The Last Leg's Adam Hills Calls Out Channel 4 Over Ongoing Accessibility Issues

For the last two weeks, Channel 4 has been without subtitles, audio description or sign language services.
Adam Hills on The Last Leg
Adam Hills on The Last Leg
Channel 4

The Last Leg host Adam Hills called out Channel 4 over the accessibility issues that have blighted the channel for the last two weeks.

Last month, the channel faced outages following a mass evacuation at its broadcast centre, with Channel 4 and several other networks briefly going off the air as a result.

In the two weeks since, Channel 4 has faced a number of technical issues, most notably a lack of subtitles, audio description or sign language support for viewers who require these services.

This has meant a number of the broadcaster’s flagship shows, including Countdown, Hollyoaks, Gogglebox and the Great British Bake Off, have not been accessible to all, which Adam addressed during Friday’s live broadcast of The Last Leg.

The Australian comic explained: “Channel 4 are still having technical difficulties, so there’s every chance the ads won’t go to air or we’re going to have to fill in at some point.”

“For those of you who rely on subtitles, they still aren’t working, I can only say this,” Adam said, holding up a sign with the message: “Sorry there’s still no subtitles.”

“And to those of you at Channel 4,” he added. “I don’t know, I’d like to say this about the subtitles.”

He then held up a second board with the simple message: “Sort it out.”

“It all got a bit Love Actually there,” Alex Brooker then joked. “I thought the next one was going to say, ‘tell them it’s carol singers’.”

A Channel 4 spokesperson said earlier this week: “Since the incident… [we] are not able to offer any programmes with audio description, subtitles or sign language.

“So, we would like to apologise for any problems you might still be experiencing as you watch your favourite shows. We want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to return to a normal service as quickly as possible.”

Channel 4 has been blighted with technical issues for the last two weeks
Channel 4 has been blighted with technical issues for the last two weeks
Jack Taylor via Getty Images

On Friday evening, TV watchdog Ofcom said: “The continued problems with subtitles, audio description and signing on several channels are unacceptable, causing deep upset and frustration among many people who rely on these services.

We are in direct contact with the affected broadcasters and have called on them to provide a clear plan for restoring these services, and to explain how long it will take.”

The Last Leg launched in 2012 as a companion show to that year’s Paralympic Games, but became so popular that viewers called for it to return.


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