Channel 4 announces Covid-19 programme commissions

Posted on: April 7, 2020 by Claire Meadows

Channel 4 has announced a number of factual and current affairs commissions that intend to follow the human stories of those on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic and the scientists and experts racing to tackle it, it has announced.

Later this month, the channel will air a special show in which leading scientists around the world will debate key questions about the origin of the virus, how it should be tackled and how it will affect our lives for months to come. Pandemic: Can science beat Coronavirus? will provide a “straight-talking, fact-based discussion on the crisis”.

Other commissions include NHS Heroes, Corona Street and What Did South Korea get right?

NHS Heroes is due to follow a small group of frontline staff as they self-film their daily lives battling the virus whereas Corona Street will see the award-winning director of Prison, Paddy Wivell, spend the next few months in lockdown documenting the impact of the crisis on his own neighbourhood. What did South Korea get right? meanwhile, will explore the country’s approach to mass testing and contact tracing.

Ian Katz, Channel 4 Director of Programmes said: “Our first slate of commissions responding to the crisis, under the Lockdown Academy strand, was designed to help viewers negotiate the challenges of isolation and being stuck at home with family. I hope these new films will bring viewers up close with the extraordinary bravery, dedication and humanity of those on the frontline of the battle against Coronavirus, as well as capturing the way in which the crisis has been reshaping our communities.

“Reflecting the full impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and helping our viewers through it is one of the biggest challenges public service broadcasters have ever faced.  These challenges are particularly acute for commercial broadcasters who are experiencing huge disruption to their revenues, but we believe it is vital to keep serving our audiences with shows that help them both understand and withstand the most severe global crisis of the modern era.

“We are hugely appreciative of the imagination and resilience of our colleagues in the production sector in helping us find ways to tell these urgent stories despite the huge challenges they face themselves.”