Speculation is mounting over the future of Channel 4′s (C4) head of documentaries Hamish Mykura (pictured), with several sources telling realscreen that he is set to leave shortly, after more than a decade with the UK broadcaster.
C4 refused to comment when contacted by realscreen today, but did not deny that Mykura, who also serves as head of More4, was leaving. Mykura himself did not respond to emails or calls made at press time.
Multiple sources in the documentary realm have told this publication that Mykura has officially resigned, with an announcement due over the coming days or weeks, although one senior source at C4 denied that he’d resigned when contacted by realscreen and dismissed the story as “rumors.”
His exit, if confirmed, will create a vacancy for one of the biggest documentary jobs in the UK television industry.
One well-placed documentary source suggested Mykura’s next move might be to U.S. giant Discovery Communications, in a situation that might see him reuniting with former C4 head of programming Julian Bellamy, who now serves as creative director and head of production and development at Discovery Networks International. Another suggested he may head to UK indie Blast Films.
It is unknown at present how or with whom C4 would replace Mykura were he to leave. One source familiar with the network suggested that Ralph Lee, the broadcaster’s head of specialist factual, might be upped to a new top role that would allow him to continue commissioning but see other doc genre commissioners feeding into him. Lee declined the opportunity to comment when contacted by realscreen.
In addition, one UK report surfacing today cites senior C4 sources as saying that Lee is being lined up to replace Mykura in a new role as C4′s of head of factual, while another suggests a broader restructure at the network is forthcoming.
Mykura has served as C4′s head of docs since February 2008, when he was promoted from head of specialist factual to replace previous docs head Angus MacQueen, who resigned to return to filmmaking. Mykura joined C4 in 2001 as commissioning editor for history, becoming head of history in programming in 2003 and later on taking additional oversight for the channel’s religion and science output.
Simon Dickson, Mykura’s potential successor as C4′s deputy head of documentaries, stepped down in April, to join Dragonfly Productions as creative director.