Channel 4 bosses to be quizzed on potential privatisation of the broadcaster

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Channel 4 bosses will be quizzed by MPs on Tuesday about the prospect of the broadcaster being privatised.

The channel’s chief executive Alex Mahon and chair Charles Gurassa will appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Their appearance follows comments made by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to the committee, when he confirmed privatisation of Channel 4 was under examination in a review of public service broadcasting.

Communications Committee meeting
Alex Mahon (House of Commons/PA)

In addition to questions about privatisation, the Channel 4 bosses will be asked about the broadcaster’s finances and actions taken to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on advertising revenues.

They will also be quizzed on the channel’s plans to move its headquarters to Leeds.

Channel 4 – which boasts Great British Bake Off, Gogglebox and SAS: Who Dares Wins among its biggest shows – was originally set up in 1982 to deliver to under-served audiences.

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (Yui Mok/PA)

Last year, Ms Mahon said privatisation is “not something we expect to happen”.

The Government consultation will reportedly be overseen by culture minister John Whittingdale, who oversaw the last exploration of a private sale in 2016 when he was culture secretary.

Last year, he told MPs he is “entirely open minded” about privatising Channel 4 and that he is giving thought to the “future of all the public service broadcasters”.

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