Exec to be controller of entertainment

LONDON — U.K. commercial web ITV has confirmed the appointment of veteran TV exec John Kaye Cooper as its controller of entertainment.

Currently the creative director of publicly listed production company Talent TV, Kaye Cooper replaces Duncan Gray, who is ankling broadcaster.

Reporting to Paul Jackson, director of entertainment and comedy, Kaye Cooper will be responsible for commissioning and developing ITV’s stable of entertainment programming.

“Entertainment programming is key to the ITV schedule and John’s experience and enthusiasm make him the perfect person to take on this role at such an exciting time,” said Jackson.

ITV’s slate of entertainment shows includes “Britain’s Got Talent,” “The X Factor” and “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway,” as well as upcoming quiz show “Beat the Star,” a remake of German format “Beat Your Host.”

A former controller of entertainment and comedy at ITV regional station LWT, Kaye Cooper oversaw many of the broadcaster’s most successful primetime series during the ‘80s and ‘90s, including “Blind Date” and the U.K. version of “Gladiators.”

He left LWT to become managing director of Talent Television in 1996.

“I have had 12 terrific years at Talent TV but most of my career has been with ITV and this is a tremendous challenge I simply could not resist,” said Kaye Cooper. “I am really looking forward to working with Paul Jackson’s team, and all the entertainment production companies to consolidate, enhance and refresh what is already a vibrant portfolio of hit shows.”

Kaye Cooper’s return follows a major overhaul of ITV’s senior management in February, which saw the departure of director of TV Simon Shaps, who was placed by former BBC1 controller Peter Fincham.

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