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Channel 4 unveils new commissions following Black to Front success

"We are doubling down on our pledge to drive change behind the camera."

AJ Odudu Mo Gilligan
Published: Wednesday, 22nd June 2022 at 5:46 pm
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Channel 4 has announced more commissions stemming from its Black to Front Project as well as unveiling new measures to support the development of additional diverse content.

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Late night talk show Unapologetic, in which hosts Yinka Bokinni and Zeze Millz encourage guests to say exactly how they feel without apologising for it, is confirmed to be getting a second season consisting of six episodes.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 has ordered an hour-long documentary titled Crazy Rich... Ghanians, in which comedian Eddie Kadi takes a celebrity friend on a tour of the seldom-seen glitz and glamour of the West African nation.

Kadi said: "I’m so excited to showcase the different layers of this beautiful continent – the culture, lifestyle and, most importantly, the people. Africa is so diverse and is home to some of the most successful, impactful and innovative people in the world. Sharing their stories will be an absolute revelation!"

These commissions follow the earlier announcement that award-winning duo Mo Gilligan and AJ Odudu would be reuniting to front more episodes of The Big Breakfast later this year.

Channel 4 has teased that it is also working on further projects with Odudu, Millz and Bokinni as well as Judi Love and Munya Chawawa, which will be announced in due course.

Additionally, the broadcaster has created a new set of commissioning guidelines in collaboration with the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, which include a requirement for ethnically diverse senior leadership on all Channel 4 production teams.

Meanwhile, the document also sets out targets for regional representation and ethnically diverse off-camera talent to ensure impact is felt across a wide range of roles.

This follows earlier commitments from the broadcaster, including that at least 20 per cent of its editorial decision makers are from ethnically diverse backgrounds, alongside ring-fenced money for ethnically diverse-led indies (£22 million by the end of 2023).

Unapologetic hosts Yinka Bokinni and Zeze Millz
Unapologetic hosts Yinka Bokinni and Zeze Millz Ernest Simons/Channel 4

Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer at Channel 4, said: "The Black to Front Project was always about trying to create sustained change in the industry rather than just one day of striking content.

"We’ve already recommissioned several shows pitched as part of the project, made ambitious commitments to increased spend with ethnic minority-led companies and made genre by genre commitments to commissioning ethnic minority-fronted programming.

"Today we are doubling down on our pledge to drive change behind the camera with a new set of off-screen diversity targets for all our productions, and a commitment to do all we can to help our indie partners broaden their talent networks and open up our industry to all.

"We are very grateful to the Lenny Henry Centre for their recommendations on how we can achieve this, and will be announcing further plans for more production sector support in coming weeks."

Marcus Ryder, Head of External Consultancies at the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, added: "We are encouraged by the fact that Channel 4’s Black to Front Project has proved to be bigger than just one day as the broadcaster has clearly taken the lessons that it learnt from the process and are implementing policies that should make it a more diverse and inclusive broadcaster, and hopefully improve diversity throughout the industry.”

Unapologetic, Crazy Rich... and The Big Breakfast are returning soon to Channel 4. Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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