British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Channel 4: Thirty Years Later

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the launch of Channel 4, in November the University of Portsmouth held a two-day conference dedicated to the output of the UK’s fourth terrestrial TV channel. Dr Ieuan Franklin provides an overview of the event.

About the Author:  Dr Ieuan Franklin is the Research Assistant on the AHRC-funded Channel 4 Television and British Film Culture project. His publications include: ‘Think-Tape : The Aesthetics of Montage in the Post-War Television Documentary ‘, in J. Jacobs and S. Peacock (Eds.), Television Aesthetics and Style (Continuum – forthcoming, 2013) and ‘Rambling House and The Barrelman: folklore and audience participation in radio broadcasting in Ireland and Newfoundland’ in Across the Water: Irish Journal of Newfoundland and Labrador Research 1(1), 13-32 (2009).

On the evening of the 1st November, Sir Jeremy Isaacs, Channel 4’s first Chief Executive, led a reunion of the team behind Stephen Frears’ landmark ‘Film on Four’ My Beautiful Laundrette at a gala screening of the film at London’s Charlotte Street Hotel. Author Hanif Kureishi and Senior Commissioning Editor David Rose recalled the genesis of the 1985 hit which established Channel 4 as a serious sponsor of feature film for cinema, made a star of Daniel Day-Lewis, launched the career of Hanif Kureishi, and set Working Title Films on course to become the most successful British producers of all time.

The screening marked the highpoint of a two-day conference held at BFI Southbank, organised by The University of Portsmouth, and timed to coincide with Channel 4’s 30th birthday on 2nd November ( The conference brought together media historians and key personnel from the film and television industries to review Channel 4’s contribution to British film culture over three decades, and to debate the future of public service broadcasters’ support for UK film. The conference was the centre-piece of a four-year research project sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in partnership with the British Universities Film and Video Council.

« previous     1 2 3 4    next »