Ian Katz, Channel 4’s Director of Programmes, has announced five new commissions to be made during lockdown including a show where cameras are attached to the dogs of celebrities.

Snoop Dogs, made by Northern Ireland-based Stellify Media, will attach Go-Pro cameras to celebrities’ pets. The dogs will roam the stars’ homes with audiences guessing who the house belongs to.

Sean Doyle, Deputy Head of Features and Formats at Channel 4, said: “I didn’t want lockdown to stifle creative conversations and Snoop Dogs is a perfect example of a reactive and outside of the box commission. We’ve come up a wonderfully ridiculous spin on filming in lockdown that only Channel 4 could get away with. We hope families enjoy playing along whilst getting a healthy dose of doggy mischief and celebrities’ lush properties and home interiors.”

Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy, joint Managing Directors of Stellify Media said: “This is our first commission from Channel 4 and it combines two of our main obsessions: dogs and celebrities’ houses. We can’t wait to get started.”

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said; “We are delighted to be able to support Stellify’s first Channel 4 commission. Kieran, Matthew and their team never fail to produce inventive and entertaining formats which appeal to the masses. I’m sure audiences across the UK, and their four-legged friends, will really enjoy this one!”

Snoop Dogs (4 x 30’) was commissioned for Channel 4 by Sean Doyle with Head of Features & Formats Sarah Lazenby. It is Stellify Media’s first commission for Channel 4 and will be produced in Belfast with funding from Northern Ireland Screen. The executive producers are Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy.

The other commissions are Ramadan in Lockdown, Coronavirus Heroes: Keeping Britain Going (w/t), Tom Allen: Ad Man and Sex Tips in Isolation (w/t)

Ramadan in Lockdown (w/t) is a 5 x 5 minute series of short films, culminating in an Eid special, to air next month.

For the first time ever, Britain’s 2.6 million Muslims will observe the month of Ramadan – up to thirty days of fasting from sunrise to sunset – in lockdown, under strict conditions imposed in response to Covid-19.

Channel 4 will talk to a range of British Muslims from across the country and follow them throughout Ramadan showing how the Muslim community copes with this unique and poignant moment in history, whilst observing their holiest month.

Channel 4 Head of Specialist Factual, Fatima Salaria said: “This is an exceptional time for us all, bringing a range of challenges to every aspect of society. These short films will  include the stories of NHS workers on the frontline who as well as caring for the most vulnerable will also be observing Ramadan.  The shorts will be mostly filmed by contributors themselves thus allowing us into their worlds and lives…both Farah and Heenan are the masters of getting access into the Muslim community because of the trust they have built up over the years and I’m confident they will deliver an insightful window into one of the most important months in the Muslim Calendar.”

Clockwork Films founder, Heenan Bhatti said: “We’re delighted to be working with Channel 4 on this unique and important project of documenting British Muslims and their experiences of Ramadan in lockdown.”

Ramadan in Lockdown (w/t) is a Clockwork Films production for Channel 4, commissioned by Head of Specialist Factual Fatima Salaria.  Executive Producer Heenan Bhatti and Series Producer Farah Qayum.

ITN Productions is to produce Coronavirus Heroes: Keeping Britain Going (w/t), a documentary focusing on the army of people who are working hard to keep the country functioning.

The hour-long programme for Channel 4 which transmits next month, celebrates the numerous people from teachers to delivery drivers, supermarket staff to food industry workers, cleaners to carers and refuse collectors to bus drivers – to name just a few – who are keeping the nation functioning.

Commissioned by Louisa Compton, new Head of News and Current Affairs,  Coronavirus Heroes: Keeping Britain Going (w/t), will follow a small group of frontline workers who will share their remarkable and inspiring stories. They will film themselves, their family and friends to provide a moving and realistic portrait of their days and the impact it has – some of them living in extraordinarily challenging circumstances themselves.

ITN Productions, Director of TV, Ian Rumsey, said: “Alongside the NHS, these are stories from our Coronavirus Heroes, the key workers who are essential to keep the country functioning during this unprecedented time.

“For the millions of us living in lockdown, they provide a life-line and vital service who despite the threat of the deadly virus, are helping people day-in and day-out. We simply wouldn’t be able to function without them.”

Coronavirus Heroes: Keeping Britain Going is fully-funded by TSB , a partnership brokered by 4Sales and TSB’s media agency The 7Stars and it’s Executive Producers are Ian Rumsey and Nathaniel Lippiett. It was commissioned by Louisa Compton at Channel 4.

Tom Allen: Ad Man sees comedian Tom Allen delving into the advertising archives in a new series produced by Boundless for Channel 4.

Tom Allen: Ad Man (w/t) celebrates 65 years of the nation’s best-loved and most outrageous TV adverts, charting the changing values and attitudes of the UK along the way.

Filmed from the comfort of his own home, Tom Allen: Ad Man (w/t) will feature “playful spoofs and lots of laughs, alongside thought-provoking observations.” It will be filmed with a self-shooting kit while he is self-isolating in the home he shares with his parents.

Tom Allen said: “I’m delighted to be analysing the world of advertising which, in our consumer age, has really dictated how we see ourselves. I don’t even know who I am unless I’m buying something! If I buy Ski Yoghurt – does that make me a health freak? If I choose Diet Coke – does that mean I should take my top off? Would drinking Cinzano make me Joan Collins??! Anyway, fingers crossed it’s just as glamourous as the programme Mad Men, but here’s hoping I don’t start smoking, drinking Scotch during the day and having an affair with my secretary.”

Lee McMurray, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment said: “The show will not only allow Channel 4 viewers to enjoy the nostalgia of revisiting some well-loved TV ads, but also reveal how they reflected the surprising and sometimes shocking attitudes of yesteryear, with Tom’s trademark wit and humour bringing the perfect mix of entertainment and insight to proceedings.”

Tom Allen: Ad Man (4 x 60’) was commissioned by Lee McMurray for Channel 4. It is a Boundless production, part of Fremantle, and the executive producers are Cal Turner and Amanda Sangorski.

Channel 4 has also commissioned a new one off, Sex Tips in Isolation (w/t), with Anna Richardson looking at the sex habits of Brits during lockdown.

Camilla Lewis, Executive Producer for Curve Media said, “If there’s one good thing that has come out of lockdown, it seems to be that more Brits than ever before are having sex, enjoying sex, and exploring things they never would have dreamed of before. This show reflects the resilience of the British people, and how love during lockdown can not only survive…but thrive.”

Sex Tips in Isolation (w/t) (1 x 60’ w/t) was commissioned by Sarah Lazenby, Head of Features and Formats for Channel 4. It is a Curve Media production and the Executive Producers are Camilla Lewis and Charlie Bunce.


Staff Reporter

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