25 JUNE 1994, Page 22

Cross Channel

MY HEART goes out to poor old Channel 4, labouring under the burden of paying a dividend to ITV. Two former chairmen, Edmund Dell and Lord (Richard) Attenbor- ough, have been wheeled out to write to the papers about it. They praise its record in funding British films, as if that were a televi- sion channel's function. In Lord Attenbor- ough's reign, Channel 4 could barely budget £60 million to buy a central site and build itself a new head office to a modish archi- tect's designs. Now it is so pressed for cash that it has taken the coverage of Cheltenham races off the BBC by bidding five times the current price. Dry your eyes.