Channel 4 is launching their Black To Front initiative on Friday 10th September, which will see Black talent take over the broadcaster’s schedule for 24 hours.
First announced back in August 2020, the project has been a year in the making and will feature Black stars both in front of and behind the camera – including during the adverts.
The day’s schedule has now been revealed, featuring a mix of one-off specials, returning favourites, brand new series and revamped editions of staple Channel 4 shows.
It’s sure to be a historic – and highly entertaining – day of programming. Here’s the full schedule for Black to Front.
Black to Front schedule
The iconic Norman Beaton comedy, which ran on Channel 4 for six years from 1989, kicks off Black to Front with four back-to-back episodes.
8am: The Big Breakfast
The light-hearted ’90s breakfast show returns, this time with Mo Gilligan and AJ Odudu presenting live from the iconic Lock Keepers’ Cottages, with original Big Breakfast newsreader Phil Gayle returning and Melvin Odoom out on the road. Channel 4 has promised that the show will retain its “original anarchic spirit, distinctive energy and unique sense of humour” while being reimagined through a black British lens.
“I absolutely can’t wait to get stuck into The Big Breakfast,” Odudu said. “It is such an iconic show to be part of and I am buzzing it is finally coming back! I’m so looking forward to working with Mo and I can’t wait to wake up the nation!
“I’m thrilled to be part of Channel 4’s Black to Front – which quite rightly gives a platform to deserving Black British TV talent across our industry, both on and off-screen. It’s going to be really special.”
Four back-to-back episodes of the hit US sitcom, which follows an African-American family struggling with cultural identity after moving to a mostly white, upper-middle-class neighbourhood. Episodes include favourites such as The Dozens and Chop Shop.
12pm: Liam Bakes
Former Great British Bake Off contestant and Bake Off: The Professionals host Liam Charles takes us on a culinary journey through his Jamaican heritage in this edition of his cooking show.
12:30pm: Mel B’s Packed Lunch
Spice Girl Melanie Brown aka Mel B makes her live presenting debut by taking over from Steph McGovern for a day, and will be joined by regular contributor Chris Kamara and resident chef Freddy Forster for topical discussion, celebrity interviews and consumer items.
Melanie Brown said: “It’s going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to spice up lunchtime television. I’m also really proud to be part of Channel 4’s Black to Front Project, that’s something to really celebrate.”
STOP RIGHT NOW, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!@OfficialMelB’s taking over #StephsPackedLunch this Friday and it's YOUR chance to ask her ANYTHING! We’ll quiz Scary Spice on everything from life advice to leopard print so send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org @Channel4 #BlackToFront pic.twitter.com/CNtfmvvtQ8— Mel B's Packed Lunch (@PackedLunchC4) September 8, 2021
Countdown has had many esteemed hosts over the years, but this special edition will be hosted by none other than Sir Trevor McDonald. Acclaimed poet and playwright Lemn Sissay OBE is more than qualified to take over Dictionary Corner for a day, while maths prodigy Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE will be on hand for the numbers round.
Sir Trevor McDonald said: “I am proud and delighted to be presenting Countdown on this special day; I have always enjoyed watching Countdown, a show that has been around for almost as long as I have!”
3pm: A Place in the Sun
Jean Johansson helps Croydon couple Clement and Tracy-Anne to find a holiday home in Marbella in this brand new episode.
Jean commented: “I am delighted to be part of the Black to Front project, championing Black talent on and off screen. This is an important day in broadcasting and I’m extremely excited to be hosting this very special episode of A Place in the Sun.”
4pm: The Great House Giveaway
Property expert Tayo Oguntonade will be permanently joining the presenting team of The Great House Giveaway, which sees two strangers who are given a few months to renovate a Manchester house on a modest budget.
5pm: Come Dine With Me
Six Black contestants across the North West have been battling it out all week, and now the dinner party competition will come to an end in this double bill which sees Jane hosts an art class and Christine aim for a chilled-out night.
This special hour-long edition of the popular soap was written, directed and performed by the show’s Black talent, and focuses particularly on the pivotal Deveraux family who are throwing a BBQ for Walter.
Director Patrick Robinson said: “I’m very excited to be directing this hour long special of Hollyoaks, featuring characters who share my background and heritage.
“Overstanding other people’s cultures, I believe is one giant step towards an inclusive society and drama is one of the best tools to do that.”
7pm: Channel 4 News
Ayshah Tull and Keme Nzerem lead an all-Black reporting team in presenting the evening’s news.
8pm: Love It Or List It
Brother and sister property developers Scarlette and Stuart Douglas take over from Kirstie & Phil to help a multi-generational black family decide whether to renovate or sell.
RTRP is delighted to be involved in #BlackToFront this Friday, part of Channel 4’s ongoing commitment to improve Black representation on and off screen. Tune in Fri 8pm for a special episode of Love It or List It with respected property experts Scarlette and Stuart Douglas #LIOLI pic.twitter.com/Fjr4Vq5NTF— Love It or List It (@LoveitListitUK) September 8, 2021
9pm: Celebrity Gogglebox
Rudolph Walker, Tameka Empson, Ashley Banjo, Mo Gilligan and Tia Kofi are among the many famous faces taking part in this special edition of Celebrity Gogglebox.
You can watch an exclusive trailer for the episode now.
First in a four-part “docu-ality” series following glamorous young British West Africans as they chase success in their respective careers.
11:05pm Big Age
A brand new comedy pilot from acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola, following four Black British friends going through the ‘big age’ era of their lives against a backdrop of parental expectation, personal dreams and crushing debt.
A new late night talk show hosted by DJ Yinka Bokinni and social media star Zeze Millz, discussing current affairs such as BLM, football and racism with a variety of black voices.
NOT SORRY! Late night this Friday, @yinkabokinni and @zezemillz host #Unapologetic - the show where Black people talk as freely in public as we do in private #BlackToFront #C4BlackAndProud pic.twitter.com/x7ZNMT8wOc— Channel 4 (@Channel4) September 8, 2021
Oscar-winning film featuring Mahershela Ali, following an African-American man struggling with his sexuality, his mother’s drug addiction and childhood abuse.
2:25am: I Am Danielle
Black Panther star Letitia Wright stars in the I Am… series as a photographer who discovers a startling secret about her model boyfriend.
3:20am: Come Dine With Me
Another chance to catch all six episodes of this week’s special edition of the dinner party competition.
Black To Front will air on Channel 4 from 6am on Friday 10th September. Looking for something else to watch in the meantime? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Entertainment hub for the latest news.