Entertainment & Events

In Entertainment & Events we commission award-winning, channel defining unscripted content across Channel 4, E4 and All 4, working with an array of new and established talent both on and off-screen. Our growing slate covers everything from the live spectacular of Stand Up to Cancer to the topical satire of The Last Leg and the unique mix of consumer and comedy in Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back; from gold standard comedy entertainment like Taskmaster, I Literally Just Told You and The Lateish Show right through to E4 Reality with The Real Dirty Dancing and Celebs Go Dating.

COMEDY ENTERTAINMENT

With Joe Lycett, Taskmaster, One Night In and I Literally Just Told You we’ve made Thursdays a real destination for comedy entertainment, but we want more. What shows could appeal to a Taskmaster audience when it isn’t on? What would hold the attention of our viewers straight after Cats Does Countdown? We are looking for comedy entertainment vehicles that could sit in or outside the studio with talent at the heart of them. We are especially keen to hear ideas featuring female talent.

 

9PM PRIME TIME ENTERTAINMENT

Taskmaster does brilliantly for us at both on linear and on All4 and while we don’t want another version of Taskmaster, we’d love to hear ideas that share some of the same DNA.

We want shows that are big, broad and funny with a simple, joinable premise. They will probably feature a returning - or rotating - cast which mixes big names and new talent, all doing things you wouldn’t expect.  Viewers at 9pm like a continuing narrative with twists and turns across the series, and while comedy rather than jeopardy can be the driver, they enjoy seeing people under pressure.  Your ideas should be very accessible, attract youngs and with a clear eye on All4 performance.

Shows could be in or out of studio, but we’re particularly keen on ideas set in a real-world or changing location.  We’re still open to panel ideas but they need to be more than just two teams firing gags at each other; think Cats Does Countdown as opposed to 8 out of 10 Cats

We don’t want shiny floor or multi stranded shows led by a single piece of talent.  And we feel well served currently for quiz and game.

 

10PM COMEDY/ENTERTAINMENT HYBRID

We know from shows like Friday Night Dinner and The Last Leg that both sitcom and studio entertainment can work at 10pm, but it’s not often we blend the two worlds. So, in an exciting cross genre move, we’re joining forces with the Comedy Department to invite cross genre submissions that could work alongside our existing comedy entertainment brands like Taskmaster or I Literally Just Told You.

We are particularly interested in ideas that mix elements of scripted comedy with unscripted entertainment. It could be a mash up, like Cats Does Countdown with scripted turns and spontaneous gameplay, a sketch show, or a prank-show that feels of the moment, naughty, irreverent and can gather an ensemble cast and a high gag rate. 

There is room for these ideas to take on a satirical slant; what would The Last Leg look like if it was given The Thick Of It treatment for example? Shows like Star Stories, Da Ali G Show, Fonejacker and The 11 O’Clock Show are good historic examples of previous success with this cross-genre approach.

Any successful submissions will have a clear idea, returnable format with broad appeal and feature new and established talent, and crucially will need to work well on All4.

 

BLOCKBUSTER CELEBRITY CHALLENGE FORMATS

We’ve had success in the last few years with blockbuster celebrity formats, from the infamous Jump to 2019’s brilliant Sink or Swim and we want to build on that in 2022. 

We’re looking for celebrity challenge shows with real scale; ideas that can cut through on linear and land on All4.  They should generate press and social noise, so the top-line needs to be mischievous or audacious enough to attract attention.

These shows should feature a returning cast and series long narrative arc. Authenticity is key; they should be shows that the cast would either love to do or find so challenging they want to prove they can do it.  Your ideas should have a clear format, with demanding tasks that will create natural jeopardy and plenty of action; we want the cast to bond and form friendships that will be put to the test.  While most likely post produced, series could have a live stunt element or finale like The Jump.

All 4 appeal will be crucial to any series being a success, so think about the dramatic techniques used to ensure that viewers on linear are compelled to watch the next episode immediately online – from cold opens to cliff-hangers at the end of each episode.

And please note, while some ideas are a possible fit for Stand Up to Cancer fundraising, this is not an essential requirement.

 

CELEB BIOG AND MODERN NOSTALGA

We want to expand on the recent success of Johnny Vegas: Carry On Glamping and One Night In with more popular, funny factual. We’re particularly keen to hear out-of-studio ideas that show celebrity talents in a different light; series that will not only entertain but also give the audience lots of take out.

We’d like you to think about nostalgia and celebrity profiles; how can we tell the life stories of big-name talent via modern pop culture and creative use of archive? We don’t always need to play for laughs; we could take our central characters on an emotional journey along the way. It could be across a stranded series or closed episodes.

