, in the drive to ‘level up’ Britain, a Channel 4 in public ownership is the best ally the government could have,” said Dermot Lavery, a co-founder of DoubleBand Films, maker of programmes including Britain’s Ancient Tracks.

He said the broadcaster “would help hundreds of new privately owned [production] companies to be seeded – the indies of the future – making sure the largesse in public service broadcasting can be spread fairly across the country. A privately owned Channel 4 would kill that.”

Entertainment

Peter Obi condoles with late actor Junior Pope’s family

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the last election, Peter Obi, has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Nollywood actor, Junior Pope.

The former Anambra State governor also signed the condolence register.

Nollywood actor and former spokesperson of the Labour Party presidential campaign council, Kenneth Okonkwo, shared pictures and videos from the visit on his Instagram page ON Saturday afternoon.

He captioned the pictures and videos: ” HE Peter Obi arrived at the residence of John Paul Odonwodo Junior Pope, to pay his condolences to his family over the sad, and untimely departure of their child, brother, husband and father. He consoled his mother, Mrs Maria Odonwodo, the widow, Jennifer, and his children.”

DAILY POST recalls that Junior Pope died on April 10, 2024, alongside three others after their boat capsized on the Anam River in Anambra State while returning from a film location.

He was laid to rest at his hometown, Ukehe in Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State, on Friday

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Entertainment

I am not ready to have kids- Burna boy

Grammy-winning Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has opened up about why he is not ready to be a father yet.

The ‘City Boys’ crooner said he is not ready to have kids yet because he can’t give them the attention they deserve.

The entertainer stated this while responding to a question raised by a fan during a recent Instagram live session with his fans.

He explained that he would have children when he was settled or married.

“Why haven’t I had kids yet? Bro, because I don’t want to have kids yet,” Burna boy said.

“Have you seen my mum the way she loves me? Have you seen my dad the way he loves me?I know I can’t give that to anyone right now with the life I’m living. So until I’m settled and I can be there for my children everyday, I’m not having no kid.

I feel like my kids deserved better than I got. And I got both my mum and dad so you understand?”

On the allegations that he is impotent, Burna Boy said, “When I see the bants and the things people say [about me not being able to have kids], I said this is unimportant. Let’s assume that it is true that I couldn’t even have kids, you know that there’s something called IVF? But that is not even true.”

Burna Boy started to gain fame after releasing ‘Like to Party’, the lead single from his debut album ‘L.I.F.E’ (2013).

In 2021, the singer set a record in Nigeria after his fifth album ‘Twice As Tall (2020)’ won the ‘Best World Music Album’ category at the Grammys.

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Entertainment

Cause of Mohbad’s death cannot be ascertained’ – Pathologist

The pathologist, who conducted an autopsy on the body of late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, AKA Mohbad, has said that the cause of death couldn’t be ascertained.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wahab Shittu, told newsmen in Lagos State on Wednesday that the pathologist in charge told the coroner that the deceased’s body had decomposed by the time the test was conducted.

Shittu said, “According to him (pathologist), the cause of death cannot be determined because, by the time they conducted the test, the body had decomposed and that it is not possible for them to determine the cause of death

“So, in summary, he is saying the cause of death cannot be ascertained. When you say the cause of death cannot be ascertained, it means it is suspicious, it is not clear. No particular reason.”

Shittu added that the pathologist said Mohbad may have died due to a reaction to certain drugs administered to him before he died.

“He also went further to say that it may be attributed to reaction to certain drugs administered on him before he died. Again, he then qualified that to say he does not know whether it is those drugs that actually led to his death,” he said.

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