BBC4 man expected to be new BBC2 boss

The new controller of BBC2 will be announced this morning, with Roly Keating, the man now in charge of the digital channel BBC4, the favourite for the post.

Mr Keating has been the frontrunner to take over from Jane Root since she announced she was leaving the BBC to take up a new job at the head of the Discovery Channel in the US. Others in line for the controllership include the BBC entertainment chief, Wayne Garvie, the creative director of Talkback Thames Daisy Goodwin, BBC3 controller Stuart Murphy, the BBC's controller of current affairs, Stuart Murphy, and the head of TV news, Roger Mosey.

Second interviews took place this week, overseen by the director of television, Jana Bennett. BBC insiders said the field was unusually strong.

As controller of the highbrow arts channel BBC4, Mr Keating won critical acclaim for series that have transferred to BBC2, including The Alan Clark Diaries and a series on the National Trust.

After joining the BBC as a trainee in 1983, Mr Keating was founder producer and subsequently editor of the influential arts and media magazine The Late Show. In 1997 he became head of programming for UKTV and in 1999 he was made BBC controller of digital channels, with overall editorial responsibility for BBC Choice, BBC Knowledge and BBC Prime, as well as the UKTV portfolio.

In 1998 he took on the additional role of head of arts commissioning, with responsibility for music and arts programming across BBC Television. He was appointed Controller of BBC4 in December 2001, and led the launch of the channel in March 2002. Under his leadership, the average weekly reach for the first 11 weeks of 2004 was 8.5 per cent or 2.5 million, an increase of 55 per cent compared with the same period in 2003. Share was 0.44 per cent, an increase of 69 per cent on the same period last year, ahead of competitors such as UK Horizons and the History channel, and on a par with Discovery.

If he does get the job, he is expected to continue in Ms Root's footsteps by moving away from makeover shows. In the BBC's recent statement of policy, BBC2 focused on its current affairs output including the futuristic docudrama If, as well as promising to extend Newsnight.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Recruitment Genius: External Relations Executive

£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Project Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This established Digital Agency based in East ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee