BAFTA taps Willis as chairman

TV exec succeeds Tim Corrie

LONDON — BAFTA has appointed its deputy chairman and TV exec John Willis as its new chairman, succeeding Tim Corrie whose two-year tenure is up.

The move comes one day after BAFTA announced a major revamp of its voting system for next year’s British Academy Film Awards.

Willis, currently chief executive of Mentorn Media (producers of BBC’s “Question Time”) and group creative director of Tinopolis, has been closely involved with the Academy since becoming a member almost 30 years ago.

He has been a trustee of the Academy since 2007, serving as chairman of the television committee, before becoming deputy chairman last year.

Willis, who started his career at Yorkshire Television, has worked across a raft of TV outfits including Channel 4, where he was controller of factual programs, and then director of programs. There, he helped shepherd productions such as “Trainspotting” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

He has also served as chief executive of United Prods., and director of factual and learning programs at BBC, and was a member of the BBC Executive Committee.

Willis’ new appointment is effective from Wednesday.

British talent agent Corrie will continue to serve as BAFTA deputy chairman for another year.

“Sir David Lean was the first chairman of the organization that became BAFTA, and 65 years later it is a daunting responsibility, and indeed a great honor, to step into such giant shoes,” said Willis. “I look forward to enhancing the amazing cultural and learning work that BAFTA does, as a charity, throughout the U.K. and in the USA.

“We have a duty not only to identify and reward excellence but to inspire future generations, so my efforts will be focused on harnessing the unique body of talent and experience of our membership, in pursuit of our charitable goals.”

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