After an internal restructure of BBC Television’s senior leadership that saw the former director of entertainment position closed, the network has appointed Kalpna Patel-Knight for the newly created commissioning role of head of entertainment.
Patel-Knight, who has worked in television for more than 20 years, previously served as head of entertainment at Possessed and as executive producer on entertainment series such as Celebs Go Dating and Surprise Surprise. She’s worked with BBC Entertainment for five years, and most recently was commissioning editor on such series as The Wheel, Blankety Blank and Freeze the Fear.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new role. I’m excited to work with an incredible team, top-class talent and suppliers to bring even more sparkle and joy to BBC audiences,” Patel-Knight said in a news release. She’ll begin working in her new role on Sept. 5.
BBC director of unscripted Kate Phillips added: “With [Patel-Knight's] proven track record in production and commissioning, her vision for the future and her love of entertainment, she will be a great leader and I look forward to working with her alongside the other heads in unscripted.”
Patel-Knight will work with Phillips to lead BBC Entertainment’s direction and commissioning strategy. She’ll be responsible for commissioning entertainment content on all channels as well as BBC iPlayer, and will oversee more than 500 hours of programs, including such titles as Strictly Come Dancing (pictured), RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Top Gear, MasterChef, The Apprentice and more. She’ll also commission entertainment events such as Eurovision, Comic Relief and Children in Need.
Since joining the BBC, Patel-Knight has also set up and is currently chairperson of the BBC’s first Creative Diversity and Inclusion Panel, which works with senior leadership to create long-term change in the TV industry.
Phillips was named the BBC’s director of unscripted in May of this year as part of BBC Television’s recent senior leadership restructuring. The changes to BBC Television’s leadership were completed to bring the BBC’s commissioning teams in entertainment, factual, arts and classical music, and daytime, early-peak and events programming into a single unit.