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Head of BBC Worldwide kids publishing and video resigns

LONDON: BBC Worldwide's head of children's publishing and video, Ian Grutchfield, has quit the corporation just as a song from his pet project Teletubbies is nearing the top of the U.K. singles chart....
January 1, 1998

LONDON: BBC Worldwide’s head of children’s publishing and video, Ian Grutchfield, has quit the corporation just as a song from his pet project Teletubbies is nearing the top of the U.K. singles chart.

Grutchfield, who was a key architect in Teletubbies’ phenomenal success, says he is leaving ‘to set up on my own. I’ve been at the BBC for eight years and don’t want to spend the rest of my days here.’

He describes the departure as amicable but admits to a degree of frustration with BBC bureaucracy. ‘The BBC frequently focuses more on reorganizing than dealing with people or projects. I’m more interested in the needs of small children than men in suits.’ Grutchfield is vague about his own plans, saying that he wants to work in media rights and business development on either children’s or drama properties.

The departure of Grutchfield will be a blow to BBC Worldwide, which has struggled to hold on to key staff. In the last year alone, it has lost chief executive Bob Phillis and head of sales Fabiola Arredondo, who blamed lack of commerciality for her rapid exit. Kathleen Hogan takes over as acting head of the children’s publishing and video department.

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