Iranian president to deliver Channel 4's alternative Christmas message
Channel 4 has opted to end the year on a controversial note by inviting the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to give the broadcaster's alternative Christmas message tomorrow.
But the channel has shied away from scheduling the president's address against the Queen's Christmas speech at 3pm. Unlike most years, it is not airing its alternative Christmas message at the same time as the Queen, but is instead scheduling Ahmadinejad's message at 7.15pm.
Channel 4 has said that the Muslim president, who has a hostile relationship with many western countries, will deliver a spiritual address that will feature a message of seasonal goodwill.
The Channel 4 head of news and current affairs, Dorothy Byrne, argued that the selection of such controversial figure was in line with the broadcaster's policy of providing an "alternative world view" and reflected the extensive coverage it has given to Iran in recent times.
"As the leader of one of the most powerful states in the Middle East, President Ahmadinejad's views are enormously influential," she said. "As we approach a critical time in international relations, we are offering our viewers an insight into an alternative world view.
Interesting, not quite the standard of the Osbournes or the Simpsons, but hopefully it will be more interesting than the Queens speech!
Personally I think anything that could promote understanding between the West and Iran is a good thing.
Anyone consider it inappropriate given recent relations with Iran?