Channel 4 and British film culture

Justin Smith (Editor), Paul McDonald (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Among the many broadcasting achievements recognised at the 25th anniversary of UK television’s Channel 4 in 2007, relatively little attention was paid to its contribution to British film culture. This neglect was surprising for a number of reasons. Chief among these was that Channel 4 was the first British broadcaster to establish a commissioning structure underpinned by financial subsidy, which provided a significant lifeline to an indigenous film industry in the doldrums in the early 1980s. This cultural-subsidy model has since been replicated, with differences, by the BBC, and together with grant-in-aid from the UK’s National Lottery, these public service broadcasters (PSBs) have become the mainstay of a resurgent British film culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355–364
JournalHistorical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
Issue number3
Early online date23 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2013


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