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Channel 4 to show suicide bombing comedy Four Lions to mark 10th anniversary of September 11

Channel 4 is to spark outrage by airing a controversial comedy film about Muslim suicide bombers as part a season of programmes to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. In a move set to shock TV viewers, the broadcaster is to show Four Lions, the 2010 film by Brass Eye comedian Chris Morris, just days before the memorials take place for the terrorist outrages in New York. Insiders at the Channel 4 have revealed that Morris was looking to create even more controversy by trying to air the film on the actual day of the anniversary, but bosses at the channel have resisted this. Four Lions, depicts the activities of a group of home-grown British terrorists who plan to kill thousands of people at the London Marathon in a terror attacks, but end up bungling the operation. Channel 4 will premiere the film alongside factual documentaries about heroes from the emergency services and a reconstruction documentary about the killing of Osama Bin Laden for the season of programmes. The plans were revealed at the Edinburgh Television Festival by Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt, the former BBC1 controller, who said the film would form part of the %E2%80%98mix%E2%80%99 of programming to mark the anniversary. Speaking at a session called No Risk Please, We%E2%80%99re Prime Time, she said: %E2%80%98I%E2%80%99ve just had an interesting and rather robust conversation with Chris Morris about Four Lions and the scheduling of that and how close it is to 9/11. %E2%80%98I think we should absolutely continue to push those boundaries. %E2%80%98It is going out in the next week-and-half or so. It is not going out on 9/11 itself because we have got a lot of other programming. But it is around then because it speaks to that issue.%E2%80%99 She added: %E2%80%98I think well fine, that%E2%80%99s good%E2%80%99. Referring to Morris, whose Brasseye series caused a record number of complaints at the time, she said: %E2%80%98He felt strongly that it was an important flavour in the mix and I think it is an important flavour in the mix. %E2%80%98But you know so is an extraordinary piece we have got called Bin Laden: Shoot To Kill, which again is a ground-breaking piece of television and we have got some major documentaries as well. So I think as an overall season you can accommodate a lot of those different things.%E2%80%99 Speaking after the session she said the film was part of a 9/11 season along with a programme about the role New York fire-fighters played in the catastrophe, emergency rooms and other documentaries. While the film is not about the events of 9/11 she said Channel 4 was showing Four Lions at this time because it looked at the wider %E2%80%98geopolitical%E2%80%99 discussion on terrorism. This comes as two senior figures at the BBC said they would show Morris%E2%80%99s previous Brass Eye paedophile special if it was made today, despite the fact it was one of he controversial programmes in British TV history. BBC Trustee David Liddiment, who was also sitting on the panel, said he would be happy for it to be shown %E2%80%98as long as the programme was made within the guidelines.%E2%80%99 He was backed up by drama chief Ben Stephenson, who was referring to comedy commissioner Cheryl Taylor, when he said: %E2%80%98I will speak for Cheryl, she would totally make that because it%E2%80%99s funny and intelligent, with integrity and it has got point and purpose to it.%E2%80%99 A Channel 4 source insisted they had resisted pressure from Morris who was pushing for the film to go out on the very day of the anniversary. An insider at the channel who defended the scheduling said that September was the first time it was able to show the film by the rights holder and that it wanted to show it as soon as possible, but had deliberately chosen not to air on 9/11.

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