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BBC rejigs factual exec roles

UK pubcaster the BBC has handed new, expanded roles to two of its factual commissioners following Tom McDonald’s move to BBC Studios.

Clare Sillery

Clare Sillery, currently head of documentary commissioning, will take on a broader remit including commissioning of history and religion programming.

Jack Bootle has been appointed head of commissioning for science and natural history, having been a commissioning editor in the specialist factual department since 2018.

The moves follow McDonald’s switch to BBC Studios in September last year. He had previously led natural history and specialist factual commissioning for the BBC

The new roles for Sillery and Bootle were announced today by Alison Kirkham, controller of factual commissioning.

Sillery has headed up the documentary commissioning department since December 2016, being responsible for a wide range of projects from Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation and Ambulance on BBC1 to Forensics: The Real CSI and War in the Blood on BBC2, Hometown and Glow up for BBC3 and The Last Igloo on BBC4.

Bootle’s credits include The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story, Who Are You Calling Fat? and Spy in the Wild. Prior to joining the BBC, he was director of UK development at All3Media-owned prodco Raw, where he oversaw BBC shows including Drowning in Plastic, Chris Packham: Asperger’s & Me, The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, Conviction, Flatpack Empire and The Five Billion Pound Super Sewer.

Reporting to Sillery, Simon Young remains the lead commissioning editor for history and Daisy Scalchi continues as the commissioning editor with responsibility as the point of contact for religion.

Abigail Priddle also continues as a commissioning editor, working across history and religion as well as continuing to commission science and natural history titles. Reporting to Bootle, Tom Coveney will continue as a commissioning editor for science.

Kirkham said: “Specialist factual at the BBC is in exceptional form and, with these new appointments, I am confident we can continue to build on this success. Both Clare and Jack are highly skilled and well-respected creatives and I look forward to working with them and further enhancing our reputation for delivering world-class content.”


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