Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began transmissions on 2 November 1982. Although commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the station is now owned and operated by the Channel Four Television Corporation, a public body established in 1990, coming into operation in 1993.
Big Brother[edit | edit source]
The social experiment and reality television show that had made its way through Europe and the world from the Netherlands, was broadcast for the first time to Britian on the 18th of July 2000 on Channel 4. The first series of Big Brother UK ran for 9 weeks and finished on the 15th of September 2000. The number of viewers that tuned in to Channel 4 to watch Big Brother gradually increased as the series progressed resulting in 10 million viewers tuning in to see Craig Phillips win the £70,000 prize.
The number of viewers for each series increased until Big Brother 4, where the first decline in viewing figures occurred. For Big Brother 5, producers made Big Brother turn evil and intentionally selected housemates of extreme character that were likely to conflict. As a result of the diversity of housemates and the infamous Fight Night, Big Brother 5 became the second most watched series of Big Brother UK in all series so far, with an average of 5.1 million viewers. E 4 Every year during the summer, Channel 4 broadcasts one series of Big Brother and has done without fail since 2000. Each year, since 2001, there has also been a Big Brother series conducted in the winter. This series is most commonly a Celebrity Big Brother, excluding the years where Teen Big Brother UK and Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack UK in 2003 and 2007 respectively.
Every Friday during a series of Big Brother, Channel 4 broadcasts the show live, from outside the House,for an eviction with the host, Davina McCall. The live eviction may not occur if an eviction has been cancel. The daily highlights of Big Brother are aired after the watershed and so all swearing is broadcast excluding the word, "cunt", which is always censored when spoken. When broadcasting live, Davina warns the housemates that: "You are live on Channel 4, please do not swear..."
Big Brother Spin Offs[edit | edit source]
Sister Channels[edit | edit source]
Channel 4 +1 is a channel identical to Channel 4, only it repeats everything scheduled on Channel 4, one hour later. E4 is a freeview channel known for broadcasting some episodes or entire series of popular television shows days or weeks before they are aired on Channel 4. E4 also dedicates much of its broadcasting time to Big Brother Live when a series of Big Brother is running. More4 and Film4 are also owned by the Channel Four Television Corporation.
Other Shows[edit | edit source]
The Liverpool based soap opera, Brookside, was aired from the very first day that Channel 4 started broadcasting. The soap included many controversial and groundbreaking storylines such as the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss and a child abusing wife beater and his murder. It reached its peak popularity in the early 1990s but started to decline as it could not maintain its popular storlyines and characters. Big Brother was also given responsibility for Brookside's falling viewing figures as the soap was constantly being given a different timeslot in order to accommodate the reality show.
Countdown was the first television programme to be broadcast by Channel 4. The popular gameshow that involves contestants attempting to create the longest word possible from a selection of randomly chosen letters. Countdown is still broadcast today and has maintained a high level of popularity in Britain, despite the death of popular host, Richard Whiteley and the resignation of Carol Vorderman.
As well as being a source of highly popular American imports such as Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and formerly Lost, Channel 4 holds a reputation for its groundbreaking documentaries and short films on issues affecting Britian and the rest of the world.