Channel 4 (C4) has appointed Ralph Lee (pictured) to the newly created position of head of factual, effectively replacing head of documentaries Hamish Mykura, who yesterday confirmed his departure from the UK network.
Realscreen tipped Mykura’s exit last week, suggesting at the time that Lee – currently head of specialist factual – could be set to replace him in a new role that would be different from the head of docs role.
Mykura’s departure saw him calling time on the net he had called home for the past 10 years. C4 will now advertise to fill a new deputy head of factual role.
The network said today that Lee’s appointment comes with a change to the structure of factual commissioning, which will bring the documentary and specialist factual teams together into one enhanced department.
Chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: “We have been working hard to make Channel 4 more accessible to suppliers and this new structure will streamline the factual commissioning team and speed up the time it takes to get back to producers.
“Previously, there was considerable overlap between departments with suppliers often pitching the same ideas to a number of teams. The new structure creates a one stop shop for factual and ensures there is more coordination, as well as cross-fertilization, between the different genre areas within it.”
Lee joined C4 in September 2002 as a specialist factual commissioning editor, and was subsequently promoted to deputy head of specialist factual.
He left C4 at the end of 2007 to take up the post of head of factual at rival UK network Channel 5, before returning to C4 as head of specialist factual in March 2008. Recent notable commissions from his department have included Inside Nature’s Giants, The Truth about Race and IQ, Four Rooms and Food Hospital.
Hunt said of Lee: “Ralph is a formidable creative leader and a superlative manager. His knowledge and enthusiasm across a wide range of specialisms, as well as his substantial track record for bringing fresh approaches to factual television, make him the ideal person to take Channel 4 Factual on to the next level.”