And that broadcaster was Channel 4: Brillo wasn’t about to entertain that lot, and said so - more than once. As far back as 2013, he was passing severely adverse comment upon the channel’s output: “Looking at Channel 4 schedules has it just become one big freak show (bar excellent C4News)? Doesn't it have public service obligations?”
By the following year, when someone on Channel 4’s Gogglebox called Brillo “a smug little twat”, he simply responded “What's Channel 4?” And when it came to the short-lived Andrew Neil Show on BBC2, this merely presented him with another opportunity to put the boot in. “Another 800,000+ for the Andrew Neil Show last night on BBC2, well over 100,000 more than Channel 4 News or Peston. But 1m would be better!”
This was not an isolated occurrence. Two weeks after that last snark came “Another 900,000 for the Andrew Neil Show last night (not counting catch up, iPlayer) - a comfortable 300,000 ahead of Channel 4 News. But not happy till we break that 1m mark!” A few weeks later came “The Andrew Neil Show on BBC2 was watched by over 900,000 last Wednesday, well above any other current affairs show on any channel that night. And several hundred thousand ahead of Channel 4 News”. Then came accusations of bias.
After all, Channel 4 was just a hotbed of Rotten Lefties™, wasn’t it? So after former BBC man and career Tory Brexiteer Robbie Gibb had been given a platform by the Mail to sneer “To me, it came as no surprise that the Prime Minister decided not to give an interview to Matt Frei of Channel 4 News at the G7 Summit in Biarritz at the weekend” after someone at the broadcaster had deemed it acceptable to call Bozo a “known liar” (possibly because our alleged Prime Minister is a known liar), there was Brillo Tweeting it on.
As recently as August 2020, after one Tweeter asked The Great Man “would you not consider Channel 4, they do at least give the illusion of trying to hold people to account”, he was dismissiveness personified. “Channel 4 is basically the broadcast arm of the Guardian. Don’t think they’d have much interest in me”. So that’s that, is it?
Well, no it isn’t: Louisa Compton, who is Head of News and Current Affairs and Specialist Factual and Sport at Channel 4 (multitasking, much?) has this morning announced “Delighted to announce that [Andrew Neil] is fronting a new documentary investigating the current turmoil in the Conservative party. ‘Boris Johnson: Has He Run Out of Road?’ will air on [Channel 4] and [All 4] on January 30 at 7pm”. Well, well.
This is not Brillo’s first Channel 4 excursion - he grilled the infamous Jimmy Savile for the broadcaster in the mid-90s - but given his clear disdain for the channel, and the impression that he has suggested it to be biased to the mythical metropolitan left (“broadcast arm of the Guardian”), one would think he’d avoid it like the plague. If he had a choice.
Maybe it’s a case of Any Port In A Storm. I’ll just leave that one there.
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