Gogglebox television producer Stephen Lambert was among those who issued a stern warning against the UK government’s plans to privatize Channel 4 during the 2022 BAFTA awards. He made the remarks while receiving an award for the TV series. at the ceremony on Sunday, May 8.
Stephen, the chief executive of Studio Lambert, is responsible for launching TV shows including Undercover Boss, Wife Swap and The Secret Millionaire. He also launched Channel 4’s multi-award winning Gogglebox in 2013. In accepting the award for the Reality and Constructed Factual series, he admitted that the show had initially been a risk to Channel 4, reports Birmingham Live. He said: “Gogglebox may have ended when it started nine years ago because it had modest ratings, but a publicly owned channel 4 believed in it and stuck with it.”
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The broadcast was cut to feature Richard Ayoade, however, according to sources at the event, Stephen continued to say: “If the government goes ahead with its destructive plan [to privatise Channel 4] those risks will not be taken.” Twitter user Amy @geordiegalg saw the moment Stephen’s speech was cut. They commented: “Well, that speech about Channel 4 was clearly cut. It would have been nice to hear what they said!”
Richard @MrRichDouglas asked: “Did your #channel4 speech just get cut??” And Twitter user @socialmediajon1 added: “Wow, they cut people off on C4 pretty quick didn’t they?!”
It comes just hours after Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies made a similar dig into the government’s plans for Channel 4’s future. Talking about his drama, It’s A Sin, which is up for 11 awards, he said. : was made on a channel the government will sell while they also plan to get rid of the BBC license fee so if you like shows like this go and vote differently is what I say.”
BAFTA TV Awards 2022 is available to stream via BBC iPlayer