Endemol chairman leaves 'Big Brother' family

Peter Bazalgette, one of the most influential figures in broadcasting, is leaving the Big Brother producer Endemol after nearly a decade.

The chairman of Endemol in the UK and chief creative officer of the international production giant told its founder John de Mol of his intention to leave earlier this summer.

After seeing the company through a flotation and a sale over the past two years, Mr Bazalgette is leaving the maker of Deal or No Deal to pursue projects in digital media. He is already a non-executive director of the online polling firm YouGov. Mr Bazalgette will continue to advise the production company in 2008.

Mr de Mol bought back the company in May from the Spanish telecoms company Telefonica, in a consortium with Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset and Goldman Sachs. The Dutch media mogul was Mr Bazalgette's predecessor as chief creative officer.

Mr Bazalgette started his career at the BBC and forged a reputation devising television formats that could be imported around the world. In the 1990s, his successes included Changing Rooms, Ground Force and Ready, Steady, Cook.

He joined Endemol in 1998, when it bought Broadcast Communications from Guardian Media Group, which eight years earlier had snapped up his own independent production company, Bazal.

Mr Bazalgette went on to become the main defender of Big Brother in the UK, a role which became increasingly arduous as a series of scandals engulfed the show, culminating in the eviction of Jade Goody from the Celebrity Big Brother house after the alleged racist bullying of the Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

He said: "In the past 10 years, I've been on the set menu, the table d'hôte and I want to go à la carte. There are lots of exciting things happening in the digital world. I'd like to do some non-executive work for a number of different digital companies. I've done my bit at Endemol. I've been the spokesman for Big Brother for seven years in the UK. That's enough time in the trenches."

He said that there are lots of exciting opportunities for traditional broadcasters and digital media to work together. Deal or No Deal has branched out from the Channel 4 quiz show into online gaming, while Endemol has just signed a deal for a comedy project which will involve funny people the company has found on YouTube. Mr Bazalgette said the highlights of his career at Endemol ranged from the launch of Big Brother the year after he joined to "the hundreds of thousands of people who play Deal or No Deal on their mobile phones".

The Endemol chief executive Aat Schouwenaar thanked Mr Bazalgette for the "vital role he has played over the years" and said that he was "sad" to see him step down, but looked forward to working with him as an adviser.

After studying law at Cambridge, Mr Bazalgette joined BBC News and in the 1970s worked on That's Life as a researcher. He was creative director of Endemol UK, becoming chairman in 2002. In 2005, he joined the executive board as chief creative officer, overseeing content across the international group. He is also deputy chairman of the National Film and Television School and a board member of the English National Opera.

Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's pic YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Analytics Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading organisation...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain