South London Residents' Campaign Against Channel 4 Ident

Andy Thornley
By Andy Thornley Last edited 52 months ago
South London Residents' Campaign Against Channel 4 Ident

The Aylesbury Estate in Walworth

Channel 4 has recently come in for some flack over its portrayal of the residents of James Turner Street, Birmingham, for the programme Benefits Street. The programme was commissioned by the not-for-profit broadcaster from production company Love Productions. Residents of the street complained they were duped in to appearing in the programme after being told it was going to be about community spirit against a backdrop of financial adversity – only to be cast as feckless job-dodgers.

Now, the broadcaster has come in for further criticism, this time from the residents of the Aylesbury Estate in south East London.

You may not have heard of the estate, but you’re more than likely to recognise it; for the last 10 years, it has been used as the location for a Channel 4 ident. As the camera tracks down rubbish-strewn balconies, other balconies and floating concrete structures shift to in to place forming the shape of the Channel 4 logo. Usually, this is played while a voiceover describing the forthcoming programme is aired.

Residents of the Aylesbury Estate have complained that the washing lines, satellite dishes and rubbish-filled trolley were all placed there by producers and while the media has been keen to speak to those living on Benefits Street, the residents of the Aylesbury Estate have had no right of reply for the last decade. Until now.

The Guardian has teamed up with film maker Nick Street to record an alternative ident which celebrates the residents of the estate, whom once Tony Blair described as ‘the forgotten people’.

The video is being used to front a campaign to get Channel 4 to change the ident and improve the image of the estate, which is home to 7,500 residents. This is being spearheaded by the Creation Trust, a charity within the estate, which is asking people to sign a petition and tweet about the issue using the hashtag #ChangeTheIdent.

View the video below and tell us what you think

Image by Will-Faichney-Photography from the Londonist Flickr Pool

Last Updated 23 January 2014

Jim Fearnley

Poor old Channel 4 - working-class housing wasn't squalid enough, so they had to simulate Gothic conditions to fulfil the prejudices of their viewers, by inserting fake rubbish. It's a truism to talk of creating an adequate spectacle [false representation of misery] to please the notionally 'liberal' target demographic of the Channel, but doubtless consoling to know that culture jackals, Artangel. will be using 'authentically-sourced' estate building rubble from the estate, whose footprint is being sold to private developers, to create a pyramid 'memorialising' the tenants whom market rates will disperse to sites far from their previously secure, long-term homes.

This 'memorial' [or it might be more appropriate to call it a mausoleum], will be pyramidal in form, bringing to mind both the resting place of the Pharaohs, the Egyptian ruling class of their day, and the social hierarchy that ensures that the rich will always sit on top of the pile, pushing their weight on to those below.


I think that Resident of London have faced problem due to the problem created by the channel 4 ident.