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UK’s free-to-air broadcasters unite for TV first

Broadcasters say they hope the short film will reach 50 per cent of the UK’s adult population

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Scotland’s STV are joining forces to air a short film celebrating UK television as it continues the battle with the streaming services for viewers.

It’s the first time all of the UK’s free-to-air broadcasters have collaborated in such a way, with the film due to air across the BBC, ITV, STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, including each broadcasters’ additional channels, this evening – Wednesday 8th July at 8.58pm.

In total the film will be shown on 21 channels, and the broadcasters say they hope it will reach 50 per cent of the country’s adult population.

The two-minute film carries the message “our stories are your stories,” and aims to represent the way the broadcasters echo lives across the UK and resonate beyond the screen. It includes iconic moments from some of the UK’s most-watched TV series, including EastEnders, This Morning, The Great British Bake Off, and Cruising With Jane McDonald.

Commenting on the film, BBC director general Tony Hall said, “British free to air television – commissioned from the UK and produced in the UK – is here for everyone. We bring people together for the big moments – from a royal wedding to the World Cup. We are there at times of crisis and to provide comfort, laughter, education and entertainment. We do something special for the UK and provide authentic British programmes that our rivals simply don’t offer.”

Ben Frow, director of programmes, Channel 5 added: “The importance of PSBs is clear to see in this turbulent world. We inform and we entertain, with powerful content for everyone in Britain.”