‘The Custodian of the BBC Archives’: The future of BBC Four as an archive channel

Mhairi Brennan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In its Annual Plan for 2021/22, the BBC announced that it would cease to make new content for BBC Four, instead relying on repeats and archive programmes to fill the channel’s schedule. The decision might seem to be a pragmatic response to the corporation’s financial constraints, but will it really lead to the channel becoming ‘the home of the most distinctive content from across the BBC’s archive’ as the broadcaster claims? This article explores the potential risks to cultural memory of recycling archival material on BBC Four with no new content to add to the mix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Studies in Television
Issue number2
Early online date21 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).


  • BBC
  • BBC Four
  • television archives


Dive into the research topics of '‘The Custodian of the BBC Archives’: The future of BBC Four as an archive channel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this