CHANNEL 4's delicate balance between fulfilling its remit for minority programmes and its clear populist swing continues, as illustrated by this summer's season of programmes. For example, a three-part profile of the fashion designer Jean Muir will be supported by 'original and appropriate educational back-up in the flattering shape of an exclusive Jean Muir dress pattern'.
John Willis, the channel's director of programmes, says: 'While other broadcasters might wish to see their director- general in an Armani suit, we are much more democratic. We will show that anyone can have a Jean Muir dress.'
Now that Channel 4 is selling its own advertising in competition with ITV, some fear that it might be forced to dilute its up- market mixture to increase audiences. But Mr Willis says: 'I certainly don't believe there is any down-market or populist drift at Channel 4. One of the ways that a channel plays safe is not to introduce new series. We've got 28 new series. That represents risk. And our disability series is moving from 5pm to the prime time of 8pm.'
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