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Channel 5’s profits hit an all-time high in 2021 and it also set a new record for its spend with regional indies.

The broadcaster has reported £72m in operating profits in 2021, bouncing back from 2020’s £7.1m loss and smashing the previous record of £58.4m, recorded in 2016.

C5 spent £34m with 99 regional indies, a 22% uplift on 2020. Out-of-London producers scoring their first C5 commission in the period include Yorkshire-based Candour Productions (coroner access doc Cause of Death [pictured]), Liverpool-based drama indie LA Productions (Compulsion), Welsh producer Wildflame Productions (Michael Ball’s Wonderful Wales) and Bristol-based Magnify Media (Secrets of the Steam Museum).

C5’s investment in drama has paid off with scripted shows delivering the four biggest audiences of 2021, including The Drowning and All Creatures Great and Small.

Its best performing doc of the period was Inside Chernobyl with Ben Fogle – its highest-rated single doc since 2002.

Turnover rose by almost one-third to £388m over the period and C5 scored a 5% growth in audience share.

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