CHANNEL 4's subtitles, sign language and audio description could be off-air until mid-November after a fire safety system was triggered last month.

The broadcaster says it is still facing "significant problems" due to a technical issue.

Red Bee Media, which handles playout services for Channel 4 and 5, has revealed the "activation of the fire suppression system" at its broadcasting centre in September led to audio and picture problems.

Today Channel 4 said a "number of hard disks in a variety of systems were severely damaged", leading to ongoing issues for viewers with hearing and sight issues.

The channel said: "We know that this is incredibly frustrating for you and your families who rely on these services to watch your favourite programmes."

Channel 4 has begun to trial new methods of delivering subtitles during some programmes and subtitles are being added to some programmes such as Gogglebox and the Great British Bake Off on its All 4 streaming platform.

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However full access to subtitles, sign language and audio description "might not be available until the middle of November", the broadcaster said.

"We know that this will be incredibly disappointing to everyone, but we do need to get this right," it added.