BBC comedy chief quits

Plowman returns to programme-making

The BBC’s head of comedy, Jon Plowman is to quit the corporation after 27 years.

He said he wanted to 'return to the coalface' of programme-making as a freelance producer, after 13 years as a comedy commissioning executive.

During his time at the BBC, Plowman’s credits have included Absolutely Fabulous, The Vicar of Dibley, The Office, The League Of Gentleman and Little Britain.

The projects he has in the pipeline as a freelance include two new BBC2 comedies - Beautiful People, a family comedy by Gimme Gimme Gimme writer Jonathan Harvey based on the memoirs of New York fashionista Simon Doonan, and Psychoville, a dark character comedy mystery starring The League of Gentlemen's Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith.

He will also be working as executive producer on a ‘big climate change comedy project’ for BBC One.

Plowman said: ‘I'm not gone yet but after 14 successful years I have decided to return to the coalface and give someone else a go at one of the best jobs in television.

‘I hope to carry on my relationship with the BBC and to continue to make great stuff both here and elsewhere.

‘Even with the upsurge of the indie sector, in-house BBC production remains the best place in the world to make comedy and I am pleased to have been here and pleased to continue making shows here.’

BBC creative director, Alan Yentob paid tribute to Plowman, saying: ‘Jon's unique ability to spot the next big thing has changed the face of British comedy. It's fantastic that he can now focus on providing new shows for the BBC.’

The director of BBC Vision, Jana Bennett, said: ‘Jon's legacy leaves an indelible mark on British comedy. He's been responsible for some of the nation's best-loved programmes during his tenure, and I'm delighted that he will continue to produce for us in the future. ‘

The corporation will now be recruiting a new head of comedy.

Published: 26 Jun 2007

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