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Creative Creative Works Channel 4

Channel 4 stars wryly bring to life genuine complaints made against them


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

August 19, 2019 | 3 min read

Channel 4 has launched a talent campaign that celebrates the range and diversity of its stars through complaints made against them.

Channel 4

Channel 4

In its typical quirky and off-the-wall style, 'Complaints Welcome' brings to life the weird and wonderful complaints Channel 4 has received about its presenters and shows, to highlight the fact that the broadcaster lives to spark discussion.

Featuring an all-star cast of Channel 4 darlings, the ad opens with Hollyoaks actor Kieron Richardson and his husband kissing in front of dinner table laden with food. He turns to the camera and says “I’m not homophobic but do we have to have gay-kissing at dinner time?" He then promptly tears a wedge of turkey off a bone with his teeth.

The Great British Bake Off's judge Prue Leith is seen talking with her mouth full (another complaint) while Grand Design's Kevin McCloud, regally dressed within a flamboyant setting, has his tea and biccy's delivered on a tray by a builder to the complaint "he's too posh."

Out of the darkness shines rapper Big Narstie's face that's "too black," presenter Sandi Toksvig then appears wearing a Top Gun leather jacket. As she sits on the back of a motorbike, with explosions going off in the background, she says in a deep, macho voice “she looks like Tom Cruise.”

The ceramic artist Grayson Perry appears in his studio as his female alter-ego, Claire. His complaint: "It wouldn’t be so bad if he tried to make himself look like a normal woman!”

Created by its in-house agency 4Creative, the spot also stars Catastrophe writer Sharon Hogan who "confirms my suspicion that women aren't funny," Countdown's Rachel Riley who's "outfit is totally inappropriate," Jon Snow dressed as Game of Thrones' Jon Snow because he "knows nothing," the Derry Girls who "need subtitles" and Jamie Oliver's "sausage fingers."

The film ends on chatshow host Mo Gilligan who hasn't actually received a complaint. He winks to the camera, and a sparkle glints off his teeth. Viewers wishing to make a complaint are then advised to contact

Discussing the talent campaign, Ian Katz, Channel 4’s director of programmes, said: “This campaign celebrates one of the things at the heart of Channel 4’s identity: challenging the way our viewers think about the world. When there isn’t someone complaining about one of our shows we should be worried.”

Adding to this, Channel 4's marketing and media controller James Walker said: “This bold, cheeky film is so uniquely Channel 4. It not only shows off our fantastic range of talent, it reinforces the message that stimulating debate and discussion is part of what we do.”

Channel 4: Complaints Welcome by 4Creative

By Channel 4

Overall Rating 4/5

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