Channel 4 had been a matter of controversy for years even before it came on the air in November 1982. There were lengthy debates about what its role would be and the part to be played by the ITV companies and the growing number of independent television producers. There was also political controversy over the profile of the new channel, some wishing to see it as "their" channel in response to the apparent political hegemony of Margaret Thatcher. The result was sharp conflicts, not only over programming but, as the channel became established, over its relationships with the ITV companies and its regulatory body, the IBA. These controversies in the making of Channel 4 are revisited in this volume. The opening article by Edmund Dell, the channel's first chairman, describes and explains his sometimes stormy relationship with Jeremy Isaacs, the chief executive, while the witness seminar and the other articles offer the views of Channel 4 commissioning editors and representatives from the IBA, the ITV companies, the independent producers, the Home Office and the BBC.
Table of Contents
Chronology. Foreword Anthony Smith Introduction Peter Catterall 1. Controversies in the Early History of Channel 4 Edmund Dell 2. Channel 4 - A View from Within John Ranelagh 3. Establishing the Regulatory Framework of Channel 4 Shirley Littler 4. A Defence of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Lord Thomson of Monifieth 5. Witness Seminar: The Origins of Channel 4 Peter Catterall 6. Channel 4 - News and Current Affairs, 1981-87 Liz Forgan 7. Channel 4 - The Educational Output, 1981-89 Naomi Sargant