Five poaches top 'lifestyle' executive from Channel 4

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The Independent Online

The Channel 4 executive behind such hit shows as Jamie's Kitchen and Location, Location, Location left the station yesterday and joined the rival channel Five.

Ben Frow, had been Channel 4's Head of Factual Entertainment and Features and was responsible for some of its most popular lifestyle programming.

As well as his award-winning programme with Jamie Oliver, in which the chef trained a group of unemployed youngsters to work in his purpose-built restaurant, Fifteen, Mr Frow also enjoyed more cookery success with Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites. He was also behind the cult show How Clean Is Your House?in which "cleanliness detectives" visited people's homes

Five's director of programmes, Dan Chambers, said: "I'm delighted we've been able to attract Ben to the channel. He has the golden touch and his track record speaks for itself."

Mr Frow's departure for Five is the latest in an extraordinary round of musical chairs at the two stations in recent months.

Jane Lighting, Five's chief executive, had previously demanded reassurances from her opposite number at Channel 4, Mark Thompson, that he would not poach any more of her staff. The warning came after Mr Thompson persuaded the highly-rated programming director Kevin Lygo to return to Channel 4 after a successful stint at the younger station.

Mr Lygo, who resumed work at Channel 4 on Monday of last week, has been influential in recruiting two of Five's senior executives, Andrew Newman, controller of entertainment, and Sue Murphy, controller of factual entertainment.

After moving in the opposite direction yesterday, Mr Frow said: "I have loved every minute at Channel 4 and I am really proud of the contribution that I've been able to make to the channel's success over the past five years. I feel I'm now readyfor a fresh challenge and look forward to that."