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To justify receiving any public money, Channel 4 needs to persuade the government that it is an important hub in Britain's creative industries

By Christopher Hird   December 2007

In this column in August, I reported that the option of privatising Channel 4 was being aired in Whitehall and that, in my view, it was a very bad idea. A new book published by the BFI, Maggie Brown’s A Licence to be Different: The Story of Channel 4, confirms that this rumour had been “put about by a faction among Brown’s treasury advisers who sought to test the water.” Within weeks of my piece appearing, the new culture secretary, James Purnell, had said unequivocally that he was opposed to privatisation. (No necessary connection between the two events.)

But this…

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