Channel 4 schedules ‘black takeover day’ starting with one-off Big Breakfast

Channel 4 has announced a “black takeover day”.

It will showcase black talent to “kickstart a fresh push for greater on- and off-screen representation”.

Comedian Mo Gilligan will launch proceedings, fronting The Big Breakfast with a one-off special, almost 30 years since the show’s launch.

Celebrity Gogglebox, Countdown and Channel 4 News will also feature all-black talent.

Hollyoaks will go out as a one-hour special “written, directed and performed by black talent” as its regular schedule is “disrupted” in autumn next year.

It will also launch a black-led comedy series and an unscripted, prime-time series “providing an authentic look at black lives”.

The programming will mark a year since the global protests and debates sparked by the killing of George Floyd and lead into Black History Month 2021, it said.

Ian Katz, director of programmes, said: “Channel 4 was created to give voice to underrepresented parts of society and do things which other broadcasters would not, and the Black Takeover qualifies on both counts.

“It will be much more than a day of eye-catching programming, providing a focal point for our efforts to drive up on and off screen representation and leaving a lasting legacy on the channel and beyond.”

It has asked The Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity to help make lasting changes.

Gilligan said: “Like so many of us, I loved The Big Breakfast and I am so grateful to be asked to host this special event, particularly as part of such a hugely thrilling and history making day for British television!”