YOUNG VOICES

Channel 4's E4 Will Shut Down During Election Day To Get Young People To Vote

23/04/2015 11:36 BST | Updated 23/04/2015 11:59 BST

Channel 4 will shut down E4 on the day of the general election to persuade more young people to stop watching television and go out to vote.

Regular programs on May 7 will be replaced by "Darren", the man in charge of keeping E4 on air, sitting in his control room. The channel's normal schedule will be suspended from 07:00 BST, when polls open, to 19:00 BST, three hours before the polls close. This is the first time a UK channel has closed on polling day.

The E4 "controller" has already been introduced to viewers through a pre-election advertising campaign, shown on all Channel 4 stations. The advert asks viewers: "How many times have you missed life-changing events because you wanted to watch your favourite show?"

Dan Brooke, Channel 4's chief marketing officer told BBC News: "Less than half of under-25s voted at the last election so we've engaged the most powerful weapon that we have at our disposal to try and boost that number - switching off their favourite TV channel for the day."

Channel 4, meanwhile, will present their own coverage of election night, co-anchored by Jeremy Paxman and comedian David Mitchell. The show will also include election-themed episodes of Channel 4 shows Gogglebox and The Last Leg.

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