Murphy to head U.K.’s Sky One

Exec is former boss at BBC3

LONDON — Blighty’s dominant paybox, BSkyB, has tapped Stuart Murphy as director of programs for its flagship entertainment channel, Sky One.

Murphy will also run sister stations Sky Two and Sky Three.

Murphy, a former controller of BBC3 where he commissioned breakout comedy hits “Little Britain” and “Gavin and Stacey,” is expected to take over in May, by which time the existing director of programs, Richard Woolfe, should be ensconced in his new job running terrestrial rival Five’s program portfolio.

Murphy, whose most recent job was creative director at U.K. shingle TwoFour, will be responsible for commissions, acquisitions and strategy for the three BSkyB webs.

Finding a new topper to run Sky One has taken several months. Rumors were circulating that Woolfe might have had second thoughts about joining Five, whose long-term prospects in an economic downturn are unknown.

Arguably Sky One still suffers from an identity crisis. But the web’s prospects improved greatly under Woolfe’s leadership, thanks to fare like the BAFTA-winning docu series “Ross Kemp On Gangs” and its sequel “Ross Kemp in Afghanistan.”

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