The BBC has appointed Jon Petrie as Director of Comedy commissioning.

He replaces Shane Allen who left to start Boffola Pictures with Kate Daughton.

He will lead the department responsible for shows including The Young Offenders, Inside No. 9, This Country, Ghosts, Man Like Mobeen, Motherland and In My Skin.

Petrie started his career at Talkback Productions, before moving to Roughcut Television in 2008, making internet shorts for BBC Comedy. Early credits included Misery Bear, Cardinal Burns and Doc Brown. He went on to nurture a portfolio of new wave talent for television, including Anna And Katy (C4), Stath Lets Flats (C4) and all five series of the BAFTA and RTS winning People Just Do Nothing, executive producing from series 4. In 2018 he oversaw People Just Do Nothing USA (Amazon) and in 2019 worked with BBC Films on the feature film People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan.

In 2019 he was appointed Comedy Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 overseeing The Windsors, Friday Night Dinner and Dead Pixels. Jon is currently Head of Comedy at Netflix-invested indie, Broke and Bones, owned by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.

Jon Petrie says: “Shane has done an incredible job of banging the drum for UK comedy over the last few years. He leaves massive clown shoes to fill, and I’m under no illusions about the magnitude of the task ahead of me. As a team, BBC Comedy Commissioning will continue to develop comedy with the most exciting new and established talent, both on and off-screen, that speaks to everyone across the UK. It’s not like we couldn’t all do with a laugh right now.”

Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer says: “Jon is a talented creative with a passion for comedy and an impressive track record for spotting new and diverse talent from across the UK and creating mainstream hits. I’m thrilled he’s joining the BBC as the new Director of Comedy and can’t wait to start working with him as he leads BBC comedy commissioning into an exciting new era.”

He will report to Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer and be responsible for the commissioning of all scripted comedy programmes to BBC channels and BBC iPlayer and the BBC Comedy Association. Interim arrangements remain the same with Kate Phillips, Director of BBC Entertainment, overseeing new comedy commissioning decisions and Tanya Qureshi as Head of Comedy. Jon’s start date will be announced soon.

Jon Creamer

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