Gary Hunter leaves to be studio head

Gary Hunter Gary Hunter developed Bafta winning Coast

Gary Hunter, the man who relaunched Top Gear in 2002, is to leave the BBC to become head of Studio Lambert UK.

Hunter has been a senior executive in BBC Factual for the last 12 years and can count the likes of Coast and Last Man Standing among his many credits.

He oversaw the redesign and relaunch of Top Gear and exec produced the first five series of the revamped show which brought together the successful presenting team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

He was series producer of BBC Two's SAS: Are You Tough Enough? and created and exec produced BBC Three's Tough Guy or Chicken?

He also originated Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection and Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds.

Hunter is expected to complete work on current projects at the BBC, including feature documentaries Space Dive and Mega Tsunami, before his November return to the independent sector, where he worked for 15 years before he joined the Corporation.

Natalie Humphreys, controller of Factual Production, paid tribute to his achievements: "Across Gary's career at the BBC he has been instrumental in bringing an impressive range of programmes to our screens and we wish him all the very best with his move into a more managerial role at Studio Lambert."

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