Channel 4 move will help represent Britain after Brexit, says chief executive

By Craig Simpson, Press Association
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Channel 4 move will help represent Britain after Brexit, says chief executive

The channel will relocate hundreds of staff to bases outside the capital.

The boss of Channel 4 has said moving hundreds of staff outside London to new premises around the country will better represent Britain after Brexit.

Chief executive Alex Mahon said that it would be “bonkers” to base a network in Westminster if the choice had to be made today.

She said relocating staff from London would help Channel 4 better connect with its regional audience.

The channel will keep its current base at Horseferry Road in London but will establish a new national headquarters and two creative hubs, the locations of which will be announced in October.

After it was revealed that Channel 4 employees were the most privileged, Mahon said that if she was establishing a channel it would not be staffed by “Oxbridge white men” if it wanted to represent Britain.

She said: “Would you pop it all in SW1, would you pop it all in Westminster? No, of course you wouldn’t, that would be bonkers.

“Would you fill it with Oxbridge white men? Probably not. We want to make it about the whole UK.

“In London we got Brexit wrong. We did not see what was happening in the rest of the country.

“We need to represent what Britain means today.”

The Channel 4 boss said that the network undertook research into its own workforce, commissioning a report into the levels of privilege its staff enjoyed.

Mahon said that television was “the most privileged industry after medicine”, adding “you need the bank of mum and dad”.

A financial incentive is another driving factor in the move out of London.

Mahon said that even for the major broadcasters, it has become difficult to recruit in the London labour market.

She said: “We’re going to put 50% of our money outside of London. It’s hard to recruit when you have Google in London. We can’t match those wages.”

She added on the move: “It’s hard for our staff. We’re only 850 people. The BBC moved to Salford, they had around 20,000 people.”