Four go copycatting

Four go copycatting


norman lebrecht

July 12, 2010

Just in case you thought that British television was dying of an excess of originality, the independent company Channel 4 News has copied the BBC in appointing a culture editor, as distinct from an arts corespondent to upgrade its creative profile.

Where the BBC replaced the excellent Razia Iqbal with the flailing Will Gompertz, C4 have introduced an arts filmmaker from Melvyn Bragg’s disbanded South Bank Show team. Matthew Cain has a nose for a story and the skill to turn it around. He may be an arts insider but, despite the SBS tendency for celebration, he can be expected to apply scrutiny to some of the shadowier corners of the industry, which Gompertz cannot. It’s a good appointment.

The only regret is that C4 has dropped its veteran arts correspondent Nick Glass, who covered the waterfront with commitment and expertise – whenever the dumb-down clucks on the network allowed him a sliver of airtime. I hope he finds something better to do.