Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Arts

Biography

Last updated September 2009

Mark Bell is Commissioning Editor, Arts for BBC Vision and is also Arts Co-ordinator of the BBC.

A member of the BBC Knowledge Commissioning team, Mark commissions Arts programmes for TV and multiplatform content.

Mark began his career in publishing, working as an editor on books including The Collected Writings Of Angela Carter, a biography of Ford Madox Brown and The Chatto Book Of Dissent.

His first break in TV was as a researcher on The Bookworm and then as the producer of Late Review for BBC Music & Arts.

In 2001 he moved to Newsnight. Here he transferred BBC Two's long-running live arts review show into its weekly late-night Friday slot, doubling the annual output to 50 weeks per year, and introducing Kirsty Wark as presenter of the show.

Mark joined the Specialist Factual department in 2002 as a Series Producer where he oversaw regular topical arts strands across BBC Four.

This included a range of topical arts documentaries on a diverse range of subjects from modern artists including Guston, Lichtenstein and Brancusi, through to programmes about George Orwell, Giorgio Armani and video games.

He also oversaw a long-running series of interviews with cultural figures including Toni Morrison, John Updike, Quentin Tarantino and Tom Stoppard, and was also responsible for events programming covering the Grierson Awards, the Man Booker Prize, ICA Becks Futures and the Designer Of the Year Award.

From 2004 Mark worked as Channel Executive on BBC Four and BBC Two, where he worked directly to the channel controllers, overseeing elements of editorial management of the channels and partnership opportunities.

During this time he played a leading role in a number of high-profile projects including BBC Two's Summer Of British Film season, Edwardian Supersize Me and numerous nights and seasons on BBC Four including The Edwardians, The Lost Decade, Pop On Trial and Science Fiction Britannia.

In 2007 Mark became Commissioning Editor of Independent Specialist Factual in Knowledge Commissioning.

During his time he commissioned a huge breadth of programming from Ian Hislop Goes Off The Rails and a programme on the Poet Laureate, to factual dramas Casualty 1909 and Garrow's Law; and event programming including The Link – Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor on BBC One; the popular Kill It Cook It Eat It – The Hunt on BBC Three and BBC Four's forthcoming Electric Dreams.

In 2009 Mark was appointed Commissioning Editor, Arts.

In June 2009 Mark was confirmed as the Arts Co-ordinator of the BBC with a role to co-ordinate and maximise the BBC's arts output across TV, radio and online.