The boss of Channel 4 has unveiled plans to keep it in public hands as the Government mulls a stock market listing for the broadcaster.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and officials at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are reportedly working with US investment bank JP Morgan to list Channel 4 on the London Stock Exchange if a buyer cannot be found.
In good company: Alex Mahon pictured with Hollywood actor George Clooney
However, its chief executive, Alex Mahon, said her plan retains the broadcaster’s taxpayer-owned status, would ‘put billions more into every corner of the UK’ and help create thousands of jobs.
Part of her strategy involves the creation of a joint venture funded by private money that would invest an extra £200m into programming each year.
Writing in The Sunday Times online, Mahon added that her plans would increase the proportion of Channel 4’s budget spent outside the M25 to 50 per cent from the current 35 per cent.
The privatisation has been controversial, with critics saying Dorries’s plans are politically motivated as the broadcaster is funded by advertising and does not cost taxpayers money.