Audio description at Channel 4
Graham Wilkinson, Presentation and Access Services Manager at Channel 4, talks about audio description (AD) at Channel 4
Channel 4 has a long history of promoting diversity – both on-screen, behind the camera and within our own workplace. But our commitment doesn’t end there - we want to make sure our programmes are inclusive and can be enjoyed by as many people as possible, regardless of disability, capability or technology.
This is why we have people dedicated to improving Channel 4’s accessible services. We are committed to subtitling 100 per cent of programmes across all our channels, which is great news for viewers with hearing impairments.
But what do we offer to people who are visually impaired? Last year 36 per cent of programmes on Channel 4 were available with AD and 66 per cent on E4. More4 and Film4 were both just above 30 per cent and that figure rose to 37 per cent for 4Seven.
We are dedicated to finding ways to improve the quantity of audio-described content Channel 4 offers and we are always looking into how we can improve our service. In an ideal world, all of our output would come with audio description however this does pose significant challenges.
Audio Description is now available on programmes via our All 4 service at All4.com and on the Android platform. If a programme was originally broadcast with an audio description, it will have it on these All 4 platforms. But we want to improve, everyone should be able to enjoy all of our programmes and we will keep striving to make more of our content available to all.
Foreign language content
We are also committed to providing some of our foreign language dramas with audio descriptions in the English language including the Walter Presents Box Sets ‘Before we Die’, ‘Professor T’, ‘Deutschland 83’, ‘The Outlaws’, ‘Blue Eyes’ and later this summer there will be another series from Walter Presents with audio description on More4.
It is important to us that late-delivered programmes are also accessible, the first transmission of ‘Gogglebox’ and the latest episode of ‘Prison’ had AD scripted and created within only a couple of hours before they were on air. Thanks to a skilled and dedicated team standing by to receive the content.