Mo Gilligan hopes Channel 4 retains ‘integrity’ amid privatisation consultation

·3-min read

Comedian Mo Gilligan has said he hopes Channel 4 is able to retain its “integrity” and support new talent after the Government launched a public consultation into its privatisation.

The channel, which was founded in 1982 to deliver to under-served audiences, is owned by the Government and receives its funding from advertising.

A 10-week consultation will look at the economic, social and cultural costs and benefits of releasing Channel 4 from public ownership, the Government has said.

The Jeremy Kyle Show
(Lewis Whyld/PA)

Bafta-winner Gilligan, who hosts The Lateish Show on the channel, admitted he did not know the details of the issue but praised the broadcaster for supporting him during his early career.

The 33-year-old told the PA news agency: “I think the great thing is with 4 – they were the first people to give me a platform and also they let me express myself and really show who I am and what I’m about, and they really backed me from the very beginning.

“And so I’ve always got ultimate respect for Channel 4 and what they do and even the programmes that they champion, I’ve grown up watching some of those programmes.”

Gilligan said some of his favourite shows such as The Inbetweeners and South Park aired through the broadcaster.

He added: “I guess one thing I could say is I hope that they can still stick to making those great programmes and working with new talent and push the boundaries.

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“Being able to do a documentary like Black, British And Funny – they let me really do that and just said, ‘Hey man, we’re willing to back you’.

“And I think that really meant a lot to me and it always will.

“Hopefully it just works out because I don’t really know the ins and outs of everything, but you just hope that it still stays pure and has the ethos, whichever way it goes.”

Gilligan said he did not have enough detail on the issue but, citing The Big Narstie Show winning a Bafta award, added: “They back shows, and they start doing well, and people talk about it, and people want to be involved in it.

“You just hope that it just works out for whichever way they go. Still keeping that integrity, that’s the most important thing.”

Figures including It’s A Sin writer Russell T Davies and The Thick Of It creator Armando Iannucci have voiced opposition to the potential sale of Channel 4.

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “The Government wants Channel 4 to have a successful and sustainable future as a public service broadcaster producing original and distinctive content for every corner of the country.

“Responding to the growing pressures in the media landscape, we are consulting on whether a change in ownership could help Channel 4 thrive for the decades to come with new partnerships and more money to invest in programmes.”

The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan returns to Channel 4 on July 23 at 10pm with guests including Jack Whitehall, Nathalie Emmanuel, Lily Allen and Anne-Marie.

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