Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight has written an impassioned article on why Birmingham should be the new home of Channel 4.
The West Midlands has made an all-out bid to host the broadcaster after the Government said it wants Channel 4 to leave its Westminster home.
With time running out for a decision to be made, Mr Knight has spelled out the many benefits of moving to the region – not least its youth, diversity, creativity and location.
While the BBC has made efforts to make the UK’s broadcasting sector less London-centric, it remains dominant.
Mr Knight said in a digital age there is no reason for this.
He writes: “Let’s forget regional loyalties. I love Birmingham and have written about it in a way that I hope does it justice but I don’t expect anyone else to fall in love on the strength of an article.
“Geography is history, this time in the physical world.
“By train, Birmingham International is just over an hour from Euston. On a bad day lots of places in Greater London are an hour from Euston. Whisper it but when HS2 is completed (2022), Birmingham will be thirty six minutes from London. Yes, thirty six. Effectively zone five of the underground. And you won’t have to stand up all the way.
“It means in Birmingham you are not exactly in exile, either professionally, socially or gastronomically. Just be aware, it ain’t that far.”
Some other parts of the country have submitted proposals for a partial relocation, apparently in the belief that this has more chance of being accepted by Channel 4 bosses.
However, the West Midlands has been a major voice since the start.
There is now a new Culture Secretary to convince. Karen Bradley, who left the role earlier this week, was a big advocate of the move, but Matt Hancock has now taken over.
Mr Knight said it was clear where he needed to be looking.
He said: “Birmingham is a big culturally diverse place with a history of innovation, industry, radicalism and innovation. The Arts and Crafts movement was born here. Tennis was born here.
“J.R.R. Tolkein was born and lived here and Middle Earth was born here so that means Gollum and Bilbo Baggins were born here. Not many people know it but Charlie Chaplin was born here. Heavy metal music was born here (Ozzy, Led Zeppelin etc). William Shakespeare was almost born here.
“Also, the whole of the modern world was born here. Engineers and innovators James Watt and Matthew Boulton started and established the industrial revolution in a back room in Handsworth. They were called the The Lunar Men. Google them. It should be a TV series.
Unfortunately, there are no football teams to shout about in Birmingham but you can’t have everything.”