Jeff Ford, director of programmes at Channel 5 has claimed that the broadcaster has “moved away from Films, football and fucking’ and also revealed talks with presenter and producer Chris Evans about a new concept.
Speaking this morning during the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Ford explained the changes that had been made to the Channel 5 output; "In the last two years we've scaled back to six commissioners and I think we've proved that you don't need vast layers of the commissioning process. We're up in profit and share."
He continued; "Effectively we know our brand well and we've moved away from 'films, football and fucking’. Our remit now is ‘fun, passionate, honest and relevant.’ And we try to embody that in all that we do."
The mantra, 'films, football and fucking' was originally a quotation attributed to former Channel 5 chief executive Dawn Airey, which Ford said was actually a misquotation.
In speaking about the changes in the last few years, he added; “Everybody hates change, but you have to review what you're doing and how you're doing it…we were too fat as a business that is the reality."
Later he claimed that the channel didn’t do ‘shiny floor entertainment’; “It's not what we're about. Our entertainment comes from Big Brother and things like Celebrity Wedding Planner - Louie Spence planning the biggest day of someone's lives is what our viewers want."
Despite lower viewers than ever before for Big Brother, Ford also said that he was no disappointed. “At the end of the day we had one of the worst summers for any broadcaster except for the BBC which had Wimbledon, the Euros and the Olympics. Do I want more viewers? Of course I do."
And of the Chris Evans collaboration he revealed; "We are in talks with Chris Evans - but again it’s not likely to be shiny floor studio entertainment. It'll be ‘relatable-to’ entertainment, but not as we know it."
Asked about the growth of the ‘second screen’ experience, Ford said it was ‘not a concern’ for Channel 5 at the current time.
“We're focused on improving our catch up service first. I'll be honest we're not as clued up on digital as the likes of Channel 4, but we're not cool like them, that's not us. We're fun. iPads and phones aren't our concern, straight forward pitches that work on TV first of all are what we want."
He also admitted that the future of the Health Lottery, owned by Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond was not likely to lie with the station following the decision by Ofcom and accused award schemes such as the Baftas and the Royal Television Society of ‘inherent snobbery’ against the station.
“Its nominations and voting is like Eurovision and Eastern Europe all stick together,” he said.