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Pulse taps Heggessey

Exec is former BBC1, TalkbackThames chief

LONDON — The former CEO of U.K. shingle TalkbackThames, whose productions include “The X Factor,” has finally re-emerged as an industry player.

Lorraine Heggessey, who was a highly successful controller of BBC1, where her hits included “Strictly Come Dancing” (adapted for the U.S. as “Dancing With the Stars”) and “Doctor Who,” is to take a consultancy role at up-and-coming indie Pulse.

Heggessey is to work alongside Pulse managing director Thomas Benski providing strategic business advice and beefing up the shingle’s creative mojo.

Benski said: “Lorraine’s expertise and knowledge of the media sector will prove invaluable as we look to expand into new genres, sectors and territories this year.”

There has been speculation that Heggessey, who has been lying low since suddenly ankling TalkbackThames in June 2010, is a contender to succeed Jana Bennett as the BBC’s head of vision.

Pulse was only formed in 2005, but it has established itself as one of the U.K.’s larger and most ambitious second-tier indies, thanks to fare like reality skein “Pineapple Dance Studio,” which drew a cult following on Sky 1.

As the U.K. independent sector continues to consolidate, Pulse is regarded as a potential takeover target, possibly by a big U.S. media group.