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Right to Reply

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Title: Right to Reply  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Manhattan Transfer, Gus Macdonald, Minipops, Hugh Ross (politician), The Falklands Play, After Dark (TV series), Simon Treves, The Holy Family Album, X-Rated: The TV They Tried to Ban, R2R
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Right to Reply

For the legal right to respond to criticism, see Right of reply.
Right to Reply
File:Channel 4 Right to Reply 2000s logo small.jpg
Right to Reply logo, 2000s
Genre Op-ed, Discussion of television
Developed by Channel Four, Third Eye.
Presented by Gus Macdonald (1980s), Roger Bolton (1990s), Sheena McDonald, Rory McGrath
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Running time Usually 25-30 minutes
Original channel Channel 4
Original run 14 November 1982[1] – 20 April 2001

Right to Reply (sometimes called R2R) was a British television series shown on Channel 4 from 1982 until 2001, which allowed viewers to voice their complaints or concerns about TV programmes. It featured reports, usually presented by a viewer, and interviews with the programme-makers concerned.


Right to Reply was more serious and less humorous than its BBC equivalent Points of View. Also, R2R discussed all channels' programmes, although, originally, only "Channel Four programme makers [were] called to account";[2] after a few years R2R started to discuss ITV shows as well, and soon also added BBC, and later satellite/cable shows. Points of View only commented on BBC programmes, and continues to today.

Some notable episodes and reports included:

  • "Manhattan Transfer" (first broadcast 8 February 1985) public access show about TV.
  • Right to Reply's covering of a controversial sex scene in The Singing Detective in 1986, which caused some viewers to complain about Right to Reply, which was possibly Simon Cowell's debut TV appearance.

A notable feature of Right to Reply was the "video box", which gave viewers a third means of communicating with the programme in the 1980s, alongside letter or telephone. In the late 1990s (until 2001) the "Right to Reply 500", a group of 500 TV viewers, answered weekly online surveys about current television issues.


Channel 4's 2001 decision to end Right to Reply, after a run of more than 18 years, was criticised by its fans, since nothing similar remains in its place. Some have said that the cancellation was representative of Channel 4's move into the mainstream and unwillingness to take risks like it did in the 1980s - said one viewer, "the Channel 4 that I view today has evolved into just another TV channel".[3]


On 24 May 2007, Ofcom ordered the re-instatement of a Channel Four "right to reply" programme in its adjudication of the 2007 Celebrity Big Brother race row.[4] The new programme, called The TV Show, is shown once a month on Channel 4.

External links

  • episodes, 1982-2001
  • , 2001
  • Internet Movie Database


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