Channel 4’s 2021 Inclusion Festival to feature Spice Girl & TV presenter Melanie Brown

And poet Lemn Sissay OBE


Channel 4

Spice Girl and TV presenter Melanie Brown and poet Lemn Sissay OBE will feature in Channel 4’s 2021 Inclusion Festival on Thursday (18.11.21).

The festival brings together a huge range of talent from across the British television industry to share a day of insights, ideas, experiences and to inspire collaboration across broadcasting and digital media.

The festival will explore challenges facing the TV industry, people’s experiences of exclusion and the changes needed to make television more inclusive and accessible to under-represented groups including ethnically diverse people, people with disabilities and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Channel 4's Chief Content Officer Ian Zatz said: "Channel 4's transformative coverage of the Paralympics has shown how television has the power to bring about societal change and shift public perceptions around disability, and this year's Black to Front project represents a major step forward for Black representation in front of and behind the camera.

“The onus is on us, senior leaders within the industry, to deliver systemic change so broadcasting can become genuinely inclusive and representative of all the audiences we serve."

The festival include exclusive interviews with Channel 4 Chief Executive Alex Mahon, ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall, President, Viacom CBS Networks UK & Australia Maria Kyriacou and BBC Director-General Tim Davie who give their insights into the issues facing the industry and measures needed to make it more accessible and representative.

Zaid Al-Qassab, Channel 4’s Chief Marketing Officer and Inclusion & Diversity Director, said: “Building a more inclusive society isn’t just the morally right thing to do, it also brings greater creativity into our industry.

“People’s different lived experiences bring a wider pool of ideas and viewpoints to the table which in turn leads to more creative storytelling, the heartbeat of broadcasting.”

Festival sessions include a deep-dive into Channel 4’s Black to Front Project, its impact, legacy and insights into the day’s content and advertising campaigns.

Poet, author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE will give the festival’s keynote speech which includes a moving insight into his life, experiences and thoughts on inclusion.

Chanté Joseph chairs a panel which will ask if digital content is helping tackle social mobility and what broadcasters can learn from this.

And a panel chaired by Ade Adepitan will explore learnings from the Paralympic Games and how the broadcast industry can achieve genuine inclusivity and representation for disabled talent.

In a discussion with Steph’s Packed Lunch presenter Steph McGovern, Melanie Brown tells the festival that she feels the broadcast industry can learn a lot from the music industry.

She says: “Music is slightly different because Black musicians, black artists, people of colour are very respected. And they have been since way back since from Motown days, from Aretha Franklin, it’s more of an accepting environment.”

Melanie says the TV industry needs to have more people of colour on screen but avoid being tokenistic if it is to genuinely become more accessible and representative.

To access the full schedule and watch the festival from 10am this Thursday, 18 November, register for free below All sessions will be available to watch back on demand.

Source Channel 4

November 18, 2021 4:00am ET by Channel 4  


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