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Channel 4 chief content officer Ian Katz has hit out at the “depressing” trend towards rebooting old formats as he declares his channels in rude health - with an extra £100m earmarked for comedy, drama and reality shows over the next three years.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Katz said he was sure that ITV2’s resurrection of Big Brother - which started on C4 before moving to Channel 5 - would do well but lamented: “There’s something depressing about this microwave moment in tv with so many old dishes being reheated.”

Pressed further, he did concede that C4 was not immune to the trend, with a new iteration of home makeover format Changing Rooms currently on air.

Katz presented the £100m investment in comedy, drama and reality as a “significant dialling up” of the genres.

C4’s latest slate of commissions includes a string of factual shows, a satirical look at ‘white tribes’, two large-scale reality formats, a pair of youth-skewing dramas and a second series for comedies Big Boys, The Curse and Hullraisers.

Hailing single doc Disability and Abortion, which aired this week, as one of the channel’s strongest ever documentaries, Katz said the broadcaster is “in the rudest health we’ve probably ever been in”.

He said the prospect of privatisation has “given us a laser focus on remit”, adding:  “We're now more focused on the delivery of the remit."

Addressing rumours that C4 is working on an expose of ITV’s The X Factor, Katz said: “It hasn’t crossed my desk yet. But I wouldn’t want to rule it out.”

Meanwhile, specialist factual head Shaminder Nahal said she wanted to "shake up" the genre and bring "revelation", with topics such as transgender identity and women’s rights in the works.

C4's latest commissions:


Make Me Prime Minister
Twofour/AOP/Motion Content Group, 6 x 60 minutes
Series producer: Charlie McLean
Series director: Josh Jacobs
Production executive: Francesca Kybert
Executive producers: Louise Hutchinson, David Clews, Chloe Court, Martin Oxley, Matt Edmondson, Francis Ridley

Emergency on Sunny Beach (E4) 
Parable, 6 x 60 minutes
Series producer: Simon Davies
Executive producers: David Wise, Benjamin Leigh

Fact ent

Rise and Fall
Studio Lambert/Motion Content Group, 18 x tbc
Production Executive: Diana Focke
Executive producers: Mike Cotton, Colin Whitaker, Kelly Lynn, Martin Oxley

The Garden 6 x 60 minutes
Executive producers: Nicola Brown, Rachel Bloomfield

It’s Alright to be White (E4)
Flying Shoe, 5 x tbc
Directors Ryan Samuda, Evelyn Liu
Editing Elishama Udorok, Francis Morgan-Giles
Executive producers Heydon Prowse, Andy Brown


Eleven, 8 x 30 minutes
Writer: Genieve Barr
Executive producers: Carissa Hope Lynch, Joel Wilson, Jack Thorne

The Gathering
World Productions, 6 x tbc
Writer: Helen Walsh
Executive producer: Simon Heath

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