Channel 4 broadcasts an alternative Christmas message each year, which typically features a celebrity delivering a controversial message in the manner of Her Majesty. This year the broadcaster features a digitally created version of the Queen, played by actress Debra Stephenson, as she discusses Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the Royal Family and the controversy surrounding Prince Andrew.
The channel’s annual Christmas Day broadcast, which has been running since 1993, will offer a stark warning about misinformation and fake news.
The artificially rendered version of the Queen will tell viewers: “On the BBC, I haven’t always been able [to] speak plainly and from the heart.
“So, I am grateful to Channel 4 for giving me the opportunity to say whatever I like, without anyone putting words in my mouth.”
The digitised version of the monarch will also see Her Majesty appear to share her thoughts on the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the UK.
She will also talk about the scandal surrounding the Duke of York and his connection to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Channel 4 will also show the artificially created Queen perform a TikTok dance routine on top of a table.
The Queen will also reveal her penchant for “Netflix and Phil” with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The end of the message shows the artificially created images flickering before disappearing to reveal the green screen used to manufacture images of Buckingham Palace and show it was in fact Ms Stephenson playing the Queen.
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Channel 4’s alternative Christmas message airs opposite the BBC’s broadcast of the Queen’s official annual televised message to the nation.
It has previously been delivered by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, actor Danny Dyer, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, children who survived the Grenfell Tower disaster, and The Simpsons.
Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4, said: “Deepfake technology is the frightening new frontier in the battle between misinformation and truth.
“This year’s Alternative Christmas Address – seemingly delivered by one of the most familiar and trusted figures in the nation – is a powerful reminder that we can no longer trust our own eyes.”
Director William Bartlett added: “This was a great project to be asked to direct.
“Deepfake is an interesting spin-off from the recent advances made in machine learning and AI and, while it is a powerful new technique for image-makers everywhere, it is also a tool that can be used to misrepresent and deceive.
“With Channel 4, we wanted to create a sequence that is hopefully entertaining enough that it will be seen by a lot of people and thereby spreads the very real message that images cannot always be trusted.”