Jay Hunt is to be the new Controller
for BBC Daytime, it was announced today (Thursday 19 May) by
Jana Bennett, the Director of Television.
Currently the Senior Commissioning Executive for Daytime,
Jay is already a key member of the highly innovative BBC Daytime team
and her appointment signals the ambition to build on and develop its
outstanding success in this competitive area.
Jay has a proven track record in popular television
across the BBC.
In her current role, she has developed hit shows like
Missing and Beat the Burglar and played a key role in introducing new
territories to daytime with titles like Mind Your Own Business.
As editor of the One O'Clock News and Six O'Clock News,
she reinvented daytime news coverage by tailoring the output more closely
to the audience.
Her experience ranges from current affairs to live magazine
shows, from news to documentary.
Jana Bennett said: "I'm really pleased that Jay will
be stepping up to the Controller role as she has a very strong track
record in developing and bringing to the screen highly original and
enjoyable programmes for the daytime audience.
"For me she was the perfect choice - she instinctively
understands the daytime audience and is bursting with fresh, new ideas
for an even greater range of high quality programming."
Speaking of her appointment, Jay Hunt said: "I am incredibly
excited about my new role. I have always been passionate about daytime
television and want to broaden the range of what is on offer across
BBC ONE and BBC TWO.
"The mix of live event coverage, news specials,
drama and innovative factual entertainment has made daytime the market
"I now have an opportunity to push the boundaries
even further with lively, topical output and entertainment that speaks
to this very discerning audience."
Jay joined the BBC in 1989 as a researcher on Breakfast
News and worked her way up to output editor before joining Newsnight,
where she stayed until 1998.
She then moved to Panorama as a senior producer, becoming
Editor of the One O'Clock News and then the Six O'Clock News in 2003.
At the One O'Clock News, she was given a remit to change
the programme to fit more comfortably with the stay at home audience.
She changed the programme agenda fundamentally and introduced ground-breaking
studio graphics which, though controversial at the time, have now become
a feature of news programming across the board.
She chose to leave News to work in Daytime because of
her passion for popular programming.
As Executive Producer for Daytime in Birmingham she
reinvigorated the output, overseeing the production of many successful
returning brands such as Trading Up and Call My Bluff.
From there she took on her current role - Senior Commissioning
Executive for Daytime - and has been key to Daytime's ambition and success
in developing and executive producing new, distinctive programmes which
surprise and challenge the audience.
These include Critical Condition, Weighing In, and European
In the last two years BBC Daytime, led by outgoing controller
Alison Sharman, received plaudits from viewers and critics for its distinctive
range of programmes, including The Afternoon Play; Beaten, starring
Robson Green; Britain's Secret Shame, Daytime's first ever foray into
campaigning current affairs; and the documentary strand Strutting Our
Following Alison Sharman's move to become Controller
of CBBC, Jay will take up her new role in June.