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(Credit: Chatham House)

Film

Armando Iannucci criticises Channel 4 privatisation plans

Armando Iannucci has created many memorable projects over the course of a truly impressive career, including the 2017 gem The Death of Stalin which is considered by many to be one of the greatest comedies of the last decade. Now, the Scottish satirist has criticised potential plans to sell Channel 4, hitting out at politicians such as Nadine Dorries.

In a recent article, Iannucci claimed that selling the publicly-owned channel would be unpatriotic. “It doesn’t make any business sense, and it’s certainly not patriotic,” he wrote. “I regularly get asked by international broadcasters why the UK government has such a destructive agenda against the country’s main television networks.”

Iannucci also clarified that Dorries had lied about certain facts about the channel, stating that the channel does not cost taxpayers any money since it is paid for via ad revenue. This is contrary to the claims of Dorries who tweeted that the “government ownership is holding Channel 4 back”, among other tactics in order to sell the channel.

Labelling the channel as “a Thatcherite success story”, Iannucci wrote that the government does not own Channel 4 but the public does. According to Iannucci, the public service broadcasting is a cultural triumph which is why it does not make sense that the government is interfering with something like this while there are other bigger issues to be addressed.

Iannucci added: “The government takes one look at our public service broadcasting, something of which we should be proud, and jabs away at it, cutting it here, attacking it there, talking about ‘reining it in’, asking it to ‘watch out’, as it would a surly child, rather than the rather tremendous economic and cultural achievement it actually is.”