[C]hannel 4 today announced four new commissions which will form part of the broadcaster’s coverage of the General Election as well as what viewers can expect from Channel 4 news.
The programmes include a joint programme with Sky News May v Corbyn Live: The Battle for Number 10 in which Jeremy Paxman will interview the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition and the live Alternative Election Night results show fronted by Jeremy Paxman.
Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt said: “Channel 4 has a strong track record of bringing elections alive, particularly for young audiences. This time we’re combining tough-talking current affairs with comedy and entertainment to really engage viewers with the big issues. Jeremy interviewing the two main candidates promises to be the must watch moment of the campaign.”
Jeremy Paxman said: “I look forward to putting some of the voters’ concerns to Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn on 29th May. However many know-it-alls say they’re confident about the outcome, they could be wrong. After all, the pollsters ballsed- up the last election, and the last two referendums. On the night, there will be fascinating stories to tell. Parts of the map could be repainted. Some household names may be saying ‘sayonara’. I wouldn’t take anything much for granted.”
May v Corbyn Live: The Battle for Number 10
On Monday 29th May at 8.30pm, Channel 4 and Sky News will broadcast a live 90-minute programme in which the chief contenders for Prime Minister – Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn – will be interviewed, for the first time in front of a live studio TV audience.
Channel 4’s election night anchor Jeremy Paxman will interview both May and Corbyn individually; allowing viewers to hear directly from the two party leaders. Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam will moderate as questions from the audience are put to the two leaders.
The programme will be produced by Sky News live from a London venue and broadcast simultaneously on both Channel 4 and Sky News. The debate will be available to view live on Channel 4’s on-demand platform All4.
The programme will be executive produced by Sky News’ Jonathan Levy and Esme Wren and the Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 is Deputy Head of News and Current Affairs Daniel Pearl.
Alternative Election Night
As the polls close Jeremy Paxman, David Mitchell and Richard Osman will host Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night, the all-night feast of reaction, comment and analysis as the results of this snap election come in.
Paxman, Mitchell and Osman will be joined by a host of guests in the studio and around the country with their take on the unfolding story. Jeremy will preside over round table debates providing hard-edged commentary on the political story. Richard Osman and David Mitchell will be on hand to provide their own incisively funny interpretation of events, with additional analysis from Channel 4 News presenters Cathy Newman and Gary Gibbon joining in the studio. The Channel 4 News reporting team will also be on the ground in key electoral battlegrounds, reporting right through the night and bringing the latest news and results along with expert guests.
The Alternative Election Night has been commissioned by Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of Entertainment and TV Events. Havard has also commissioned The Last Leg: The Results Show and The Fake News Show (w/t) – see below.
The Last Leg: The Results Show
In a live two-hour extravaganza, the award-winning Last Leg team will be joined by some special guests from the worlds of comedy, entertainment and politics as they look back on the aftermath of the General Election in their own inimitable way. Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe will be at the helm for their own brand of satirical comedy as they round up the biggest talking points of the night via the #isitok hashtag.
The Fake News Show (w/t)
The myth-busting comedy panel show returns to peek behind the wobbly façade of fake news, dissect the upcoming election and its outlandish headlines, alternative facts, dodgy Photo-shops and all-too-believable viral clips that have pushed post-truth to the front pages. Has Putin really come out in support of one of the UK political parties? Could a fish-finger end up in the House of Commons? Is it really time to crush the saboteurs? Hosted by Stephen Mangan with team captains Katherine Ryan and Richard Osman, and with a veritable feast of some of the sharpest and funniest minds around this is a show not to be missed.
Channel 4 has also brought forward a series of The Last Leg to ensure that the Channel’s flagship topical satire show is on air during the election period.
Channel 4 News’ general election coverage – ‘Britain: Where Next?’
Channel 4 News will be asking the British people, as much as the politicians, what they expect to see from the UK in the near future. With the election dominated by the looming Brexit negotiations, the programme will explore the core issues and concerns of people living in the UK at this moment in history. Its team of journalists will be travelling the length and breadth of the country to report the local issues which reflect the national situation.
Channel 4 News Editor Ben de Pear said: “This is the fourth major vote in the UK in as many years; so this gives us the opportunity to do things differently having learned so much from the previous polls. We’re going to go super local with as much of the show coming from as many places in the UK as possible with the issues they care about. Add to that the unrivalled insights of Gary Gibbon and the irrepressible curiosity of Michael Crick as well as our presenters, our coverage is going to be unmissable.”
Alongside its studio in London, Channel 4 News will also embed multiple teams in Scotland, Wales, Manchester, across the Midlands, the North East and the West Country to ensure every part of the UK gets to have its voice heard. Presenter Jackie Long will front a series of special films in the North East, while Political Editor Gary Gibbon and Business Editor Siobhan Kennedy will focus on the key marginal of the West Midlands “Engine” to take a regular temperature check. Wolverhampton will host a large Q&A in May (provisional date: May 24) with an audience featuring a cross-section of society which will focus on the topic of inter-generational inequality.
Channel 4 News will also provide comprehensive coverage across its digital platforms – with a particular concentration on fact-checking. The award-winning FactCheck team has been expanded for the General Election and will be publishing a steady stream of blogs and shareable social media-friendly videos, repeating the successful formula of the EU Referendum, where FactCheck videos garnered over 13 million views on Facebook.