On Friday, eagle-eyed viewers noticed the episode on the TV schedules during a prime spot on Saturday (16 September) evening.
The episode does not have a subtitle, and is simply listed on the Channel 4 TV guide as Dispatches Special, with its description reading: “A 90-minute special Dispatches investigation.”
Dispatches is a long-running current affairs programme providing deep investigation into serious topical issues.
While the exact subject of the episode is unknown, rumours have emerged suggesting that the piece comes in conjunction with a report from a major newspaper and relates to claims made during the #MeToo movement.
These rumours were stoked by comedian Russell Brand, who released a video on Friday night claiming that two “mainstream media outlets”, one of which was “a mainstream media TV company”, were planning a “coordinated attack” on him.
While Brand did not name the “very, very serious criminal allegations”, which he said pertained to a time when he was “very promiscuous”, Brand said he “absolutely refutes” the claims.
How to watch Dispatches
The unnamed Dispatches special airs on Channel 4 on Saturday at 9pm. It finishes at 10.30pm, and will be available to watch on Channel 4’s catch-up streaming service soon after.
What has Russell Brand said about the documentary?
In the video shared on Friday night to his YouTube channel, Get Him to the Greek star Brand claimed that “very serious allegations” are set to be made about him in a documentary and published in a newspaper on Saturday.
The 48-year-old said the allegations, which were put to him in “two extremely disturbing letters”, reference “a time when I was working in the mainstream, when… I was very, very promiscuous”.
During his “time of promiscuity”, Brand said, “the relationships I had were absolutely always consensual. I was always transparent about that then. Almost too transparent, and I’m being transparent about it now as well.
“To see that transparency metastasized into something criminal that I absolutely deny makes me question, is there another agenda at play?” he said.
Brand said there were witnesses who could “directly contradict” the claims being made against him in a “narrative” that two “mainstream media outlets are trying to construct, apparently in what seems to me to be a very coordinated attack”.
Dispatches airs Saturday 16 September at 9pm on Channel 4.