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Channel 4 has set out two of the pillars of its youth strategy as it unveils digital-first current affairs strand Untold and new talent-led platform Channel 4.0.

Untold has launched with four documentaries from indies Zandland, Renegade Pictures, True Vision and Rogan, with six more commissioned from the likes of Longtail Films and It’s a Lot.

The docs, which run from 25-45 minutes, will be released weekly and broadcast on Channel 4 next year, with plans to double the next run to 20.

The strand is overseen by former BBC executive news editor Debbie Ramsay.

C4 news and current affairs head Louisa Compton said the strand will be characterised by “intelligent, brave and cheeky” films that speak to the passions of a young audience.

“That audience is quite suspicious of being told what to think; sometimes they turn away from traditional current affairs because they’re keen to see all sides of the story – which is Untold’s philosophy,” she said.

The launch slate covers topics such as Chinese fast fashion giant Shein, TikTok ‘honeytraps’ and LGBT+ Afghani teens, with investigations into incels and gangs among the next batch of docs.

Channel 4.0

Meanwhile, Channel 4.0 will host social formats and returning series with “playful mischief at their heart”.

Aimed at 13-24 year-olds and sitting in a dedicated YouTube space and across social media, the channel is backed by Big Smoke Corporation, a youth-oriented creative collective run by grime artist Skepta.

Around 20-30 shows a year are planned, with five set to feature at its launch on 26 October, fronted by YouTubers Chunkz and Nella Rose, rappers Mist and Dreya Mac and presenter Alhan Gençay.

The shows come from indies Goat Films, Crash Productions, Wall of Productions/Acme Films, Hoot and Flying Shoe Films/Ultra Haze.

C4 head of digital commissioning Sacha Khari and digital commissioning editor Evie Buckley are taking pitches for the channel. 

Khari said Channel 4.0 will be “a place where established stars come to spread joy, genius and a bit of chaos”.

He added: “We’ll be scouting for the next generation of talent – creating opportunity both in front and behind the camera. We want to collaborate, elevate and enrich the great content already happening in this space, giving creators funding and another platform to authentically showcase their brilliance.”

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