[Event] Channel 4 at 40, Arnolfini

[Event] Channel 4 at 40, Arnolfini

A celebration of Channel 4’s 40th birthday and its connections to Bristol

Saturday 03 December, 11.00-20.30, Arnolfini, Bristol, BS1 4QA

Channel 4 first broadcast on 2 November 1982. Hailed as a ‘TV revolution’, Channel 4’s remit was to produce innovative, challenging programmes that appealed to audiences not catered for by the other broadcasters, the BBC and ITV.  

Part of a nationwide series of events, ‘Channel 4 at 40: The TV Revolution in Bristol’ explores what Channel 4 has contributed to UK broadcasting and its close connections with Bristol from the earliest days to the present.

Through a series of talks and screenings, academics and filmmakers will discuss Channel 4’s Bristol-based programmes  across various genres – animation, factual/documentary and drama showing what was innovative and distinctive about them. We’ll also consider how the broadcaster’s relationship to Bristol has changed over time, including establishing a Creative Hub in the city.

There will be opportunities throughout for audience discussion and debate about the role Channel 4 has played over four decades and what role it might have in the future, in Bristol and in the UK.

This event offers an unrivalled opportunity to understand Channel 4, how it works and what it tries to do, and its importance to Bristol. Following the daytime event will be a full screening of The Falklands War: The Untold Story (2022).



Professor Andrew Spicer Welcome & introduction: Channel 4 and the TV Revolution


Professor Rod Stoneman Bristol and Channel 4 – The First Phase: Early Bristol film activity; Co-operatives and Independent Workshops (Bristol Bands Newsreel)


Channel 4, Bristol and factual television
David Parker: Cut Throat Business + Colin Thomas: The Dragon Has Two Tongues


Channel 4 and Animation
David Sproxton: Aardman Animations’ early commissions


Channel 4 and Drama
Martin Kiszko: Zastrozzi (1986) – Channel 4 Films


Lunch – [not provided]


Channel 4 in 2000s (i): Andrew Spicer: Skins (2007-13)


Channel 4 in 2000s (ii): Jeremy Routledge, Calling the Shots: Random Acts (2013-17)


Sacha Mirzoeff (Head of Hub): The Work of Channel 4’s Creative Hub in Bristol




Tamsin Summers/Sophia Thompson: Drummer TV (The Plinth + A Very British Job Agency (extracts)


Michael Jenkins and Mena Fombo: Blak Wave (with extracts: Shadow of Slavery and Time to Shine)


Andrew Spicer & Rod Stoneman chair plenary




Harvey Lilley (Proper Job) – The Falklands War: The Untold Story (2022) + Q&A

To book: https://arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/channel4at40/ https://arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/falklandswaruntoldstory/