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BBC shuffles specialist factual team, adds new hires

BBC’s specialist factual commissioning team has made new hires and reshuffled existing roles, realscreen has learned. Craig Hunter (pictured) is stepping into the role of lead commissioner for specialist factual after two ...
August 20, 2018

BBC’s specialist factual commissioning team has made new hires and reshuffled existing roles, realscreen has learned.

Craig Hunter (pictured) is stepping into the role of lead commissioner for specialist factual after two years as commissioning editor of science. In his new role, Hunter will have a particular focus on developing and commissioning popular and returning series, along with live and as-live events across the specialist factual slate.

BBC science series producer Tom Coveney, meanwhile, will step into Hunter’s vacated role as commissioning editor of science. In addition to overseeing the science slate, Coveney will also take on the commissioning of the BBC’s flagship science strand ‘Horizon’. Coveney has worked as a director and producer on factual programs including BBC2′s Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? and Channel 4′s How to Build a Bionic Man, Child Genius and Hunted.

He will join BBC’s science team later this month.

Jack Bootle joins the commissioning team to work on the full natural history and special factual slate. Since 2014, he has served as director of UK development at Raw, where he created and co-created BBC2′s Chris Packham: Asperger’s & Me, Conviction, Flatpack Empire, The Five Billion Pound Super Sewer and BBC1′s forthcoming Drowning In Plastic.

And stepping in during Abigail Priddle’s maternity leave is Emeka Onono, who will serve as commissioning editor of history and religion. Onono is an award-winning series producer and director with credits that include BBC1′s The Truth About What You Wear, The Doctor Who gave Up Drugs, Pound Shop Wars, the Peabody-winning Land of Anrachy and BBC3′s Unsolved: The Man With No Alibi.

Bootle and Onono join the team in September.

The aforementioned executives will all report into Tom McDonald,  BBC’s head of natural history and specialist factual commissioning for television.

“Craig, Simon [Young], Fatima [Salaria] and Abi [Priddle] are an amazing team and I’m really excited to be bringing new commissioners in to join them at such an exciting time for specialist factual,” said McDonald in a statement sent to realscreen. “I have hugely admired the work that Tom, Jack and Emeka have done in the independent sector. They are exceptionally talented creatives and I can’t wait to see them channel their brilliant program-making instincts towards nurturing the next generation of natural history and specialist factual projects.”

(Photo from BBC)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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