Black To Front day ‘proved our point extremely successfully’ – Channel 4 boss

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The chief executive of Channel 4 has said its Black To Front day “proved our point extremely successfully” that the TV industry is not lacking in black talent.

On September 10, the broadcaster aired programmes fronted by black stars and featuring black contributors, including special editions of The Big Breakfast, Countdown and Steph’s Packed Lunch.

Speaking during the Channel 4 Inclusion Festival, its boss Alex Mahon suggested the day, which led to a series of new commissions, had shone a light on the large pool of black talent available.

The Big Breakfast
AJ Odudu and Mo Gilligan hosted The Big Breakfast as part of Black To Front Day (Channel 4/PA)

She said: “We had the Black To Front day this year. That was a big decision to do that in September and to have a day of the shows all day long fronted by black talent.

“Most importantly actually, for me, to have as many as possible in the crews as black, because that is a big shift.

“And I think we have proved our point extremely successfully that there’s plenty of people around. There are plenty of talented people around.

“It is simply a question of how hard do you work to crew up? And do you go to the same old sources time and time again, or do you work mildly harder to find a different group of people to put in?

“I think that is really important because we have proved the point that there is black talent out there. It is just a question of you casting them, whether that be on the crew or on screen.”

Ms Mahon was speaking to radio DJ and presenter Yinka Bokinni, whose late-night topical discussion show Unapologetic was renewed after being piloted during Black To Front day.

The broadcaster describes the programme as a space in which “black guests talk freely about the big issues of the day and what’s new on social media”.

Ms Mahon said: “That is a big deal for me and I love that lots of shows, including yours, have been commissioned coming out of it.”

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