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Channel 4's Jay Hunt: Meet The Controller - Edinburgh TV Festival Live Blog

By
Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt

© Channel 4

Our latest session from the Media Guardian Television Festival comes from Jay Hunt. Formerly of the Beeb and now at the helm at Channel 4, she will be laying out her plans for the channel and its post-Big Brother landscape. Digital Spy will bring you all the news and gossip as it happens. Fingers crossed for a Crystal Maze recommission.

11.05: This session is being helmed by Kate Garraway. Not a good start Channel 4. Not a good start.

11.07: You can tweet questions at Jay Hunt by hashtagging #sidlaw. Get those Crystal Maze questions in now people.

11.08: "I sound like I need a uniform and a hat," says Hunt on her chief creative officer title at Channel 4.

11.10: Fun fact. "If I didn't do this, I'd be a travel agent," says Hunt. She compares Garraway's interview style to Grazia magazine. They've started talking about shoes.

11.11: Jay Hunt lives in Clapham. So do I. I've never bumped into her at Greggs.

11.12: On her decision to leave the BBC One. "It was an incredibly difficult decision, but Channel 4 is so much about who I am. The outside, being mischievous with a purpose. I was envious of their brands even when I was on BBC One." She adds that she was "very proud" of what she achieved at the BBC.

11.14: Time for a clips reel of Channel 4 highlights. A proper mixed bag of shows to say the least. A shot of a giant testicle on Embarrassing Bodies is a bit too much for this writer to take with a hangover.

11.16: Hugh's Fish Fight and Jamie's Dream School and Friday Night Dinner are highlights of the year for Jay Hunt.

11.17: Hunt admits that Channel 4 will suffer without Brother ("Like ITV without a Simon Cowell show"). But she claims, "I wouldn't have come to Channel 4 if it had Big Brother. Other areas have a £73 million top up now Big Brother isn't there."

11.18: "It's not an arms race," says Hunt, when asked about being beaten by Channel 5 and Big Brother. She says that she prefers "brave" and "important" commissions and "public service broadcasting. A "robust and powerful Channel 4" will have big entertainment and challenging documentaries and programming, says Hunt.

11.20: Hunt says that her creative renewal is about a "root and branch look at everything we do." She says she's willing to ditch brands that aren't working and investing in daytime and non-primetime slots.

11.21: Hunt says that she isn't interested in causing "mischief for no reason". She is asked about the contrast between Seven Days and TOWIE. She dodges the question and praises Made In Chelsea. She goes back to the question and tries to claim that Seven Days was a success in many ways and revealing on the subject of interactivity, even if it didn't work as a linear TV production.

11.26: Hunt issues 'come and pitch' offer to creatives. She says that end of Big Brother means that they have money to invest,

11.27: Vox pops time for Channel 4. Some criticism at not having a post-Big Brother plan. Plenty of jokes about Famous & Fearless. Hunt agrees that there has been a "stategic failure" and that they need some major entertainment shows. "You've got to work really hard to find them," says Hunt.

11.29: Hunt is asked about Frankie Boyle. "I wasn't at C4 at the time, so I was looking at it from the outside... Channel 4 has a great reputation for risky comedy... I don't think Tramadol Night was a great show... If we find the right show for Frankie Boyle, he's a great comedian, we'll do it."

11.31: She claims Channel 4 has the strongest "legal and compliance team" and gives them her backing following the Boyle/Pricey fallout.

11.32: Hunt says C4 was right to try Famous and Fearless. She says it wasn't "big enough" and compares it to Red or Black?. She says that the channel needs to take risks. "Jump off a cliff, just make sure you have a parachute."

11.33: Hunt claims that she doesn't want to compete with the major funding given to Saturday nights by ITV and BBC. She says they should "mop up" people who don't want reality TV on a Saturday night.

11.35: Hunt jokes that Channel 4 "very democratically got a version of The Killing we can all understand" when asked about buying international drama like BBC Four.

11.39: Gypsy Weddings was an "anomoly", says Hunt. She claims that it proves TV abilities to surprise. She says that she'd eat "all my own hair" if someone really knew it would be a hit.

11.40: Hunt says that she has an "allergy to swapping lives" shows. Asked about 10 O'Clock Show, she describes it as "brave" and says that they're in talks with the cast to work on a second series. She claims that she was heartened to have a show where young viewers and audiences were engaged in politics and "cheered a Lib Dem MP".

11.41: She claims that it was the "worst kept secret in broadcasting that they wanted F1". She says that the channel is "excited" about providing a new Channel 4 spin on sports programming.

11.44: Hunt says that E4 and More 4 are in "rude health". She praises the move into non-scripted with Tool Academy and Made In Chelsea. She says that they're not feeling the loss of Big Brother spinoffs. She mentions new Chris Addison show, Caitlin Moran pilot, US imports New Girl and Two Broke Girls and reality show Sorority Girls.

11.47: Hunt says that Channel 4 has a "clear differentiation between the channels". E4 is not a experimental channel, it's an "entertainment strand".

11.50: "You need Channel 4 out there, campaigning, punching authority on the news and causing mischief," says Hunt.

11.51: "I wasn't a huge Famous and Fearless fan," says Hunt, when asked for her worst show on the channel. She claims that Friday Night Dinner and Embarrassing Bodies were her favourites.

11.57: Hunt says that Friends was down year-on-year 47% in overnights. "We've repeated it for seven years. To be a groundbreaking channel, we need to move on," says Hunt. She also accepts that the channel has lost the Inbetweeners. She adds that the sitcom is proof of C4's ability to breed international stars.

11.59: Kate Garraway is tweeted, "where did you get your jacket from?" She claims, "Keith Chegwin 1985". Garraway is going up in my estimations. Slightly.

12.01: "I hope next year there will be a story about something on Channel 4 every week," says Hunt, who is looking to create "groundbreaking TV". That's her mission statement.... And that's the end of the latest session.

12.02: Make sure you stick with DS this afternoon for live updates for Channel 5's Jeff Ford and a TOWIE masterclass. Bring on the vajazzles!

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