First Disabled-Led Company Joins Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund
Channel 4 has invested in Rockerdale Studios, the first disabled-led company to join its burgeoning Indie Growth Fund. Rockerdale becomes the 17th producer to join the Fund, for which Channel 4 takes small minority stakes in producers and nurtures them, and the ninth over the past two years including David Olusoga’s Uplands TV and Walter Iuzzolino’s Eagle Eye. Rockerdale is the first to be run by a person with a disability, CEO Stu Richards. The company has produced Channel 4’s Mission: Accessible, Comedy Central’s Bobby and Harriet Get Married and upcoming All 4 show Rosie Jones’ Dine Hard. Indie Growth Fund Head Caroline Murphy lauded Richards and COO Michelle Singer as an “impressive team both creatively and in terms of ambition.” Channel 4 has placed more focus on disability representation over the past months, following Help creator Jack Thorne’s blistering August MacTaggart address in which he blasted the sector for “totally and utterly failing disabled people.”
Channel 4 & Netflix Serve Up Cooking Format
In other Channel 4 news, the Gogglebox network has partnered with Netflix on a cooking format set in legendary London hotel The Langham. Five Star Chef will see Britain’s most ambitious chefs pitted against each other to win their own restaurant in one of the nation’s most historic hotels. The show will be judged by chef Michel Roux Junior, who, along with a panel of judges, will test the boundaries of the chefs’ abilities with a range of challenges based on the real skills they’ll need to survive in the world of fine dining. Warner Bros-backed Twenty Twenty is producing the show, which represents a rare non-scripted co-production between Netflix and a UK broadcaster. Netflix and Channel 4’s previous, Crazy Delicious, ended after one season. “Our ambition is to produce a distinctive series with scale and purpose that pushes the boundaries of competition format programming,” said Twenty Twenty Director of Programmes Ruth Kelly. In other commissioning news, Channel 4 has greenlit a post-lockdown version of iconic format River Cottage Reunited for More 4 and will air the not-for-profit play Grenfell: Value Engineering – Scenes From The Inquiry, retitled Grenfell, which ran on stage late last year.
Sky Pairs With British Broadcasters On World Cup Play-Off Final
Sky and a trio of British public broadcasters have struck a deal to air the FIFA World Cup Play-Off Final on free-to-air TV on Sunday 5 June. The winner of the match, which will be played between Wales and either Scotland or Ukraine, will make it to the FIFA World Cup Finals in Qatar in November, so there is plenty at stake. The deal will see non-Sky subscribers able to watch the game via ITV in England, S4C in Wales and STV in Scotland, following agreements between Sky Sports and the respective broadcasters. It mirrors similar deals struck between Sky and Channel 4 over the Cricket World Cup Final in 2019 and Amazon and Channel 4 for last year’s U.S. Open Tennis final, which was won by Brit Emma Raducanu.
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