Top BBC production post earmarked for Scotland

ONE of the biggest TV jobs in the BBC is to be located in Glasgow following a proposed shake-up in the production arm of the department responsible for commissioning, producing, scheduling and broadcasting the content of all of the BBC’s television channels.

The controller of factual programmes is to operate from Scotland, the other main TV production heads at the BBC covering drama, comedy and entertainment, and news and current affairs.

The proposed revamp will also see one of seven, UK-wide ‘genre’ heads – operating under the ‘factual umbrella’ – based in Scotland: the head of arts.

Already in place are the heads of history (Dominic Crossley-Holland, London), religion (Aaqil Ahmed, Salford) and features (Nick Patten, Bristol). Like Scotland, still to be appointed are heads of science (London), documentaries (Cardiff) and natural history (Bristol).

Vision Productions is the in-house programme-making and website section within the BBC and the revamp is being spearheaded by BBC Vision head, George Entwistle, who flagged up his intentions in November. The shake-up means an end to individual locations within the BBC like Glasgow producing a spread of factual programming types; in BBC Scotland’s case, under the control of a head of factual, Andrea Miller, who announced last week she is to leave the Corporation.

As well as being home to the arts genre head, BBC Scotland has been earmarked to develop sub-specialisms in science and children’s programming.

Says the BBC’s online, in-house publication, Ariel: “One reason for the changes is to make the unit more competitive against [independent TV production companies], but they are also intended to simplify structures and commissioning processes.”