Channel 4 takes dig at London-centricity with viewer complaint draped over Leeds HQ

Broadcaster due to open new national base in 2020.

Channel 4: soon-to-open national headquarters
Channel 4: soon-to-open national headquarters

Channel 4 has poked fun at the notion that the UK's media community is obsessively London-centric with a huge banner spread across its soon-to-be national headquarters in Leeds that proclaimed: "Didn't think Channel 4 knew there was life outside the M25."

The line is the verbatim words of a complaint from a viewer (presumably not a Londoner).

Channel 4 has not shied from either sparking complaints or fielding them. In August, the broadcaster launched the "Complaints welcome" campaign featuring (among others) Sandi Toksvig, Prue Leith, Jon Snow, Sharon Horgan and Grayson Perry reading out viewer complaints – some funny, others nasty.

Not all were funny; some were nasty. "They're not real athletes" was one read by Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds; "Too black" was read by Big Narstie.

The new banner is spread across the redevelopment site at Leeds' Majestic building, where Channel 4 will be based later next year. In the meantime, staff are based at an office in West Gate. The banner will remain in situ for a fortnight.

Channel 4's press office tweeted an image of the out-of-home ad, including the hashtag #ComplaintsWelcome. The handful of responses were mostly positive, with one user saying "This is awesome! Welcome to the north" and another adding "Welcome to Leeds! Delighted to have you here".

Sinead Rocks, Channel 4's managing director of nations and regions, said: "It’s great to be in Leeds. More staff are joining us all the time, so the Channel 4 presence is growing each week and we’ve been given a fantastic welcome by everyone in Leeds and Yorkshire."

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