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Channel 4 announces landmark Black Takeover Day

Channel 4 announces landmark Black Takeover Day
© Channel 4
Channel 4 will hand over its programming output to shows made by and starring black talent for an entire day next Autumn.

Channel 4 has announced that it will hand over its schedule to programming made by and starring black talent for an event dubbed 'Black Takeover Day' next year.

The landmark day of programming, which is being developed in conjunction with the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, will be timed to coincide with the launch of Black History Month, suggesting that it may take place on October 1, 2021.

The day will start with a one-off revival of The Big Breakfast, hosted by comedian Mo Gilligan, while Channel 4 News will have an all-black reporting and presenting team for the day.

Hollyoaks will air a special one-hour episode written, directed and performed by black talent and there will be special editions of Countdown and Celebrity Gogglebox.

The day will feature new unscripted comedies, one of which will be commissioned to series, and Channel 4 is also looking to debut "an ambitious unscripted primetime series providing an authentic look at Black lives on screen".

A one-off live late-night discussion show will round off proceedings.

"Channel 4 was created to give voice to underrepresented parts of society and do things which other broadcasters would not, and the Black Takeover qualifies on both counts," said Ian Katz, Channel 4's director of programmes.

"It will be much more than a day of eye-catching programming, providing a focal point for our efforts to drive up on and off screen representation and leaving a lasting legacy on the channel and beyond."

Channel 4 has also commissioned Gilligan to front a one-off documentary for this year, Black, British and Funny, which will see him explore if systemic racism is denying black comedians the opportunity to break into the industry.

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