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C4’s Jay Hunt joins Apple

The outgoing chief creative officer of UK broadcaster Channel 4 is joining Apple as it continues to gear up for a significant push into original content.

Jay Hunt

Jay Hunt, who announced in June she was stepping down from C4 after seven years with the company, has been appointed creative director of Europe in Apple’s Worldwide Video division.

Hunt is the US tech giant’s latest high-profile appointment since it announced a US$1bn content war chest earlier this year.

Former Sony Pictures Television presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zach Van Amburg arrived in June to lead programming.

Ex-WGN America and Tribune Studios president and general manager Matt Cherniss followed soon after, while Amazon Studios’ Morgan Wandell was named head of international creative development earlier this week.

Taking up her newly created role in January, Hunt will be based in London and will report to Erlicht and Van Amburg.

Since joining in January 2011, Hunt has led the post-Big Brother creative renewal of C4’s programming output, culminating in poaching The Great British Bake Off from the BBC in a controversial £75m (US$96.4m) deal last year.

Her commissions for the channel include landmark factual series and formats such as First Dates and Gogglebox, as well as dramas such as Black Mirror and Humans. The network also recently acquired Hulu’s breakout drama series The Handmaid’s Tale.

She had been heavily tipped to succeed the commercially funded public broadcaster’s CEO David Abraham, who announced he was moving on in March, but that job subsequently went to former Shine CEO Alex Mahon.

Prior to joining C4, Hunt had spells as director of programming for BBC1 – where she developed shows including Luther, Sherlock and Criminal Justice – and Channel 5.

Apple began its push into original content earlier this year with the launch of its Carpool Karaoke series, which emerged from James Corden’s late-night talkshow on CBS.

According to reports in the US, the firm is on the verge of finalising a deal with Spielberg’s prodco Amblin Television to revive the director’s 1980s anthology series Amazing Stories, it was revealed earlier this month.


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