1 Ice sculpture takes the place of Boris Johnson
During the 2019 election, Boris Johnson declined to take part in a Channel 4 election debate focused on climate change.
It refused to allow Michael Gove, the former Environment Secretary, to appear in his place, instead commissioning an ice sculpture that slowly melted during the debate.
It triggered a complaint from Mr Johnson’s head of communications before Ofcom cleared the broadcaster.
2 Head of news calls Boris Johnson a liar
In 2019, Dorothy Byrne, the broadcaster’s head of news and current affairs, sparked fury in No 10 after she accused Boris Johnson of being a “known liar”.
In a keynote speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Ms Byrne said: “What do we do when a known liar becomes our Prime Minister?” She even compared Mr Johnson’s use of social media to Vladimir Putin’s fondness for talking “directly to the nation”.
In 2017, Channel 4 News’ veteran presenter Jon Snow was photographed at Glastonbury festival where a fellow reveller claimed he had danced and chanted “f— the Tories”.
The broadcaster said he had been “reminded of his responsibilities around due impartiality”.
Mr Snow said that he had no recollection of the incident, and that he had taken more than 1,000 selfies that day, amid calls for him to be fired.
4 Jon Snow ‘white people’ Brexit claim investigated by Ofcom
The veteran presenter got himself in further difficulty in March 2019 when he said he had “never seen so many white people in one place” when describing a pro-Brexit protest outside Parliament, prompting Ofcom to investigate his remarks.
The broadcasting watchdog received 2,644 complaints about Mr Snow’s report.
Channel 4 issued an apology about the comments but the regulator cleared the presenter.
Channel 4 News was forced to apologise to Boris Johnson during the 2019 election campaign after it misquoted the Prime Minister on the campaign trail as using the phrase “people of colour”.
Mr Johnson had said he was in favour of “people of talent” coming to the UK but was incorrectly captioned in a tweet. The broadcaster apologised for the mistake, which raised tensions with the Conservatives.
In December 2021, a vocal Labour supporter who labelled Boris Johnson a “nasty piece of work” and defended Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism allegations was appointed to the broadcaster’s board.
Tess Alps, a Labour Party member, described Mr Johnson as “such a nasty piece of work” in a tweet from April 2016, and was opposed to previous plans to end state ownership of Channel 4.
7 Paul Mason posts online rant about RBS
In 2014, six years after the financial crisis, Channel 4 News’ then economics editor Paul Mason recorded a passionate rant about Royal Bank of Scotland after the bank was among six fined a collective £2.6bn for rigging foreign exchange markets.
Mr Mason said he was encouraged to “push the limits of what the Ofcom rules would allow” in the online-only clip, and that it resulted in “internal actions” so that it did not happen again.
8 Queen’s ‘deepfake’ Christmas speech
Channel 4 has broadcast an alternative Christmas message to the Queen’s festive address since 1993, featuring hosts such as Tom Daley and John Bercow.
In 2020, a twist on the format involved a digitally-altered monarch performing a TikTok dance routine, intended as a warning about misinformation.
However, critics said the production was in bad taste and tacky after the Queen’s sombre pandemic message.