Channel 4 launches 360° Diversity Charter


Channel 4 has set out a major commitment to leadership in diversity at every level of the organisation with the launch of its 360° Diversity Charter at an event held in Parliament on Monday 12th January.

The 360° Charter puts diversity at the heart of all decision making at Channel 4, across all activities on and off-screen, at every level and with all external partners and independent producers. It includes 30 significant activities worth £5m of investment and covers a wide definition of diversity including BAME, disability, LGBT, gender and social mobility. 

Headline activities within the Charter include the launch of Channel 4’s Commissioning Diversity Guidelines, the introduction of new in-house diversity targets for Channel 4 staff and leadership, the funding of seven diverse Deputy Commissioning Editors, and investment in a new generation of disabled production talent for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

David Abraham, Channel 4’s Chief Executive said: “Diversity is baked into Channel 4’s DNA and our remit – it’s vital that we are open to the widest variety of voices, and that we nurture new talent from all backgrounds and reflect all of contemporary Britain.

“We have a rich heritage in pioneering programming that has reshaped how we think about diversity from Desmond’sand Queer as Folk through to the 2012 Paralympics, but like all media organisations, there is more we can do.

“The launch of our 360° Charter is an opportunity for us to change how we think about diversity and ensure that it’s at the very heart of everything that we do, on and off-screen.

“It’s a complex area but our goal is to create meaningful and long term change and I believe the commitments we’re setting out today are a significant moment in the history of Channel 4.”

The commitments outlined in the 360° Charter include:

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Richard Blackwood Joins the Cast of EastEnders


Reposted from Digital Spy

EastEnders bosses have cast Richard Blackwood to play a new villainous character on the BBC soap. The actor and TV personality will make his first appearance on the show next month, featuring in one of the first live scenes in the highly-anticipated 30th anniversary 'live week'.

With secrecy surrounding many of the anniversary storylines, show chiefs are keeping tight-lipped about the character that Blackwood will be playing. However, insiders have promised an "explosive" and "thrilling" debut for his new alter ego, who will be shaking up life on Albert Square.

In a statement, Blackwood thanked EastEnders' executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins and the show's casting director Julia Crampsie for trusting him with the role. He commented: "I wanna thank Dominic and Julia for giving me this amazing opportunity. EastEnders is a show I've grown up watching, so to film on Albert Square is something I'll never get used to! To know my first-ever scene will be a live one hopefully means the team believe in me and I won't let them down!"

Treadwell-Collins added: "Richard Blackwood has always been on our EastEnders wish list – and now the perfect part has come along. Richard's an authentic Londoner and a terrific actor, bringing with him warmth, humour and energy which will add so many layers to this 21st century EastEnders villain. The status quo in the Square is about to be well and truly shaken…"

Blackwood's previous acting work includes appearances in a number of TV and theatre productions. He is also known for his stand-up comedy, presenting and music work.

Congrats Richard!


Trailer| South Side Story – BBC Three

South Side Story is a brand new structured reality show focusing on the real lives of a group of 18-25 year-old South Londoners. They're all striving to make a name forthemselves in the world of entertainment, but more often than not their personal lives are far more dramatic than their professional ones. Our real-life cast will sometimes express themselves in song – bursting into some of the UK’s best-loved commercial tracks. This is in many ways the real-life Glee.

Click here to meet the cast and see after the break for preview clips. 

South Side Story, coming soon to BBC Three. 

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Trailer| Desi Rascals – Sky Living

From award-winning director Gurinder Chadha known for Bend it Like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice and the creator of TOWIE, Tony Wood, comes Sky Living's first real-life drama series.

Chronicling the lives of a multi-generational cast within the British-Asian community, the series will be filmed in West London in suburbs such as Southall, Harrow and Gerrards Cross, which are home to rich and diverse populations. Shot just days before transmission, Desi Rascals tells the stories of a modern, dynamic and aspirational group of characters across a range of ages as they navigate their social, professional and family lives in a fast changing community. 

The series will be rooted in the social media landscape, shot in real time and using social networks so the cast can interact with Sky Living customers as their lives unfold on screen. It will be shown twice a week at 8pm, with each episode directly influenced by how the characters and audience react to what's just happened.

Antonia Hurford-Jones, Director, Sky Living said: "I am so excited to be bringing our customers a genuinely authentic and warm approach to the non-scripted drama genre with Desi Rascals. It has exactly the tone and sensibilities we look for in a Living show and I loved the idea from the minute I heard it. I am so excited to be working with the supremely talented Gurinder and Tony, telling the stories of a charming, smart, funny and previously untapped cast of characters."

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Event| Get your tickets for the 2015 Screen Nation Awards


Date: Sunday 15th February

Time: 4pm

Address: London Hilton Metropole, 225 Edgware Road, W2 1UJ

Taking place on Sunday 15th February across two impressive Ballrooms of the 4 star Hilton London Metropole, and to be broadcast on ABN TV (Sky235) in March, the 10th anniversary Screen Nation Awards will be hosted by Brenda Emmanus the much loved BBC London correspondent.

The industry backed achievement awards will recognize audience favorites and the emerging crop of British film & TV talent. The ceremony will be attended by mainstream stars from the worlds of business, sport, music, fashion, politics, media and entertainment. 

Hit the red carpet and join Screen Nation for an exclusive VIP champagne and cocktail reception, followed by a mouth watering 3 course African-Caribbean fusion banquet engineered by an award winning master chef. This will then be followed by the glitzy 10th Screen Nation Awards Ceremony with entertainment from some of the UK's brightest music and comic stars. 

For more information and early bird tickets, click here



Trailer| Cucumber, Banana, Tofu on Channel 4, E4 & 4oD

Check out the trailer for Cucumber, an original drama series from Russell T Davies exploring the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life. It's part of a trio of interconnecting programmes with Banana and Tofu making up the mix. Banana is a series of witty interlinked stories covering different aspects of LGBT life while in Tofu, Benjamin Cook explores modern sex in all its variety in an exclusive 4oD series. See below for the trailer for Banana and click here for more info on all three. 

Starts 22nd January. 

Event| British Urban Film Festival to host screening of ‘Selma’


Date: Thursday 22nd January 

Time: 6.30pm – 9.30pm 

Address: 93-95 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ

The British Urban Film Festival has announced that the race relations activist and former Equalities advisor to the Mayor of London Lee Jasper will host the BUFF preview screening of the civil rights drama ‘Selma’ on Thursday 22nd January at the Genesis Cinema in London’s East End. Joining Lee for the post-screening Q&A will be Larushka Ivan-Zadeh (Metro), Emerson Forde (film critic) & Akua Gyamfi (editor, The British 

Selma is the first studio film which centres on the Selma to Montgomery marches led by Martin Luther King at the height of the civil rights unrest in America 50 years ago.

The film stars David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Common, Oprah Winfrey & Tim Roth. The movie has already received 4 Golden Globe nominations (David Oyelowo for best actor, Ava Duvernay for best director, Common & John Legend for best song and Selma for best film). The film will be released in the UK from 6th February 2015 by Pathe UK.

Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe, director and founder of the British Urban Film Festival commented, “We are thrilled to begin our 10th year of urban film coverage with such a landmark film. It is an honour to be working with Lee Jasper and with institutions like Pathe, Kush Films and the Genesis Cinema to make this event possible”.

For more information about free tickets, click here

Selma is released in the UK on 6 February.