Channel 4 is partnering with TV Talent company Gritty Talent to help indies build more diverse senior teams.

The move comes in the wake of the broadcaster’s new Commissioning Guidelines published last month.

The new requirements are part of the legacy of Channel 4’s The Black to Front Project to help transform on and off screen opportunities for diverse as well as disabled talent in TV.

Channel 4’s new guidelines now require all the indies it works with to have ethnically diverse as well as disabled off screen talent on production teams, with the new framework coming into play on  August 1st.

Channel 4 is working with Gritty Talent to help support indies in meeting these requirements.

Gritty Talent has been commissioned to do two phases of work. They will define where the skills gaps and talent shortages exist across the UK in specific genres, and they will then help to identify the suitable talent. Genres under the spotlight first will be news and current affairs, factual entertainment and documentaries.

Emma Hardy, Director of Commissioning Operations at Channel 4 said: “We want to work in partnership with producers to help them achieve our new Commissioning Diversity Guidelines. As part of our learnings from the Black To Front project, we will continue to challenge dated recruitment practices across our shows and put a robust framework in place to improve how ethnically diverse and other under represented talent is identified, supported and connected to productions.  Our new partnership with Gritty Talent will help achieve this.”

The work will be supported by Channel 4’s strategic training and development initiative 4Skills, which has a particular focus on supporting talent from diverse and disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

Kevin Blacoe, Head of Partnerships & Skills at Channel 4 said: “Training and developing diverse talent, especially in the Nations and Regions, is a key priority for 4Skills and we look forward to supporting Gritty Talent to help identify skills gaps and talent shortages. Working collaboratively with Channel 4 commissioners and the indie community, we can then tailor our 4Skills plans and deliver bespoke interventions to address these gaps and make the most of the opportunities.”

Mel Rodrigues, Founder and CEO of Gritty Talent said: For the last two years we’ve made it our mission at Gritty to find and connect fantastic creative talent from under-represented groups in TV, and so we are delighted to be doing this work at scale and in a really thorough way with Channel 4.

“We’ll start by collating the research that outlines where the skills gaps, roles and talent shortages are in both unscripted and scripted TV production in the UK. We’ll then use this data to ensure a large base of skilled talent from under-represented groups is visible to decision makers, so that they can recruit from a much wider pool of TV talent.”

The move is part of the broadcaster’s drive to improve representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups as well as disabled people in the TV industry.

Continuing its Black To Front Project work Channel 4 has announced a raft of new commissions including The Big Breakfast (Lifted Entertainment part of ITV Studios), Unapologetic (SBTV/Cardiff Productions) and Crazy Rich.. (w/t Rumpus Media).


Jon Creamer

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