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Channel 4 tells Truth & Dare in eclectic series of 40th anniversary specials

UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a series of one-off programmes to mark its 40th anniversary this year.

Ian Katz

Channel 4 said each of the shows in the Truth & Dare season of programmes is set to do what the broadcaster was created for: to give voice to the unheard, say the unsayable and show the unseen.

First up is Art Trouble (w/t), a 1×75’ show in which host and comic Jimmy Carr explores the boundary between controversial art and freedom of expression in a public experiment conducted by well-known British artists. It is produced by indie ClearStory.

From Two Rivers Media comes Frankie Boyle: Monarchy (1×75’), in which the Scottish comedian looks back at the British monarchy’s 1,000-year history and asks whether the Royal Family has any place in the modern world.

Too Large for Love (w/t) is a 1×60’ doc from Spun Gold TV that follows the experiences of the hidden minority of men who have an extra-large penis, while ITN Productions’ Afghan Porn Star (1×75’) tells the story of a 28-year-old woman who fled the Taliban, escaped an arranged marriage and foiled an alleged murder plot by her father and uncle to pursue a career as a porn star.

Also part of the 40th anniversary commissions, Channel 4 is bringing back 1980s comedy show Friday Night Live in a 1×90’ special hosted by original star Ben Elton. Produced by Boffola Pictures and Phil McIntyre Television, the programme will showcase a new wave of stand-up and character comedians in a night of comedy with some of the show’s original stars.

Sticking with the 1980s theme, The ‘80s: The Future is Now (w/t) is a 3×60’ series from Rogan Productions that explores how Britain reinvented itself in a decade of division and conflict to lay the foundations for the world we live in today.

Another of the shows is What is a Woman? (w/t), a 1×60’ doc that tests the limits of free speech in the UK today by exploring the arguments around transgender rights and women’s rights.

Finally, from Hat Trick Productions, is Prince Andrew: The Musical (1×60’), in which British character comedian Kieran Hodgson leads a cast of comics in a satirical send-up of the life and times of Prince Andrew, set to a musical score.

Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz said: “From musical satire about Prince Andrew to an exploration of cancel culture in art via men with very large penises, this season shows that Channel 4 is still as mischievous, disruptive and distinctive as when it was born 40 years ago.

“Instead of a nostalgia-thon of highlights from the last four decades, we are celebrating with a collection of irreverent, thought-provoking and hugely entertaining shows that no other broadcaster would air. If we must age, we plan to do it disgracefully.”


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