Comedy guru to head BBC1

Peter Fincham lands key job

The TV executive responsible for Da Ali G Show and I’m Alan Patridge is to be the new controller of BBC1.

Peter Fincham, who quit as boss of independent production house Talkback Thames, where he also made Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI and Look Around You, in January.

He will succeed Lorraine Heggessey who takes over his old job at Talkback, early this summer.

At a press conference to announce his appointment to the £200,000-a-year role, Fincham said he was keen to focus on comedy.

He said: “It’s terribly important to have ‘tentpole’ comedy shows and I will bring a focus to comedy. Little Britain came to BBC One through BBC radio and BBC Three. We also need to find new comedians who can play straight to mainstream audiences.”

Director of television Jana Bennett said: "If there are maybe 10 people who have shaped television over the last decade, Peter is one of them.

"He is known as someone who attracts the best talent, supports the best ideas and then backs them with a tenacious passion.

Fincham joined Talkback in 1985, four years after it had been formed by Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones. In 2000 the company, in which he held a 25 per cent stake, was sold for £62million.



Published: 24 Mar 2005

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