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24 September 2014
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George Entwistle announced as acting Controller at BBC Four

Head of TV Current Affairs, George Entwistle, has been announced acting Controller of BBC Four for six months, from the beginning of May.


Current Controller Janice Hadlow has requested a sabbatical in order to focus on writing her book on George III. She will also spend some time consulting on the wider BBC Vision strategy.


Director of BBC Vision, Jana Bennett, said "I'm delighted that George is taking on the challenge of running the channel for a few months.


"Having commissioned both current affairs and arts programmes for BBC Four since its inception, George really understands the channel and I know he will steer it effectively and creatively through the next six months.


"Janice has done a fantastic job raising the profile of BBC Four over the past three years. When she came back to the BBC we agreed that, when the time was right, she would take some time away from BBC Four to finish her book.


"Three years on, with the channel looking so confident, it is a good time to do this.


"I'm pleased that over the next six months she will still be involved in developing the wider strategy for BBC Vision and I look forward to her returning to BBC Four towards the end of the year."


Janice Hadlow said: "I'm very grateful to Jana for allowing me to step back from running the channel for a while so that I can finish my book."


BBC Four was named Channel Of The Year at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2006. Michael Sheen won a Royal Television Society (RTS) award for Best Actor for the BBC Four drama, Fantabulosa earlier this year. The channel has also won numerous awards for its highly-regarded comedy The Thick Of It.


This Monday (16 April), the channel's Edwardian season opened with Edwardian Supersize Me, which peaked at 555,000 and was the largest factual audience ever for the channel.


Janice Hadlow was appointed Controller of BBC Four in 2004, when she came back to the BBC from Channel 4, where she was Head of Specialist Factual. She began her career at the BBC as a Production Trainee in 1986.


George Entwistle was appointed Head of TV Current Affairs in November 2005. He was previously Executive Editor in Topical Arts, where he was Launch Editor of BBC Two's The Culture Show.


George joined the BBC in 1989 as a Broadcast Journalist trainee. He went on to be Assistant Producer on Panorama where he worked, among other things, on the programme's coverage of the first Gulf War, the fall of Margaret Thatcher and the investigation into how the Tiananmen Square protest leaders were spirited out of China.


In January 1993, George became Producer of On The Record and subsequently went on to be: Producer, Assistant Editor, Deputy Editor and Editor on Newsnight until 2004.


During this time, the programme won RTS Awards for Best News programme, for Innovation with the Baghdad Blogger programme, and was twice winner in the Home News category, as well as picking up a Broadcast Award for Best News Programme.


Karen O'Connor will cover George Entwistle's role as Head and Commissioning Editor of TV Current Affairs.


Karen is currently Creative Director of the in–house Current Affairs Department, responsible for highly successful recent output including The Conspiracy Files, Blair: The Inside Story, Suez, and the This World: Child Slavery With Rageh Omaar. She also has extensive experience of commissioning independent producers for the This World strand.


BBC Press Office




Category: BBC Four; BBC
Date: 18.04.2007
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