Nadine Dorries 'doesn't understand' purpose of Channel 4, former head claims

5 April 2022, 14:55

By Seán Hickey

The former head of news and current affairs at Channel 4 launches a scathing attack on the Culture Secretary following her decision to sell off the station.

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Shelagh Fogarty was joined by Dorothy Byrne, former Editor-at-large of Channel 4 and the channel's former Head of News and Current Affairs to reflect on the government's decision to privatise Channel 4.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the move would "give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future."

Read more: Channel 4 to be privatised by government after 40 years in public ownership

Ms Byrne said that "Nadine Dorries doesn't understand" the significance of the channel in the British media landscape.

She reminded Shelagh of the Culture Secretary's gaffe in front of a select committee hearing, where she made the false claim that Channel 4 is in receipt of money from the TV license.

Read more: Nadine Dorries confirms BBC licence fee will be frozen for next two years

Read more: 'I voted against love': Nadine Dorries shares regret voting against gay marriage

"The woman who says her keen interest is in the financially-secure future of Channel 4 doesn't even understand what its financial model is."

"The second thing she doesn't understand, is that she says that selling it off will help independent production companies," Ms Byrne went on.

"Under the law Nadine, all Channel 4's programmes have to be made by independent production companies," she said, adding that "55% of the money goes outside London."

"If you sell off channel 4 to a big company...they're not going to want those little independent companies all over Britain making the programmes"

Offering a reason for why Ms Dorries is conducting this move, the former Channel 4 boss claimed that "this is about throwing a bit of red meat to right-wing Tory voters."

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