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Discovery Channel Hires Ex-ITV Exec Andrew O’Connell

LONDON — Discovery Channel U.S. has hired former ITV factual commissioner Andrew O’Connell as its vice president of development and production.

Based in the U.K., O’Connell will work closely with production companies in the territory and will be responsible for generating the next factual hits for the U.S. network. He will also partner with Discovery Network International’s development and production team.

The veteran TV exec, who will officially join on July 11, will report directly to Denise Contis, executive vice president of production and development for Discovery.

He joins from ITV where he was responsible for a wide range of factual programming including “Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport,” “Sugar Free Farm,” “Rookies,” “Britain’s Favourite Dogs” and “Life at the Extreme.” Prior to ITV, O’Connell spent four years as head of news, current affairs and factual at Channel 5. While there, he commissioned series such as “Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railways,” “Trauma Doctors,” “World’s Biggest Pets” and “Royal Navy: Caribbean Patrol. He also served a four-year stint at Sky 1, where he was responsible for programs such as “Ross Kemp on Gangs” and “Ross Kemp in Afghanistan.”

“Andrew brings an incredible depth of experience and expertise that is a perfect fit for Discovery,” said Contis in a statement. “He has developed strong relationships across the United Kingdom and worked on a wide range of successful programs. I’m incredibly excited to have him as part of the team.”

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