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Octogenarian Grime Gran to tell people how to behave amid pandemic

Channel 4 has announced new programming also featuring Grayson Perry and Kirstie Allsopp.

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Grime Gran Margie Keefe (Channel 4/PA)

Grime Gran Margie Keefe (Channel 4/PA)

Grime Gran Margie Keefe (Channel 4/PA)

Octogenarian “Grime Gran” will tell people how to behave during the coronavirus pandemic in a new Channel 4 show responding to the crisis.

The broadcaster has announced several shows – including Steph McGovern broadcasting live from her living room – to keep viewers “entertained and active”.

Lockdown Wedding Live will see a bride and groom, who had to cancel their big day plans, have a celebration “live online”.

First Dates maitre d’ Fred Sirieix will oversee proceedings for the couple’s “loved ones – and everyone else – to enjoy from the safety of their homes”.

Steph McGovern will broadcast live from her living room
Steph McGovern will broadcast live from her living room (Ian West/PA)

Grayson Perry will teach art and Grime Gran, aka Margie Keefe, will address the nation, Monday to Friday, from self-isolation in her east London flat.

“The octogenarian will advise the country, in her own straight-talking style, on how not to be a dick in a range of scenarios that are facing us all,” Channel 4 said.

“Grime’s favourite octogenarian” will give her “own unique Thought For The Day on the world as she sees it”, director of programming Ian Katz said of the late-night broadcast.

Grime Gran shot to fame while having tea with some of the biggest names in grime on YouTube, before she launched her own E4 show.

The launch of new daily programme The Steph Show has been brought forward and will be broadcast live from McGovern’s Yorkshire home, from Monday.

Fred Sirieix will oversee a wedding with a difference
Fred Sirieix will oversee a wedding with a difference (Ian West/PA)

The presenter said: “This might not be how we planned it, but I’m itching to get on air and get chatting to all the people out there doing amazing stuff through these crazy times.

“Whatever you’re up to, we want to bring some much-needed joy to your day and help you navigate your way through the madness.”

Lockdown Academy will include art with Perry, crafts with Kirstie Allsopp using simple materials available around the house, and cooking with Jamie Oliver.

Perry, with the help of other leading artists, will try to teach viewers “how to sculpt, draw and create” and see what viewers “have been creating in quarantine”.

Grayson Perry will teach art
Grayson Perry will teach art (Ian West/PA)

Channel 4 said its programming will “help the audience navigate through the crisis, stay connected with the rest of the country, help families stay occupied in isolation, and most importantly to keep spirits high with a range of great entertainment”.

The duration of Channel 4 News will be extended to 90 minutes every Monday, with the programme producing a fortnightly hour-long debate special on the crisis.

Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon said public service broadcasters are vital in a time of crisis.

“In these extremely uncertain and challenging times, public service broadcasters like Channel 4 play a vitally important role in holding our nation together,” she said.

Kirstie Allsopp will get crafting
Kirstie Allsopp will get crafting (Ian West/PA)

“We are here to inform the audience with trusted news and current affairs, to help them stay in touch with what’s going on around them and, just as importantly, to lift them up and make them feel connected with the rest of the world when they are isolated at home.”

She pointed to record audiences for Channel 4 News in the past fortnight, especially with young viewers.

Director of programming Katz said the new shows would give “people a structure to their day and help them to use their time stuck at home constructively”.

Richard Ayoade's Travel Man has been paused
Richard Ayoade’s Travel Man has been paused (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The current series of Gogglebox is being filmed with robotic “cameras allowing the families to take part without any contact from crew”.

Filming on Hollyoaks has paused and the number of pre-filmed episodes broadcast each week will be reduced further to two from April 6.

Production of Richard Ayoade’s Travel Man has also been suspended and, on E4, filming of Made In Chelsea has been halted, but the new series launched as planned earlier this week for a shorter run.

Filming has also been suspended on programmes such as Ackley Bridge, Back and Frank Of Ireland.

The Steph Show will see McGovern celebrate “the everyday heroes who are keeping the nation moving, as well as sharing ideas on how to fill your time while self-isolating”.

It will include “the latest information and advice to help people through these uncertain times, plus a mix of entertainment, lifestyle and a variety of guests beamed live into the living room via digital platforms”.

Other programmes include Coronavirus: Can You Avoid It?, a Dispatches Coronavirus: Can Our NHS Cope? and Coronavirus: A Day In The Life, capturing life in lockdown over a 24-hour period using footage shot by viewers.

PA