Russell T Davies warned that we are ‘looking at very dark days here’ (Picture: Channel 4)
Russell T Davies has warned that privatising Channel 4 would result in shows like It’s A Sin not being made, saying it would be a ‘great crime’.
The government has said it is to launch a consultation looking into the privatisation of Channel 4, which has been around for almost four decades.
While Channel 4 is currently owned by the government and is funded by its advertising, it could be sold off to a private buyer instead, a possibility that It’s A Sin creator Russell is extremely wary about.
While speaking at the Banff World Media Festival in Canada, Russell explained that if Channel 4 were sold, the network’s commitment to making programmes like It’s A Sin, which follows a group of gay men and their friends during the Aids crisis in 1980s London, would change.
‘It exists to make this kind of drama and that’s going to fall away now,’ he said, warning that we are ‘looking at very dark days here’.
‘Come back in 10 years and you’ll see. I can’t promise we’ll be here to talk about this sort of programme on Channel 4 for much longer because the Government is gutting it,’ he stated.
It’s A Sin received critical acclaim upon its release this year (Picture: Channel 4)
Russell said that back in 1999, it was a ‘revolution’ that he was able to make Queer As Folk with Channel 4, as ‘no other channel would have made that then’.
‘In some ways, literally the remit of Channel 4 is to look for different voices, different stories and part of the Government’s thinking in selling it off is we now have more choice because we have streamers, we have Netflix, we have Amazon,’ he outlined.
‘We have more choice, but that means more choice of zombies, ghosts and detectives. They certainly don’t make this kind of stuff.’
Russell also compared the potential sale of Channel 4 with confectionery company Cadbury, stating that ‘they’re going to Cadbury the entire channel’.
Earlier this week, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that the consultation into the privatisation of Channel 4 will strive to make sure that the network ‘keeps its place at the heart of British broadcasting’.
Channel 4 bosses recently voiced their concerns that there could be ‘a real risk’ to its programmes if the network is privatised.
The channel’s chief executive Alex Mahon warned that the firm could have ‘different priorities’ if it is privatised, advising against doing anything that could be ‘irreversible’ and ‘possibly damage some of those things that we do for the sector’.
It’s A Sin received critical acclaim upon its launch, becoming the most binge-watched show ever on Channel 4.
The drama also inspired a record number of people to get tested for HIV, with star Olly Alexander urging fans to go out and get tested.
It’s A Sin is available to watch on All 4.
Credit: Original article published here.