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A publically-owned but commercially self funded television station that began transmissions on 2nd November, 1982. Channel 4 provided an alternative to the existing channels (BBC 1/2 and ITV) and was required to to provide programming to minority groups.
What this resulted in was programmes like American football, The Tube and porn - thoughtfully tagged with a red triangle. The channel that was intended to raise the standards of television instead delivered violence, bad language, alternative music and smut... and as a rebellious teen I was eternally grateful.
It also annoyed the fuck out of Mary Whitehouse (self-styled morality campaigner) who found SO much to complain about. Ironically if she complained about a programme in the papers, that programme's viewing figures would jump the following week.