Birmingham has made the shortlist for Channel 4’s new Headquarters outside of London, and here’s why Channel 4 should choose Birmingham over the others.
Birmingham has a rich media and broadcasting history, many household names over the years plied their trade in the city, and many shows loved by millions originated there.
Tiswas, Bullseye, Central Weekend Live just to name but a few that immediately spring to mind were all filmed in the city centre.
There was a real sense of loss when the former ATV studios on Broad Street finally met with the business end of a bulldozer, the feeling that a rich heritage would end as that, never to return.
Some years earlier, the BBC significantly downsized when they closed the iconic Pebble Mill and moved to studios in the, then new, Mailbox development. With Central TV situated in a non-descript office block just off Broad Street – one of those “blink and you’d miss it” places, you would not be far off the mark to think that the media has wholesale abandoned Britain’s Second City.
Things are changing. Birmingham is evolving. Birmingham is not the city that ITV gave up on in the early 2000’s, its not the city that the BBC decided would be overlooked by Manchester and its sprawling MediaCityUK.
Birmingham is back on the map, it is hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022, the city centre is changing beyond all recognition.
There is a real sense of optimism on the streets, a real feeling that things are changing for the better, and that the changes are here to last.
So now is the time to return a heritage to Birmingham that has been missing for too long. Restore the ability of the people of the midlands to produce great television. Bring Channel 4’s new headquarters to Birmingham City Centre!