'Technical' difficulties cause Channel 4 and More4 to go off air

Channel 4 went off air for some time, showing a message that the service was temporarily unavailable due to "technical difficulties". Credit: PA

Channel 4 and More4 went off air on Saturday due to a “technical problem”, according to the broadcaster.

Viewers said their screens were showing a still from a programme for about 25 minutes before returning to normal broadcasting.

Moments later, the channel was said to have frozen again.

Channel 4 displayed the message: "We're sorry, but due to technical difficulties this service is temporarily unavailable".

More4 meanwhile was showing flashing images on its screen, according to other viewers, while some said Film4 and E4 were also affected.

The broadcaster confirmed two channels were temporarily off air in a tweet but did not mention the others.

It said: “Channel 4 and More4 are currently off air due to a technical problem. We are working to restore them as quickly as possible”.

Channel 4 and More4 are believed to have since returned to normal broadcasting.

S4C, the Welsh language public service TV broadcaster, also tweeted it was facing issues due to a fire at a distribution centre in London.

It said: “Unfortunately following a fire at a London distribution centre we are experiencing technical problems. Apologies.”

In a statement to ITV News, Red Bee Media, an international broadcasting and media services company which transmits over 500 television streams, and whose clients include broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel 4, GB News, ITV, Sky, and UKTV, confirmed the London Fire Brigade were called to their Broadcast Centre in West London.

"We confirm that all staff at our Broadcast Centre in West London were safely evacuated following activation of the fire suppression systems", it said.

"As a result of this incident and the automatic safety measures set in motion at the time, several services originating from the Broadcast Centre have been disrupted. We are continuing to work to restore all services and remedy any issues caused by this incident.

"To avoid speculation, we will not make any further statements until all services have been fully restored and we have concluded a full investigation of the cause.

"We apologise for any inconvenience for our customers and their viewers", it added.

Separately, Channel 5 was also said to be faced with technical issues and went off air on Saturday.

Some viewers said they were only shown a message on the channel which said: “We apologise for the interruption. We’ll be back with you as soon as we can.”

A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: “We did come off air due to technical issues and steps were taken to put this right as soon as possible”.

A spokesperson for S4C said: “As a result of a fire alarm at a television distribution centre in London on Saturday night, S4C’s transmissions were lost on the Freeview platform for most of the evening.

“S4C’s broadcasts on Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media, S4C Clic or BBC iPlayer were not affected.

“Other channels affected included; BBC, ITV, C4, C5, Paramount and E Music.

“S4C apologises to all those who failed to see their favourite programmes on Saturday evening”.

Channel 5 has been contacted for comment.