LONDON: The BBC’s recently appointed head of children’s programs, Lorraine Heggessey, has restructured her department in order to give it ‘greater flexibility and swifter communications lines.’
The main change sees the department divided up on a genre basis into entertainment, factual and drama programming. Chris Bellinger, who is currently executive producer of the Saturday morning magazine Live and Kicking, will be the new head of children’s entertainment. Chris Pilkington, who until now has shared entertainment responsibilities with Bellinger, will return to program production as a freelancer in this fall.
Factual programming, which includes series such as Record Breakers and Newsround, will also have its own departmental head who is yet to be appointed. Drama remains under the leadership of Richard Langridge, while Blue Peter will be overseen by editor Oliver Macfarlane.
Heggessey followed up the above changes by outlining her plans for the future at the Second World Summit on Television for Children in London last month. She predicted that by 2001, the BBC would be broadcasting a children’s channel free on digital. In addition, she said that BBC Children’s ‘will be making more original programs and filling more airtime on all our main channels.’ She says that in the near future, BBC Children’s will be running a five-hour program block on the BBC’s first digital channel, BBC Choice, which launches later this year.