Channel 4 ramps up music output with four new commissions.

Channel 4 Music has commissioned four new shows that aim to appeal to fans of different musical genres.

The new commissions are Blink a new music quiz show that sees celebrities go head to head to test both reflex and music knowledge. Best Before a multi-platform collaboration with ALL4 that will curate and promote new releases from the last 30 days, available online, on demand and on TV. World’s Greatest Songwriters (w/t), a series that will profile a different music icon each week and investigate the process behind their greatest hits and The 80s: Ten Years We Love to Hate a documentary that offers up an insightful exploration of the music and pop culture in this divisive decade.

Blink is a music based fun pop culture quiz show will test both music knowledge and the reaction speeds of participating celebrity contestants. In each episode two celebrity contestants (including Russell Kane, Vanessa Feltz, Lemar, Matt Richardson, Joe Swash and Chris Stark) will face a series of high-speed audio and visual music challenges. Contestants will be tested on their knowledge of music videos, songs and the stars that perform them. Each clip will be played for mere fractions of a second, leading to much agonized head scratching both in the studio and on the sofa at home.

Best Before is a co-funded multi-platform collaboration with ALL4. The series will work across a daily updated blog site, social media, Channel 4 platforms and linear TV. Its aim is to promote the freshest new releases from the likes of Radiohead to future superstars – the only rule being the music must be exemplary and been released in the last 30 days. Best Before’s plan is to provide artists, regardless of their size, with a new way to promote their music, and for C4 to expand its connection to music beyond linear TV. It will be updated on a daily basis with content on All4. The TV series will be presented as 6 x 30’ mixes of the month’s new releases, compiled each week by a respected musical curator who will select their playlist from the wide range of music genres.

Songbook will see music icons discuss the stories and process behind their greatest hits. The series will also be offering intimate performances of each artist’s significant music catalogue. It will be a first for Channel 4 as it was formerly a Sky series. The format is set to expand its cinematic look and is set to include an eclectic mix of contributors. Those previously featured include Kasabian, Phil Collins, Ray Davies, Don McLean and Duran Duran.

The 80s: Ten Years We Love to Hate (working title) This 90 minute film will offer up a refreshing and insightful exploration into all the great music and pop culture moments of this incredible but controversial decade. Love it or loath it, the decade divides opinion. Unlike many other TV shows about the 80s, this film will avoid the clichés of the era, reminding viewers that whilst Madonna and Wham! were rubbing shoulder pads in the charts, artists like The Smiths, Siouxee Sioux, Joy Division and Neneh Cherry were pushing new boundaries both musically and politically. Remembering that whilst Den and Angie were squabbling in the Vic, The Corkhills were landing on Brookside and The Grange Hill cast were sayin ‘Just Say No’ to Nancy Reagan at the White House. A story of north versus south, rich versus poor, left versus right we reveal how this decade of upheaval was reflected on our screens and through our speakers.

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