The BBC has created seven new assistant commissioner roles with a focus on growing representation from the Nations and Regions and candidates who are deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent.
Five new assistant commissioner roles in the Nations and Regions will strengthen the BBC’s commissioning footprint outside London — and further into other cities in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales — which has been a key priority for most terrestrial broadcasters in the U.K. in recent years.
Four of the roles will be in factual, co-funded by the Nations, and one will be in children’s and education, specializing in animation. The four factual roles will be employed by both Network and Nations commissioning teams, and work across both slates as well as on co-commissions. The aim is to have one role per Nation.
The children’s animation role will report into Kate Morton, head of BBC children’s commissioning and acquisitions for ages 0-6, and will be based in Northern Ireland.
In addition, two new London-based assistant commissioner roles will focus on hiring deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent TV talent. One of the roles will be in unscripted, and one will be in scripted.
Each of the roles will be 12-month contracts.
Kate Phillips, BBC director of unscripted, said: “These new roles demonstrate our commitment to growing and developing new talent and enhancing our representation across the U.K. They will play an important role in spotting and nurturing ideas that will bring viewers high impact stories that reflect their lives wherever they live.”
Dawn Beresford, director of talent for commissioning, added: “These fresh, new voices from the Nations and Regions and deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent talent pool will strengthen the BBC’s commissioning talent pipeline. We want to find and nurture talent from a wider base and to create exciting opportunities within commissioning across BBC content.”
Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC children’s and education, said: “We’re really happy that the BBC children’s and education department is involved in the assistant commissioner program and that we can offer an opportunity for a talented individual from Northern Ireland to join our team. With animation a key part of our strategy and an exciting animation community from Northern Ireland, this is a great role for someone to come in and have real impact on our output.”
The new hires in the Nations and Regions join a growing network of commissioners outside London. Since the launch of director general Tim Davie’s Across the U.K. (ATUK) strategy, seven more roles have been added, bringing the total to 24.