Kate Phillips, BBC Director of Unscripted, has finalised her Factual commissioning team structure.

Jack Bootle becomes Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual; Catherine Catton becomes Head of Commissioning, Factual Entertainment and Events; Clare Sillery leads on an expanded documentaries slate; and Suzy Klein continues as Head of Commissioning, Arts and Classical Music.

Kate Phillips says: “I’m delighted that the full senior team in Unscripted Content is now in place. This newly refocused structure reinforces our commitment to the specialisms and creates further opportunities for talent on and off screen. It puts us in the very best position for our teams of highly talented commissioners to deliver world-class diverse content for our audiences across the UK.”

Jack Bootle becomes Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual. In his new role, Bootle will provide leadership across the specialisms – science, natural history, history and religion. Bootle was previously Head of Commissioning, Science & Natural History and his department ordered series including  The Green Planet, AIDS: The Unheard Tapes, DNA Family Secrets and Universe.

Daisy Scalchi and Simon Young are joining his team, Daisy Scalchi as the Head of Religion & Ethics and Young as the Head of History.

Scalchi has been responsible for programmes such as Two Daughters; Stacey Dooley: Inside The Convent; A Believer’s Guide To…; and the Faith & Hope seasons, and dedicated BBC iPlayer rail, while Young oversaw the award-winning 9/11: Inside The President’s War Room, as well as acclaimed programmes such as Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution; Gazza; and Rise Of The Nazis.

In addition, Tom Coveney will become Head of Science and Sreya Biswas will become Head of Natural History.

Coveney has been responsible for programmes including the acclaimed Jay Blades: Learning To Read at 51; Dinosaurs: The Final Day with David Attenborough; and Seven Days On Mars with Brian Cox.

Biswas has overseen programmes including the award-winning David Harewood: Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour?; Our Changing Planet; and Lion: Rise & Fall Of The Marsh Pride.

Each will lead on commissioning for their respective genre area, in consultation with Jack Bootle and under the wider Unscripted commissioning strategy. Daisy Scalchi will also work closely with colleagues in Radio, News and the Nations to ensure a joined up approach to Religion and Ethics content across the BBC.

Catherine Catton becomes Head of Commissioning, Factual Entertainment & Events. She will take on responsibility for the BBC’s Events content previously overseen by Carla-Maria Lawson, from the recent Platinum Jubilee coverage to Trooping the colour and Remembrance Week, as well as continuing to lead on the department’s Fact Ent slate with shows including Race Across The World, The Great British Sewing Bee, and The Rap Game UK. In addition, Clare Mottershead is appointed Lead Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment & Events.

Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, takes on an expanded docs slate. Following on from the success of limited series including Bafta Award-winning Uprising and Freddie Flintoff’s Field Of Dreams, returning brands including Ambulance, Forensics and Murder 24/7, and single films such as The Real Mo Farah, Clare will take on responsibility for all single docs previously on the Factual Entertainment slate.

Suzy Klein continues as Head of Commissioning, Arts and Classical Music, where she and her team are currently overseeing the Proms season for 2022, alongside recent highlights including Lucy Kirkwood’s Maryland, Joe Lycett: Summer Exhibitionist, and Lenny Henry’s Caribbean Britain.

Jack, Catherine, Clare and Suzy will work alongside the other Heads in Kate’s team: Rob Unsworth, Head of Daytime & Early Peak and Kalpna Patel Knight, Head of Commissioning, Entertainment

Jon Creamer

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