An Open Letter to Channel 4

Hello Channel 4!

As a lifelong, passionate, Brummie I’d like to fill you on on a few things about our fine city and the area.

The whole of Birmingham is aware you might be moving out of the capital to the provinces but I’d like to grab your attention for the moment, show you why Birmingham is actually a REALLY exciting place and tell you about our cultural revolution. You might have already heard that we are the youngest city in Europe and it’s growing, projected to be about 8% by 2021, and we’re only going to get bigger and louder.

The West Midlands is really THE place to be. HS2 is on its way, whatever your stance, which will mean you can get to London, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, and further North very soon (nice and useful) and Birmingham’s 3 other train stations can take you anywhere else in the country. The airport is only fifteen minutes from the city centre by train too (bonus!).

Birmingham has a vibrant bubbling culture that’s just waiting to be explored and you can get first pick!

We’ve a burgeoning food revolution with 5 Michelin Starred restaurants in the city and the surrounding area, Purnells, Adams, Carters, Simpsons & Peels. There’s amazing street and restaurant food, just ask Digbeth Dining Club, Lasan Group, or any other of the hundreds of fantastic local chains and restaurants in the area too.

It’s one of the greenest cities in England with acres of beautiful parkland and a lack of the pollution London seems to love. The Big City Plan is transforming the region with flagship projects such as The Library of Birmingham, the Midland Metro extension, Paradise and the Beorma Quarter. We’re the next English city after London on the Mercer Quality of Living Ranking, and we’re catching up quickly. Now the WMCA has been formed, we’re gettings things done together and we want the Midlands Engine to be running full steam again.

Birmingham’s a centre of all things Geeky too (I know a bit about that). we have The International Comics Expo (ICE) each year, The Birmingham Comics Festival and  MCM Birmingham twice a year plus other great specialist fan expo’s such as TFNation, Comic Book  Movies are the biggest thing  in cinema at the moment and it’s be great to see ore Geek on TV, and you’d have easy access to that.

Oh yes, there’s that Commonwealth Games in 2022 too…

Channel 4 Logo Birmingham

But enough of the laundry list of nice things about Brum, let’s give you some compelling reasons WHY you should come to Brum.

There’s a HUGE amount of creatives such as Film Birmingham, BOM, The Custard FactoryBrum RadioThe Midlands Art Centre (MAC), New Street Authors and more! There are twelve universities in the West Midlands, full of students all wanting to get their voices heard but with little mainstream media attention, they feel neglected.

It’s very hard to shout when no one listens on a national level, there’s musicians, presenters, and all manner of technical staff that would love to get their break. Remember Pebble Mill? It did fantastic in Brum for many years.

THREE Hollywood Films have come to Birmingham over the last few years, (The Girl With All The Gifts, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle being two). We’ve had Spielberg himself come and shoot Ready Player One on our streets. We’ve got the knowledge, we’ve got the people, Hollywood is willing to come to Birmingham so it should be good enough for a national British broadcaster.

You’d make a difference in unimaginable ways. Birmingham needs this. We’ve suffered for years under the impression we’re a dirty, dusty industrial town and the butt of jokes. We’re not taking it any more. We’re loud, we’re proud and we’re a force to be reckoned with. We were the workshop of the world, the city of a thousand industries; now we’re the city that’s not going to take no for an answer.

The public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular: Demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and content of programmes; Appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society; Makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and, Exhibits a distinctive character.”


4seven ~ Idents ~ Spaghetti Junction from ManvsMachine on Vimeo.


So get the hell out of London, come to somewhere neglected for years by the mainstream media, Birmingham needs you, and you need Birmingham as much in return.

Be bold,

Be brave,

Be what Channel 4 was supposed to be and come and learn why the Second City is First Choice. Plus it’ll save a fortune on Joe Lycett’s commuting!

Trust me you’ll thank me afterwards.

Ryan Parish (aka Geeky Brummie)


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One thought on “An Open Letter to Channel 4

  1. All true and straight from the heart.
    Advised by Mike Bradley, Campaign for Regional Broadcasting that your open letter has now been directed to Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon. As you know Mike has sent a powerful message to Alex Mahon in support of Birmingham’s bid for Channel 4. I have also emailed her to add my little voice.
    Ryan if you could encourage the many people I’m sure you know to contact Alex Mahon direct it would be great.
    We need a concerted campaign they will find hard to ignore. Not only regarding the Channel 4 issue, but after that, when we resume our campaign to get the BBC to properly invest in our region again. As you know the BBCs biggest region is the Midland Region with about 25% of the total population of the UK. It is the BBCs biggest revenue stream and is rewarded by getting in return the smallest amount of reinvestment in the UK from the Corporation, at 1.5%. London gets almost 50%, the North almost 20% and the South 7.6% a total for those three regions of approximately 75% of the total amount reinvested throughout the UK. Strikes you as being a little unfair don’t you think ?
    Anyway it’s Channel 4 at the moment and the BBC later.
    Great letter, keep going !
    Best Wishes,
    David Emson

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