Got Talent Producer Exits Talkback Thames

Lorraine Heggessey, CEO of the TV company which makes The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent over here, is leaving after five years in the job. Heggessey, who was controller of BBC1 before becoming CEO of Talkback Thames in 2005, will be replaced by Sara Geater, currently the COO, for the time being. At Talkback, Heggessey has been responsible for overseeing Simon Cowell’s talent show juggernauts. However, she didn’t originate the shows — they were invented by Cowell — and Talkback has not come up with any other big new franchises. Also, ITV has cancelled Talkback’s long-running police soap opera The Bill after 25 years with the loss of 90 jobs in the company. Heggessey was the first woman to hold the job of BBC1 controller, which she became in 2000. During her tenure at the Beeb she re-commissioned Doctor Who and launched Strictly Come Dancing.

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