The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Scotland’s STV are joining forces to broadcast a short film that attempts to burnish the credentials of British free-to-air television at a time when U.S. media giants such as Netflix and Apple are becoming increasingly influential.
The five broadcasters are clearing their schedules at 8.58 PM Wednesday to show the two-minute film Our Stories, which was created by Uncommon Creative Studio and directed by Sam Walker through Pulse Films. It is the first time they have collaborated on such an endeavor.
Emboldened by the role they have played during the coronavirus pandemic and increasingly keen to underline their value when viewers are turning to streamers, the broadcasters hope that the campaign demonstrates the power of TV and its ability to bring people together. They said it also represents a statement on their contribution to the UK creative economy.
Our Stories takes viewers on a journey from the Cornish coast to the Angel of the North, showcasing TV programs including Blue Planet II, Normal People, Britain’s Got Talent, The Great British Bake Off and Cruising with Jane McDonald. “This is the story of everything we’ve done. And everything we could be,” the narrator says. “This is us. This is who we are. Our stories are your stories.”
Commenting on the campaign, BBC director general Tony Hall said: “We do something special for the UK and provide authentic British programmes that our rivals simply don’t offer.” ITV CEO Carolyn McCall added: “Our mission is to tell stories that reflect the diversity of life today in our nations and regions.”
Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon said Our Stories is a celebration of “British storytelling,” while Ben Frow, the director of programs at ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5, added: “The importance of PSBs is clear to see in this turbulent world. We inform and we entertain, with powerful content for everyone in Britain.”