Jon East has been appointed the new CBBC Head of Drama, it was announced today (Monday 4 July 2005) by CBBC's Controller Alison Sharman.
A highly successful director of dramas as diverse as EastEnders, Bodies, New Tricks and Beaten, Jon's appointment to this pivotal role signals Alison Sharman's ambition to revive a 'golden age' of children's drama.
Alison said: "Jon's appointment represents a coup for CBBC.
"To attract a producer and director of such skill and experience to head CBBC Drama is a testament to the department's reputation and heralds an exciting new phase for it.
"I am thrilled that Jon is bringing his huge talent and vision to us."
Jon began his television career at the BBC in the late Eighties, working as film editor on programmes as diverse as Rough Justice and 40 Minutes before going on to direct some of the most influential factual programmes such as Crimewatch UK and Holiday.
In 1996 he went on to produce and direct EastEnders and Brookside, also taking the role of chief storyline writer for both series.
In the last five years he has directed a richly diverse range of drama including The Vice, A&E and Where The Heart Is for ITV, Bodies for BBC THREE, Beaten (which he also executive produced) for BBC Daytime and Rocket Man, Silent Witness and New Tricks for BBC ONE.
Commenting on his appointment, Jon said: "I'm really looking forward to joining CBBC.
"I believe that beyond providing distinctive and first rate entertainment, children's drama has a huge role to play in helping shape for the better our children's perceptions of both themselves and their world.
"It's a responsibility that as a public service broadcaster the BBC is uniquely positioned to fulfil and one which I am very keen to address."
Alan Yentob, the BBC's Creative Director and Director of Drama, Entertainment and Children's, added: "CBBC is world renowned for its brilliant drama - no other broadcaster comes close in terms of quality and range.
"We need to continue to lead the way, and Jon's appointment will ensure our children's drama remains fresh, original and of the highest quality."
Jon will start take up his new role on 5 September 2005.
Notes to Editors
Elaine Sperber announced her departure as CBBC's Head of Drama last month after six and a half years in the role.
CBBC is the generic term for the BBC's children's programming and online services, and incorporates:
CBBC and CBeebies programming on BBC ONE and BBC TWO
The CBBC Channel and CBeebies, the BBC's subscription-free, dedicated children's digital channels, which launched in February 2002
CBBC is aimed at six to 12-year-olds, and CBeebies is aimed at pre-school children
CBBC online and interactive services.