Your ideas should feature warm, funny and broad talents and don’t just limit your thinking to comedians. We’d love you to bring us some fresh takes on popular celebrities from other worlds. It could be stars of music, film or sport; high profile stars featured in a way you haven’t seen before.

We’re not looking for studio shows, list shows, or purely talking heads or archive. This opportunity is about us placing big talents in a heightened ob-doc scenario. All your ideas should have an original, fun top-line premise; ideally we’re looking for a new hook that will bring a broad audience, lots of press and ultimately stand out on All4.

 

SHOWS THAT MAKE TROUBLE

We’re looking for noisy, disruptive entertainment ideas that ruffle feathers and redefine Channel 4’s role as provocateurs for the next generation. To make sure we get them we are ringfencing part of our development pot for these ideas only.

We want you to bring us your weirdest, most wonderful and scariest toplines which we will pitch in two annual rounds to our Chief Creative officer Ian Katz. The top ideas in each round will be funded for further development.

In terms of form, this is an open brief: as we’re entertainment, it will probably be something with humour and mischief baked in, but beyond that you can be anything: from a one off stunt to a surprising studio show or a competitive whittle. Our only request is that the thought of producing it makes you scared (and excited).

 

E4

We now boast a really healthy E4 slate with, among others, Celebs Go Dating, Coach Trip, One Night Stand, The Real Dirty Dancing and a brand-new competitive reality series coming later this year.

We have two perennial asks: premium reality like Celebs Go Dating and lower-cost repeatable formats like One Night Stand. For more details on E4’s current brief click here.

Genna Gibson is the commissioner who leads on E4 for the team, but please feel free to submit your ideas to any of the entertainment team.

 

 

SU2C

Head of Entertainment & Events: Phil Harris

based in London

Genre Assistant: Jen Jackson

pharris@channel4.co.uk

Head of Live Events and Commissioning Editor, Entertainment: Tom Beck

Based in London

Genre Assistant: Jen Jackson

tbeck@channel4.co.uk

My slate ranges from big-scale events Stand Up To Cancer and the National Comedy Awards to studio entertainment shows Taskmaster and first two series of The Lateish Show. Recent commissions include The Greatest Snowman, Tom Parker: Inside My Head and upcoming new series One Question.

I want to hear your big, broad 9pm entertainment ideas that can play when Taskmaster isn’t on and I’m particularly keen to hear your noisy event ideas: let’s do something frightening together.

 

Commissioning Editor, Entertainment: Steven Handley

based in London

Genre Assistant: Jen Jackson

shandley@channel4.co.uk

My slate includes The Last Leg (alongside Cimran Shah), The Bridge, Jimmy Carr’s I Literally Just Told You, One Night In and new series Let’s Make a Love Scene.

I have a wide remit that takes in reality, gameshows, comedy entertainment & live. I’m particularly keen to hear noisy, channel defining celebrity reality ideas, with real noise and scale.

 

Commissioning Editor: Genna Gibson

based in London

Genre Assistant: Jen Jackson

ggibson@channel4.co.uk

My recent commissions have been Davina McCall’s Language of Love, E4’s The Real Dirty Dancing, Jon & Lucy’s Christmas Sleepover, Kinky Daters and upcoming E4 series One Night Stand.

I’m across the more reality, fact ent, celeb end of our slate. I commission for C4 10pm and E4 Pre and Post watershed. I am always on the look out for new exciting celebrity -based reality formats for both channels. As well as brand new format ideas that feel fresh, naughty and something only Channel 4 would make.

I also run our Entertainment Social Pilots scheme - commissioning series for our digital channels with the view that if they do well, we will scale up for longform.

Commissioning Editor, Entertainment: Cimran Shah

based in London

Genre Assistant: Jen Jackson

cshah@channel4.co.uk

My slate includes 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, The Last Leg (alongside Steven Handley), The Big Narstie Show and Lateish with Mo Gilligan.

I’m interested in 10 and 11pm with a focus on broad satirical comedy and edgy late-night entertainment. I am particularly keen for ideas that mix elements of scripted comedy with unscripted entertainment for 10pm. I also want to know what the next late-night idea is to give opportunities for new talent.

Assistant Editor, Entertainment and Events: Katie Buckley

based in London

CONTACT: 020 7306 5591

kbuckley@channel4.co.uk

Genre Assistant, Entertainment and Events: Jen Jackson

based in London

jjackson@channel4.co.uk