Page 3 Profile: Kim Shillinglaw, television executive


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The Independent Online

We interrupt this broadcast…

…To bring you news that Kim Shillinglaw is to become the new Controller of BBC2 and BBC4.

Hurrah! Big changes ahead?

Likely not. Moving over from head of science and natural history commissioning – a role in which she championed Frozen Planet, Stargazing Live and the lesser-known The Joy of Stats – the “educate” in Reith’s remit will be front of mind.

Mr Gove will be happy.

Well, there is one thing. As head of the corporation’s children’s department, she developed the Horrible Histories series. The Education Secretary, who recently blasted the “Blackadder version” of history peddled by historians and TV programme makers, may not have been the biggest fan…

What’s the word from Auntie?

Announcing the appointment, BBC’s director of television Danny Cohen said: “Kim has proved herself to be an exceptional creative at the BBC. She has an eye for scale and the bigger picture and seeks out distinctive, high-quality ideas.” Shillinglaw said she looked forward to her role at the helm of “one of the most creative channels in the world”.

What’ll be top of her inbox?

In charge of BBC2 and BBC4, she’ll have to sort carefully between content with broad appeal and the more highbrow. The Proms, for one, made the leap to BBC4’s stable.

Any personal points of focus?

She’s been critical of the lack of female representation, saying TV “hasn’t tried hard enough” to find female science presenters. Perhaps she will find a female Brian Cox.

What’s on her box?

Shillinglaw lists as her hobby of choice: “collecting animal bones”.