The man behind the Girlies waves goodbye to Channel 4

'The Girlie Show': Criticised by Channel 4's newly appointed chief executive, Michael Jackson

The man who put Ladettes and a beskirted Jean Paul Gaultier on our screens has left Channel 4 ahead of the arrival of a new boss who has criticised his shows.

David Stevenson, the man behind Channel 4's controversial Girlie Show and Eurotrash, has departed the channel in advance of the arrival of the new chief executive, Michael Jackson.

Mr Stevenson, Channel 4's commissioning editor for entertainment and youth, is leaving to set up his own independent production company. His first production will be an "edgy entertainment show" for Channel 4.

Since joining the channel in 1994, Mr Stevenson's youth-orientated programmes have provoked outrage in the not-so-youthful Daily Mail.

A Channel 4 spokesman denied Mr Stevenson was leaving because of Mr Jackson's appointment and said the decision had been made before the new chief executive's appointment was announced.

Mr Jackson argued in a speech last year that there had been a "sapping of originality" at Channel 4 as a result of a "pursuit of demographics - in particular, young, lager-drinking, upwardly-mobile men". He pointed to The Girlie Show as an example of "putting packaging before programming, treating the audience simply as categories of consumers".

Channel 4 was at pains yesterday to point out that Mr Jackson had gone out of his way to praise Eurotrash when he spoke to the press last week.

However, a Channel 4 insider confirmed that a third series of the Girlie Show was unlikely to be commissioned, although no decision will be made until after Mr Jackson takes over from Michael Grade next month.

Industry sources believe that Mr Jackson is planning a clear-out of senior Channel 4 executives and the recruitment of his own team from the BBC and the independent production sector. Mike Bolland, a founding controller of Channel 4, now head of arts and entertainment at BBC Scotland, has already calledfor a "selective cull of staff".

Channel 4's director of programmes, John Willis, once Mr Jackson's principal rival for the chief executive's job and who is now rumoured to be considering his future, praised Mr Stevenson yesterday as one of Britain's most innovative programme makers: "David has been a breath of fresh air at the channel and is well liked by his colleagues. He leaves behind a programming legacy that will be difficult to match."

Paul McCann

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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 General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Managing Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Recruitment Genius: Advertisement Sales Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A publishing company based in F...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Affiliates & Partnerships

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This multi-award winning foreig...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Structural Engineer

£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Structural Engineer ...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor