Kalpna Patel-Knight is to take on the newly created Head of Entertainment commissioning role at the BBC following an internal restructure of BBC Television’s senior leadership team which saw the recent closure of the Director of Entertainment role.

Patel-Knight has over 20 years’ experience in television. Prior to joining the BBC she was the Head of Entertainment at Possessed and worked as an Executive Producer on entertainment shows including Celebs Go Dating and Surprise Surprise. She joined the BBC Entertainment department five years ago and most recently has been Commissioning Editor on series including Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel, Blankety Blank and Wim Hof’s Freeze the Fear. Patel-Knight set up and is chair of the BBC’s first ever Creative Diversity and Inclusion Panel, working closely with senior leadership to action long term change in the TV industry.

Kalpna Patel-Knight says: “I’m thrilled to take on this new role. I’m excited to work with an incredible team, top class talent and suppliers to bring even more sparkle and joy to BBC audiences. Thank you Kate Phillips for giving me this opportunity.”

Director of Unscripted, Kate Phillips says: “After a competitive interview process, with an incredibly strong field of candidates, I’m delighted that Kalpna has accepted the role of Head of Entertainment. With her proven track record in production and commissioning, her vision for the future, and her love of Entertainment, she will be a great leader and I look forward to working with her alongside the other Heads in Unscripted.

Kalpna will work closely with Director of Unscripted Kate Phillips to lead the direction of BBC Entertainment and to deliver the commissioning strategy.

She will be responsible for commissioning entertainment output on all channels and BBC iPlayer, and oversees more than 500 hours of original programmes a year. Shows include Strictly Come Dancing, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, The Apprentice, Top Gear, Wim Hof’s Freeze The Fear, The Hit List, The Graham Norton Show, Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel, Have I Got News For You, and Masterchef, as well as commissioning entertainment events which bring the whole nation together such as Eurovision, Comic Relief and Children in Need.

Kalpna will join the other Heads in Unscripted, reporting to Kate Phillips and will manage the BBC Entertainment Commissioning team who are:

  • Jo Wallace – Senior Commissioning Editor
  • Ruby Kuraishe – Commissioning Editor
  • Katie Taylor – Commissioning Editor
  • Rachel Ashdown – Commissioning Editor
  • Pinki Chambers – Commissioning Editor
  • Sarah Clay – Commissioning Editor
  • Neil McCallum – Commissioning Editor, Nations and regions lead
  • Jamie Dodds – Digital Commissioning Executive

She starts her new role on 5th September and her Commissioning Editor role will be advertised in due course.

Jon Creamer

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