Friday 20 Dec 2013
Question Time has a new senior team, with the Radio 4 Today programme's Nicolai Gentchev taking over as editor and 5 Live's former Head of News Hayley Valentine appointed as Executive Editor for the BBC.
BBC Director of News Helen Boaden said: "Question Time has an outstanding new team to lead it. Nicolai and Hayley have a great depth of experience in the political institutions across the UK. They will ensure that one of the BBC's most important programmes goes from strength to strength."
Nicolai, who became a senior producer on Today in 2008, is presently on secondment as editor of Good Morning Scotland. He previously worked at Bloomberg News for six years, where he started as a producer, going on to be a radio reporter, then presenter and editor.
"Question Time is a great programme. I am honoured and delighted at the prospect of joining the team," Nicolai said.
He joined the BBC in 2006 and became an output editor on Today where he helped produce coverage from party conferences; he produced a special series from Russia with Bridget Kendall looking at how the country had changed under Putin; and in November 2009 travelled with reporter Andrew Hosken to Pakistan to produce a series of reports during the South Waziristan offensive.
A graduate of Glasgow University, he came to Pacific Quay last year to lead Good Morning Scotland through the General Election. He is expected to take up his new post in May.
Hayley is the former Head of News at 5 Live, leading the network's coverage of the last General Election, the Cumbria shootings and the World Cup in South Africa. Before that she edited a wide variety of news programmes on the network, most recently the Victoria Derbyshire programme. While in London she also did a stint as Assistant Editor on Breakfast TV.
Hayley previously worked at both BBC Scotland and Scottish Television, as well as commercial radio in Edinburgh. She started her journalism career in newspapers in Dundee after studying English literature at Edinburgh University.
BBC Scotland's Head of News Atholl Duncan said the appointment of Nicolai and Hayley is good news for Question Time. "Hayley and Nicolai will add to the existing wealth of political and programme experience in the Question Time team and I'm delighted that we have appointed them."
Steve Anderson, the Executive Producer of Question Time for Mentorn Media, said: "I am confident that Question Time will be in good hands with Nicolai and Hayley. Nicolai succeeds Ed Havard who has taken the programme to new heights, generating news stories, boosting ratings and overseeing spin-off series on BBC Three."
Question Time moves to Glasgow in late summer as part of the BBC's strategy of building sustainable production bases throughout the UK.