More original programmes announced in More 4 refresh

Channel 4 is seeking to boost the profile of its nearly 15 year old digital offshoot More 4, with household names including Dame Darcey Bussell, David Jason and Jon Snow to front an array of new commissions for the channel.

More 4 recently celebrated success with The Great Pottery Throw Down, hosted by Melanie Sykes, attracting More4’s biggest overnight audience in six years to its launch. The show’s debut averaged 688k viewers, 780k peak and a 3.6% share of the viewing audience, almost four times the channel’s slot average whilst drawing a younger and more upmarket audience to the 9pm slot – six and five times the slot average for 16-34 year old viewers and ABC1s respectively.

In recent years, the channel has gained a reputation for being the home of reruns of Channel 4 lifestyle programmes, with wall-to-wall Come Dine with Me or Grand Designs. With new factual series and a quiz show, More 4 is set to gain some additional original programming during 2020:

New programmes for the channel this year include:  
Darcey Bussell’s Coastal Walks  To celebrate the completion of the England Coastal Path, Dame Darcey Bussell will choose four coastal routes. Eaach episode will see Darcey walk a favourite section taking in the glorious scenery, meeting those who make living by the sea a reality and celebrating those whose daily existence is entwined with the ebb and flow of the tides along our diverse coastline.

Jon Snow’s Very Hard Questions
Jon Snow will ask the brainiest people in Britain the most difficult quiz questions ever seen on TV. Each episode will see two teams of boffins aim to earn a score high enough to top the leader board and go through to the series final. If they’re stumped and need help then clues are available, but they come at a cost.

Inside the Spitfire Factory
A new six-part series delves deep into the world of classic military aircraft restoration at one of Britain’s most unusual factories. Located at the historic Biggin Hill Air base in Kent, the factory exists to bring back to life Britain’s most iconic aircraft – the Spitfire. Over the course of a year, the series will follow the journey of three different Spitfires as they are painstakingly restored from rusty remains in the hope of getting them back to full flying condition. A larger than life cast of characters – from mechanics and pilots to historians and WWII veterans – will also be on hand to explore the Spitfire’s rich history and tell stories full of surprises. Collectors will pay up to £2 million to own a genuine restored Spitfire so the pressure is on…

How To Build A….
In a new five-part series, More 4 follows the entire build of a luxury car from the beginning of the factory production line to the first drive. From Bentleys to Aston Martins, each episode will explore a different high-end car in intimate detail, also telling the history of the cars and brands featured.

David Jason’s Great British Inventions
In this four-part series, national treasure David Jason takes his life-long interest in engineering on a journey to discover the great British inventions that transformed our lives, as he finds out just how and why they were created. From the hovercraft to the light bulb and the tanks of World War One - it seems Britain got there first. Along the way David finds out about the dedicated British inventors who changed the world - and even sees if he can recreate their moments of genius in his own workshop.

Broadcast dates are to be confirmed.

The new programme formats for More 4 are being overseen by Sean Doyle, Channel 4’s Deputy Head of Features and Formats, who commented:
One of my priorities when joining Channel 4 was to pay particular attention to More4, ensuring it had a clear identity going forward. I’m delighted to announce such a wide-ranging slate for the channel that showcases both a brilliant calibre of talent and cements our reputation in terms of unprecedented access documentaries. From Jon Snow, David Jason and Darcey Bussell there really is something for everyone and we are delighted to have attracted such star quality to More4. These new commissions reflect the level of More4’s ambition and the range and scale of programming across the new schedule is testament to the indies continuing to bring us surprising and innovative ways of telling different stories.