British satellite broadcaster BSkyB has hired BBC daytime controller Liam Keelan as the director of entertainment channel Sky1.
He will replace Stuart Murphy who was promoted to director of Sky entertainment channels last April. Keelan, who joins the company in the New Year, will also over see Sky1+1 and Sky2.
For the past six years, Keelan has shifted the BBC’s daytime programming toward drama, consumer and current affairs and event-led fare. His commissions include factual series such as The Week We Went To War, period drama Land Girls and quiz show Pointless.
He first joined the BBC in 1995 in the audience research department and later became head of scheduling and planning for BBC1. He left briefly to spend 18 months overseeing daytime programming at ITV where he commissioned programs such as Dickinson’s Real Deal and The Alan Titchmarsh Show before returning to the pubcaster in 2006.
“He has shown at both the BBC and ITV that he commissions popular, smart television with real flair and a strategic mind, and has impeccable relationships with big talent, both on and off screen,” said Murphy. “At Sky the customer always comes first and he gets this instinctively. As well as being an admirable strategic and creative operator, he is a great bloke to work with and we cannot wait for him to start.”
“The commissioning and acquisitions teams at Sky are of the highest caliber,” added Keelan. “The channel has launched some hugely successful shows across every genre over the last few years so I’m really looking forward to getting started.”