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Darren Childs to Step Down as CEO of UKTV

Darren Childs is to step down as CEO of Britain’s UKTV after eight years at the helm.

He will exit at the end of June, the company announced Thursday. A successor has not been named.

UKTV’s portfolio includes free-to-air channels such as Dave and Drama that mix classic British content with newer U.S. and U.K. shows. The company said that, during Childs’ tenure, the commercial share of viewing went up by 42% and revenue by 66%, with a tripling of profits.

The company has invested in original content, including “Taskmaster,” a game show with comedians, and “Dynamo: Magician Impossible,” about a traveling magician. It also broadcast the Monty Python reunion event “Monty Python Live: One Down Five to Go.”

“It’s been the greatest honor to work with this fantastically talented group of people,” Childs said. “I’m incredibly proud of what this team has created, and the successes they’ve built: growing audiences, working with our producer partners to create a collection of award-winning programs and making bold entertainment brands that stand out from the crowd.”

J.B. Perrette, CEO of Discovery International and a board member of UKTV, said: “Darren is a fantastic executive who has helped build market leading brands and content, and a terrific team during his tenure at UKTV. He has made an invaluable contribution to the business.”

Childs, who joined UKTV in 2010 from BBC Worldwide where he had been managing director of BBC Worldwide’s channels business, is tipped to be making a move to head up the commercial arm of Premier Rugby Ltd, which is backed by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. CVC is reported to have suggested Childs for the chief executive role, responsible for overseeing future broadcasting and other commercial rights activities to the English Premiership Rugby league. His appointment is believed to be subject to approval of the league’s 12 clubs. CVC took a 27% stake in and voting control of the league’s commercial rights in a £230 million ($297 million) deal in December last year.

Childs has also been touted as a potential new chief executive for English soccer’s Premier League.

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