Apple has hired BBC factual controller Alison Kirkham as its new unscripted chief in the UK, reporting to creative director of worldwide video Europe, Jay Hunt.
Kirkham will join the Apple TV+ international creative development team this summer after 15 years at the BBC, the last six of which she has spent in charge of factual programming.
During her time at the BBC, she has overseen shows including Planet Earth II, coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, and the recent breakout Studio Lambert hit Race Across The World.
As well as overseeing unscripted shows at Apple, she will have some exposure to drama and comedy, with recent shows coming out of Hunt’s team including Trying and Gary Oldman spy drama Slow Horses.
“I will forever be proud that, for six years, I was able to walk into New Broadcasting House as the controller of factual commissioning at the BBC. The last few weeks have shown more clearly than ever the precious role that the BBC plays in our cultural landscape,” Kirkham said. “Now it’s time for the next challenge, and I am hugely excited about the world of opportunities that Apple has to offer.”
In an email to staff, BBC director of content Charlotte Moore added: “I would like to thank Alison for leading factual during a period of such impressive creative success.
“Her strategic vision and skills as a program maker have been a huge asset to the department and we are all very grateful to her for the dedication and commitment she has shown to high quality distinctive content right across the breadth of factual genres. She will be missed by us all and I hope you will join me in wishing her the very best in her new role.”
Until a replacement is found for Kirkham, BBC daytime controller Carla-Maria Lawson will oversee events and Catherine Catton’s popular factual and factual entertainment team. Head of documentaries Clare Sillery will oversee Jack Bootle’s natural history and science responsibilities.
The Apple TV+ team is led by heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht.
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