Just as word emerged that Channel 4 Head of Drama Piers Wenger is defecting to the BBC to become its new drama chief, Channel 4 announced that Beth Willis will replace him at the broadcaster. Willis has been Deputy Head of Drama at C4 since 2012, working in concert with Wenger. As she is due for maternity leave this summer, Willis’ post will be held warm by C4 Head of Comedy Phil Clarke as acting Head of Scripted.
The moves come at a time of great executive shifts at the UK’s networks. The BBC has seen a raft of exits in both drama and comedy over the past year while ITV has gone through its own management changes. Channel 4 has not had quite as busy a revolving door among TV execs.
Alongside Wenger at C4, Willis has worked on series including Humans and Indian Summers, as well as upcoming projects Crazy Face, Kiss Me First, and Peter Kosminsky’s ISIS drama. She was previously an EP at the BBC and at Kudos Film and Television.
Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt said, “I’ve loved working with Piers. He’s been an exceptional head of drama, delivering award winning shows with record breaking audiences. It’s a fitting tribute to what he has achieved at 4 that he has been poached for the biggest job in drama commissioning. Beth is a passionate programme maker and a superlative commissioner. She has played a critical part in Channel 4’s success and I am looking forward to working with her on the next phase of great drama at 4.”