​All 4 one

Next time you’re flat out on the sofa tucking into a TV dinner washed down by a bottle of fizzy pop, give a thought to the lawyers behind the screen. OK, this is probably not the most valued piece of advice you’ve received so far this year, but hear us out.

When Channel 4 invited The Lawyer to preview The Murder Trial earlier this month, it wasn’t just the broadcast of a real-life courtroom drama that caught our attention. Nor was it the biscuits. Batting away the buzz of a free custard cream was Channel 4 in-houser Dominic Harrison – the lawyer who managed to squeeze the idea of The Murder Trial through a normally closed door.

That process took three years. This got us thinking about the legal issues behind some of Channel 4’s other controversial shows – from The Plane Crash, which crashed a Boeing 727 to study the effect on test dummies, to Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial, which tested 25 volunteers after they took the class A drug MDMA. Where do the broadcaster’s 10-strong legal and compliance team even begin when these ideas land on their desks?

If you don’t like cliffhangers, the team’s answer is in this week’s feature. It’s miles better than daytime TV, promise.

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