Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays

Dougal Wilson goes behind the scenes of the mischievous Channel 4 idents

Acclaimed director Dougal Wilson is behind some of the most loved and emotive British advertising campaigns, having directed several of John Lewis’ Christmas ads and We’re the Superhumans for Channel 4’s Paralympics coverage. His latest work is a series of shorter, but no less prevalent, films for the Channel 4 idents – or as he explains at Nicer Tuesdays “the bits between the shows on telly”. Inspired by the channel’s heritage – the “4” blocks icon by Martin Lambie-Nairn – these idents star a mischievous, giant block character that roams the British Isles.

Showing the fascinating research and ideas behind the character’s development and the subtle meaning behind each film, Dougal takes the audience through the making of the idents. “The blocks quite literally landed on my desk. They wanted me to think of some ideas involving these blocks with real British people in real locations, and reflect the channel’s values of being provocative, celebrating diversity and being entertaining.” He shows early sketches conveying “disruption” in rather left field ways, before he landed on the idea of the giant block character, who then becomes the personification of Channel 4’s values – even singing the Fourscore at the end of each film.