Channel 4 sale "worth considering" says former chairman Luke Johnson

Lynsey Barber
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Channel 4 airs shows, such as new drama Humans, by independent producers (Source: Getty)

A former chairman of Channel 4 has said a sale of the public broadcaster is "worth examining".

Luke Johnson, the entrepreneur behind Pizza Express who is now chairman of Risk Capital Partners and the Centre for Entrepreneurs, said it was worth considering, speaking to Andrew Neil on the BBC's Daily Politics Show following reports that the government is considering privatisation.

A new Tory government, no longer encumbered by a coalition partner, is reportedly dusting of potential plans for privatisation of the public broadcaster known for GoggleBox and Humans, in order to fund its spending cuts, the FT has reported, and which could net the Treasury around £1bn.

The report quotes senior unnamed figures as saying the state’s 100 per cent shareholding were being “looked at” but “have not progressed to a formal stage yet” and that “we [the government] are sounding people out".

Read more: BBC "must contribute" to welfare cuts

The government said that it did not have any "current" plans to privatise the state-run but commercially funded channel just weeks ago.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) also last week denied reports that it would sell off Channel 4's London headquarters forcing the broadcaster to relocate to Birmingham in a bid to raise millions of pounds from the property on Horseferry Road in Westminster.

The chancellor George Osborne today confirmed talks with the BBC about the contributions it can make to the government's welfare cuts.

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