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Roly Keating

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Roly Keating named new Controller of BBC TWO

Category : BBC
Date : 14.05.2004
Printable version

Jana Bennett, 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 curiosity.


"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 legacy."


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 Trust.


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 1983.


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 Review project.



Category : BBC
Date : 14.05.2004
Printable version


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