18 March 2014
Director of Commissioning begins with immediate effect
Watsham charged with creation of UKTV's first Commissioning Charter, leading overhaul of Business Affairs, and increase in original scripted programming
UKTV, the media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month, has announced the promotion of Richard Watsham to Director of Commissioning, taking responsibility for the bold origination strategy of the imaginative broadcaster with immediate effect. Watsham, who has worked at UKTV since 2011, is promoted from his prior post as Senior Commissioning Editor.
Richard Watsham is a multi award-winning commissioner with credits for global TV phenomena including Dynamo: Magician Impossible, The Happenings, The Incredible Mr. Goodwin and Dara O Briain's School of Hard Sums. As the Senior Commissioning Editor responsible for UKTV's entertainment originations, he has also overseen projects including Ross Noble Freewheeling and Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, plus successful, brand-funded adventure sport series Red Bull Cliff Diving and Red Bull Soap Box.
The lead creative role of Director of Commissioning will continue to report directly to Chief Executive, Darren Childs, who comments, "UKTV's reputation is built on its bold, industry-leading and hugely imaginative commissions. The Director of Commissioning's role is central to this business ongoing success and Richard Watsham's confidence and creative leadership, coupled with fantastic ambition, will make sure we stay on the front foot creatively during this great period of share growth for UKTV."
"I have charged Richard with a number of important challenges that will take UKTV to the next stage of its commissioning success. He will be creating UKTV's first Commissioning Charter, to give more transparency to our incredibly important relationships with the indie community. He will be leading a vital transformation of our Business Affairs process to ensure that programme makers are spending their time and resources making great TV; and he will be increasing UKTV's footprint in high quality scripted programming, building on our raft of successes including Crackanory, You, Me & Them and Red Dwarf X."
Richard Watsham, Director of Commissioning, UKTV added,
After a number of recent successes I'm inheriting the department in great shape and will be doing everything I can to continue building our reputation as originators of highly innovative and engaging programmes. I'm lucky enough to have a fantastic team of creative individuals in the commissioning department who are already busy lining up the next raft of exciting content so I'm confident there'll be lots more exciting programme announcements to follow.
Richard has been Acting Director of Commissioning since October 2013, overseeing the UKTV slate including returning series of the popular Dynamo: Magician Impossible, Crackanory, Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish and Red Bull Soap Box; plus brand new series such as The Alan Davies Project, Road to Rio, Porridge: Inside Out and 24 Hours to go Broke.
UKTV, whose popular entertainment channel Dave is the most watched non-PSB broadcaster in the UK, reported record-breaking ratings in 2013 and has maintained strong audience growth against increased programming investment in content across the past three years. The award-winning media company accounted for 8.2% of all commercial viewing in the UK last year and was the first and only broadcaster to be officially recognised by Best Companies.
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UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers per month.
UKTV's ten imaginative channel brands - Watch, Dave, Gold, Alibi, Eden, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home and Good Food - include the most watched non-PSB channel, the most watched channel in the Factual genre and the most watched channels in the Lifestyle genre (Pay and Free). The company's most recent financial results showed a record-breaking year-end revenue of £262m, and operating profit at £71m.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC and Channel 4 content, and embracing technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV, TalkTalk, YouView, plus direct On Demand digital services. The network distributes its highly valued programmes to 200 territories around the world and supplies Sky with more hours of HD content than anyone else.
Now celebrating its 21st year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.