Call for Scottish indies to pitch ideas for Channel 4 9pm slot

Channel 4's Factual Department is calling for Scottish independent production companies to pitch ideas for its 9pm slot, through a jointly funded initiative with Screen Scotland.

Jo Street, C4’s head of daytime and Glasgow hub, is asking for documentary and specialist factual ideas centred around the family, community, work, holiday, business, the high street and education. The ideas should aim to break new territory and have potential to become returners.

These may come with access or they could be a format, but ideally they would be anchored in the real world. Story, character and contemporaneousness are key, and an entertaining, humorous approach should always follow.

When it comes to specialist factual, Channel 4 are particularly interested in hearing ideas around popular science and history.

A total of three ideas will become eligible for further development funding and lead to a two-part 9pm order with a tariff of up to £200,000 per episode; £100,000 each from Channel 4 and Screen Scotland.

Please send your single-page ideas to [email protected] on Monday 9 November 2020.

Initial timeline

  • Monday 9 November: Deadline for single-page ideas (paper treatments) to be submitted to Channel 4’s Factual Department.
  • Wednesday 18 November: Three treatments will be selected and notified for £10,000 development investment; £5,000 each from Channel 4 and Screen Scotland.
  • Thursday 10 December: The successful project will be commissioned (two 60-minute episodes) to deliver in 2021, dates to be confirmed. The project will receive 50:50 funding from Channel 4 and Screen Scotland, with total budget (up to potential £200,00 per episode) dependent on the project.


Jo Street, Channel 4’s Head of Daytime and Head of Hub Glasgow, said: “We’re really thrilled to be working with Screen Scotland again on such a great opportunity for Scottish indies. There’s a wealth of creative talent in Scotland and we’re really excited to see what ideas come as a result of initiative with Screen Scotland.”

Dani Carlaw, Head of Unscripted at Screen Scotland said: “Building on the success of our previous joint initiative, we are excited to work with Channel 4 Factual to provide a new opportunity to Scottish production companies to develop projects for the extremely competitive and lauded 9pm slot. This will be a fantastic opportunity for programme makers in Scotland to create projects with strong returnability.”

The initiative has been driven by factual commissioning editors Harjeet Chhokar and Will Rowson, who will address indies at a virtual briefing today alongside Street and factual chief Danny Horan.

For more information, visit the Channel 4 website.