Who Needs Channel 4?
with Channel 4 Chief Content Officer Ian Katz

Special guests include: BAFTA-winner Nida Manzoor (We Are Lady Parts), TV presenter Yinka Bokinni (Unapologetic, How to Hire a Hit Man), comedian Rosie Jones (Trip Hazard), and satirist Munya Chawawa (Complaints Welcome).

The world Channel 4 was born into 40 years ago was very different to today’s: only two UK broadcasters, whole swathes of society unrepresented on the TV screen, precious little edgy or challenging programming. So, in a world of limitless viewer choice, vastly improved on-screen representation, and both streamers and broadcasters offering more challenging and innovative content, what is the role of Channel 4 now? Can it still be a trailblazer and troublemaker over the next 40 years? Chief Content Officer Ian Katz discusses how the DNA created in 1982 still shapes the channel’s output while a panel of stars who have emerged through the modern Channel 4 talk about the role it has played in their careers. There will also be the chance to ask your own questions.

Ian Katz is Chief Content Officer of Channel 4. Ian has overall responsibility for the creative output across Channel 4, its portfolio and All 4, leading the creative commissioning team to ensure Channel 4’s unique remit to innovate, take creative risks and represent all of the UK on screen is reflected in its programmes and content. Under his leadership, award-winning output includes It’s a Sin; For Sama; Derry Girls; Help; Stath Lets Flats; This Way Up; We Are Lady Parts; Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back; Jeremy Kyle: Death on Daytime. Ian has led Channel 4’s digital-first commissioning strategy which has seen viewing to Channel 4’s On Demand platform increase by more than 20% over each of the last two years. Before joining Channel 4 in 2018, Ian was editor of BBC’s Newsnight, a role he took up after 23 years as a newspaper journalist, including serving as Deputy Editor and Head of News at The Guardian.

Nida Manzoor is an award-winning genre-comedy writer and director across film and television. Best known for creating, directing and writing the Channel 4 comedy series We Are Lady Parts, Manzoor has received multiple accolades including the BAFTA for Best TV Comedy Writing 2022. Manzoor began her film career working as a runner and made her directing debut on the first series of BBC Three’s Enterprice in 2018 and was subsequently awarded a RTS Craft & Design Award for Best Director (Comedy Drama). Following this, in 2019 she directed two episodes of Doctor Who. Manzoor has recently wrapped production on her debut feature film Polite Society, with Working Title and Focus Features. The film is an action-comedy which follows a bolshy schoolgirl and martial artist-in-training who dreams of becoming a world-renowned stuntwoman.

A South London native with a law degree, Yinka Bokinni’s love for music lead her to a dream slot, The Capital Xtra Breakfast Show 6-10am. From radio to TV, Yinka presented 4music’s monthly ‘Fresh’ series for two years. Beyond her passion for music, is film. Yinka is the live red-carpet host for the BIFA Awards, interviewing A-list actors regarding award-nominated work. You will also find her hosting at screenings and for big movie premieres, most recently for King Richard, The Batman and Fantastic Beasts. Yinka is a True Crime addict which is proven through her popular True Crime Anniversary YouTube series. Merging this with her impressive presenting skills, led to the project of True Crime Unravelled, a Channel 4 original digital series which launched in October 2021. Yinka is an award-winning documentary presenter, winning a prestigious RTS and Grierson Award for her first groundbreaking Channel 4 documentary Damilola: The Boy Next Door. 2022 is an exciting year as more documentaries are scheduled to air, including Naked Education and another which is yet to be announced. Her documentary How to Hire a Hit Man aired in June and her first Channel 4 dispatches documentary Inside the Metaverse: Are You Safe? aired in April and went viral. Fulfilling a lifelong goal, Yinka now hosts her own weekly late night talk show, Unapologetic, on Channel 4 with co-host ZeZe Mills.

Rosie Jones has quickly become a must-see act on the UK comedy circuit, having starred on hit shows such as Live at the Apollo, The Jonathan Ross Show, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Cats Does Countdown, The Last Leg, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, Mock the Week, Hypothetical, The Ranganation, Jon Richardson’s Channel Hopping, Dating No Filter and The Last Leg Tokyo as well as fronting two travelogue series for Channel 4 – Mission: Accessible and Trip Hazard, both recommissioned for second series. Rosie has completed two sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Fifteen Minutes and Backward receiving critical acclaim, the Scotsman describing her show as ‘both elegantly crafted and mischievous to its bones’. The last 12 months have seen Rosie sign a two-book deal with Hachette Children’s Group. The first book, The Amazing Edie Eckhart was published in August 2021, and is a brand new upper middle-grade series written with humour and heart in diary form, which Jacqueline Wilson dubbed a ‘brilliant book – fresh, funny and ultra-cool’. The second in the series, The Amazing Edie Eckhart: The Big Trip, is due for release in August 2022.

Munya Chawawa is one of the most exciting comedic entertainers to emerge from the social space in recent years. So far in 2022, Munya has won the RTS Award for Best Presenter, the award for Best Breakthrough Comedian at The National Comedy Awards, and his show Race Around Britain is BAFTA nominated. Munya can most recently be seen in the critically acclaimed Mood for the BBC and will next be seen in Netflix’s hotly anticipated adaptation of The Sandman. Munya is perhaps best known for his satirical humour, rapid reactive commentary, and roster of original personalities across social media. He has also written for Charlie Brooker’s Death to 2020 and Motherf**cking Pep Talk for Comedy Central.


Music & Youth: The Tube + Discussion & Q&A
Fri 2 Sep 18:20
Comedy: Discussion & Q&A + The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go Mad in Dorset
Tue 6 Sep 18:15
Channel 4’s TV Drama Revolution: Discussion + Q&A
Sun 11 Sep 14:15
A Very British Coup + intro by author Chris Mullin
Sun 11 Sep 16:30
Diversity: Handsworth Songs + Q&A with John Akomfrah + Panel Discussion & Q&A
Mon 12 Sep 18:15
Out and Proud: Veronica 4 Rose + Out on Tuesday + intro by original
Channel 4 Commissioner Caroline Spry

Thu 15 Sep 18:15
Access / Direct Speech: The Work They Say Is Mine + Women of the Rhondda + Face of Our Fear
Tue 20 Sep 18:15
Channel 4: The Television Revolution
Fri 23 Sep 18:20
Controversy: Jesus the Evidence + V + Mother Ireland
Sat 24 Sep 18:00
Who Needs Channel 4?
Wed 28 Sep 18:20
Channel 4 Then and Now conference
Fri 23 Sep 10:00–17:00 and Sat 24 Sep 10:00–17:00

Regional screenings and events will be taking place at these venues across the UK (please go to for links): Arnolfini, Bristol; Filmhouse Edinburgh; Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast; Y Drwm, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
Questions/comments? Contact the Programme Notes team by email