Controller in Place for BBC Knowledge


LONDON: Emma Swain, who has been serving as the BBC’s acting controller of knowledge commissioning since February, has been formally appointed to the role.

Swain is responsible for BBC knowledge’s strategy across factual programming, leading the commissioning teams and guiding knowledge commissioning across all four channels. She has been in the acting role since February, and prior that was the head of knowledge TV commissioning for two years. There, she was overseeing a team that commissions some 1,600 hours of factual content from Vision Productions and the independent sector. Prior to this she was the head of in-house knowledge commissioning.

George Entwistle, whom Swain replaced in the role when he moved to become the director of BBC Vision, said: "Emma is one of the foremost creative leaders in factual television in the U.K., passionate about programming, courageous in the way she embraces new ideas and respected by in-house producers and independents alike. Emma has held a number of senior posts in knowledge commissioning with distinction over recent years, including commissioning editor for specialist factual, head of knowledge multimedia commissioning and head of knowledge TV commissioning. As acting controller, Emma has led the knowledge commissioning team with great energy and skill and I’m delighted to confirm her permanently in the role."

Swain added: "The BBC produces the best factual programs in the world and it’s a great privilege to be given this role, with responsibility for maintaining the high standards and quality of knowledge output that our viewers have come to expect. It’s a tribute to our suppliers and to the great team of factual commissioners that knowledge programming has both increased its reach and audience appreciation across all four channels in the last year, and I look forward to continuing to lead this great momentum."