Category : BBC
Date : 14.05.2004
BBC Director of Television, today announced the appointment of Roly
Keating as the new Controller of BBC TWO.
Roly Keating, currently the Controller of BBC FOUR,
will take up his new role in June when he becomes Jana Bennett's first
channel controller appointment.
Jana Bennett said: "BBC TWO is a unique force in
British broadcasting and in British life.
"It's a channel where different and specialist
passions can come together, where growing new comedy can sit comfortably
with landmark factual series and innovative drama.
"But it is also a channel which has to operate
in a very busy market and I can't think of anyone who could more brilliantly
articulate why BBC TWO has a special place at the heart of our national
life than Roly Keating.
"He has an obsessive commitment
to talent, on and off screen, and combines showmanship with energy and
"He was one of the pioneers of multi-channel television
and has demonstrated his fully rounded understanding of what makes a
channel work in growing BBC FOUR from scratch to the very good channel
it is today.
"He can spot things which tell us about the world
now, and so fits perfectly with BBC TWO's ambition to both reflect and
predict the way we live."
Roly Keating said: "BBC TWO is the channel of record
for British culture and being asked to take leadership of it is a huge
honour, and frankly a bit daunting.
"But I'm also incredibly excited: it's a channel
I've grown up with, and like millions of other people it's given me
some of my most memorable viewing experiences.
"Jane Root is leaving it in strong creative health,
and I'm looking forward to the challenge of building on her formidable
Roly Keating was appointed Controller of BBC FOUR in
December 2001 and led the launch of the channel in March 2002.
It is now the most watched channel of its kind, leading
competitor channels such as Discovery and The History Channel.
Under his controllership, the channel has won numerous
awards in its two years of existence, including a BAFTA for The National
The channel has earned a reputation for strong documentary
and cultural programming, together with an international flavour achieved
through news coverage and global films.
With programmes ranging from The Falklands Play to The
Alan Clark Diaries and The Blues; from Richard II Live At the Globe
Theatre and Home starring Anthony Sher; from Storyville to the innovative
Painting the Weather, BBC FOUR has been both a critical success and
won millions of devoted aficionados.
Roly Keating joined the BBC as a General Trainee in
As producer and director in Music and Arts he made films
for Omnibus, Bookmark and Arena, including documentaries about Ealing
Studios, VS Pritchett and Philip Roth.
He was a founder producer and subsequently Editor of
the influential arts and media magazine The Late Show.
From 1992 to 1997 he was Editor of Bookmark, winning
the Huw Wheldon Award for Best Arts Programme in 1993.
That year he devised and launched the long-running heritage
series One Foot in the Past.
Other credits as Executive Producer include A History
of British Art, The House Detectives and How Buildings Learn.
In 1997 Roly became Head of Programming for UKTV, overseeing
the launch of the BBC's joint venture channels with Flextech, including
UK Style, UK Horizons and the re-launched UK Gold.
In 1999 he was made BBC Controller of Digital Channels,
with overall editorial responsibility for BBC Choice, BBC Knowledge
and BBC Prime, as well as the UKTV portfolio.
The following year he took on the additional role of
Head of Arts Commissioning, with responsibility for music and arts programming
across BBC Television.
In 2003 Roly was seconded for six months from his post
as Controller, BBC FOUR, to act as joint leader of the BBC's Charter