Channel 4’s Director of Programmes, Ian Katz has appointed Kelly Webb-Lamb to the new role of Deputy Director of Programmes and Head of Popular Factual.
Head of Features Gill Wilson will step down from her role to take a career break and Channel 4 will be recruiting for a new Head of Features and a Head of Factual Entertainment, with both roles reporting into Kelly Webb-Lamb.
Following the departure of Ralph Lee at the end of 2017, Channel 4 will also be recruiting for a Head of Factual, which will report directly to Ian Katz; as well as a Head of Specialist Factual, which, alongside Head of Documentaries Nick Mirsky will report into the Head of Factual. The channel is also currently recruiting for a Dispatches editor, following Daniel Pearl’s departure in December.
In the new role Webb-Lamb, who is currently Head of Factual Entertainment, will work alongside Katz to develop Channel 4’s overall creative strategy and will lead the channel’s on-screen diversity and inclusion strategy. The factual entertainment, features and daytime commissioning teams will report into Webb-Lamb, in addition to the Creative Diversity team headed by Angela Chan and the Nations & Regions team headed by Deborah Dunnett.
Webb-Lamb joined Channel 4 as Head of Factual Entertainment in the summer of 2016 and has overseen the launch of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 and has made recent commissions including Genderquake, Peng Life and Indian Summer School. She was previously been Managing Director at Shine launching hits including the BAFTA and RTS winner The Island with Bear Grylls and Hunted for Channel 4 and shows for other channels including BBC ONE’s All Change at Longleat, Britain’s Best Bakery and Help! I’m Having Triplets for ITV and Sky One hit, Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew.
Head of Features Gill Wilson will step down from her role at the start of April after five years at the broadcaster so that she can take a career break to spend time with her family – having taken the decision at the end of 2017 before Ian Katz joined. She will stay in post until the beginning of April to help the transition. She has not accepted a new position.
Wilson joined Channel 4 in 2012 and, in the role, she has led the commissioning team for features and daytime programming and has launched shows including Married At First Sight., The Supervet, Escape to the Chateau, The Autistic Gardener, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, How to Lose Weight Well, Ugly House to Lovely House, Bodyshockers, For the Love of Cars, Shed of the Year, Love it or List It, £1 for a House: Britain’s Cheapest Street, Great Canal Journeys, and Julie Walter’s Coastal Railway Journeys. .
Before joining Channel 4 Wilson was a co-founder of The Undateables producer, Betty, and spent nine years at Endemol where she was an Executive Producer – previously working as a producer at BBC Manchester.
Ian Katz said: “Kelly is one of the pre-eminent creative leaders in television and has a unique ability to find the sweet spot where public service themes meet popular ideas. She has a track record of championing new ideas and nurturing diverse new voices and I’m delighted she’ll be working alongside me to develop Channel 4’s creative strategy.”
“Gill has made an immense contribution to the success of Channel 4 over the last five years and leaves the features slate in very strong health. In the short time I’ve worked alongside Gill I‘ve been bowled over by the passion she has for her programmes. She will be much missed and I am particularly grateful to her for agreeing to stay on at the channel for a few months to help me make the transition to Horseferry Road.”
Kelly Webb-Lamb said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking on this new role and working with Ian and the commissioning team to ensure Channel 4 is the most creative, diverse and collaborative broadcaster in the UK. I can’t wait to crack on.”
Gill Wilson said: “Channel 4 is a hugely exciting place to be right now, and I wish the team here huge love and future success. I’m incredibly grateful to the Independent production companies, superb presenters, features and daytime commissioners, and the outstanding gang at Channel 4 for all our success in the past five plus years. I will miss Hanna’s sweets.
There are no further changes currently planned to the commissioning team. In addition to Kelly Webb-Lamb and the new Head of Factual, Ian Katz’s direct reports continue to comprise of Dom Bird (Head of Formats), Richard Brent (Head of Portfolio Management), Dorothy Byrne (Head of News & Current Affairs), Richard Davidson-Houston (Head of All 4 & Digital Content), Ed Havard (Head of Entertainment & Live Events), Fiona McDermott (Head of Comedy) and Beth Willis (Head of Drama).
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