BBC controller of factual commissioning, Alison Kirkham, is leaving the post to join the Apple TV Plus UK team as head of unscripted.
She will report to European creative director and former Channel 4 topper Jay Hunt, and is slated to begin her post in the summer, taking oversight of unscripted original series and film projects for Europe.
Kirkham, who headed commissioning for formats and features before taking on the role of factual chief in 2015, first joined the BBC in 2005 as an executive producer.
During her tenure, the pubcaster picked up 40 BAFTAs for its factual content, and aired such highlights as Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, Ambulance, Exodus, Hospital, Muslims Like Us and Race Across the World.
In a internal email, BBC director of content Charlotte Moore announced the news to staff.
“I would like to thank Alison for leading Factual during a period of such impressive creative success,” Moore said. “Her strategic vision and skills as a programme maker have been a huge asset to the department and we are all very grateful to her for the dedication and commitment she has shown to high quality distinctive content right across the breadth of factual genres. She will be missed by us all and I hope you will join me in wishing her the very best in her new role.”
Until a replacement for Kirkham is found, Carla-Maria Lawson, controller of daytime, has will look after the events division as well as Catherine Catton’s popular factual & factual entertainment team, and Clare Sillery, head of docs, will oversee Jack Bootle’s natural history and science division.