Having escaped the threat of privatisation, launched a clutch of new hits including The Piano and Late Night Lycett, and negotiated a downturn in the advertising market, Channel 4 is looking to the future. Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer and the channels Head of Specialist Factual, Shaminder Nahal sit down to discuss the current challenges and opportunities, as well as what’s next for the UK’s most provocative PSB and its relationship with Northern Ireland.
Chief Content Officer, Channel 4
Ian Katz has overall responsibility for all Channel 4’s creative output across linear and digital platforms. He leads the commissioning team to ensure the delivery of Channel4’s unique remit to represent unheard voices, challenge conventional thinking and foster creative innovation. Since joining Channel 4 in 2017 he has overseen rapid growth of the channel’s streaming platform. Under his leadership, the channel has earned a slew of awards for shows including It's a Sin, Derry Girls, Help, The Big Narstie Show, Stath Lets Flats, Jade, For Sama, Brexit: The Uncivil War, and Leaving Neverland. In 2022 Channel 4 was named Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh International TV Festival. Ian has a background in both broadcast and newspaper journalism and digital innovation. He was editor of the BBC’s flagship daily news and current affairs programme Newsnight from 2013 to 2017. Previously he worked in a wide range of writing and editing roles at The Guardian, where as Deputy Editor and Head of News (2008–2013), he oversaw the ground breaking WikiLeaks and phone- hacking investigations, as well as leading The Guardian’s strategy to become a global leader on environment coverage. Ian was responsible for developing The Guardian’s first website and played a central role in The Guardian’s digital development over the subsequent 15 years.
Head of Specialist Factual, Channel 4
Shaminder Nahal is Head of Specialist Factual at Channel 4. The department covers big formats like SAS: Who Dares Wins to series like Investigating Diana and single films like Grenfell: The Untold Story – covering history, science, arts and topical issues. Recently she commissioned The Piano, Paula, Munya Chawawa: How to Survive a Dictator, and David Baddiel: Jews Don’t Count. Her department commissions Guy Martin’s series such as the recent Guy Martin’s Great British Power Trip. Shaminder oversees the Grayson Perry series including the recent “Grayson’s Art Club”, and Grayson Perry’s Full English. She also commissioned Grenfell: The Untold Story, 100 Vaginas, Me and My Penis, Superkids: Breaking Away from Care, The Extraordinary Life of April Ashley, and oversaw “Murder in the Car Park”. She also co-commissioned The Big Narstie Show and was one of the commissioners behind The Black to Front project along with Vivienne Molokwu. Prior to Channel 4, she was Deputy Editor of Channel 4 News and Deputy Editor of the BBC’s Newsnight.