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Channel Information

Meet the Commissioner: Janice Hadlow, BBC2


Photo by torrez CC BY-SA 2.0

Janice Hadlow is Channel Controller for BBC2; she recently outlined her current channel strategy and needs (as of August 2009).


Personal Passions:


  • Family Guy – enjoys its quickfire humour
  • Entourage
  • The Thick of It
  • The Fallen
  • Five Minutes of Heaven
Janice's View on BBC2
  • BBC2 is defined by its state of mind rather than an age bracket.
  • It should never speak with one voice – it should be interesting and eclectic across the schedule.
  • It is unashamedly ‘clever’ but there are many ways of being clever eg. Poetry Season = highbrow; Last Chance to See with Stephen Fry = interesting; witty + entertaining = clever
  • BBC should hold a mirror up to Britain and the wider world – the audience has a hunger to understand the world in uncertain times.
  • Seasons – with so much competition for a viewer’s time, seasons help to draw attention to programmes and make an impact. They can be stripped across a week or a weekend, and send the message to the audience that the channel really cares about the subject.
Coming Up
  • A season of programming around the banking crash
Looking For:
  • More comedic output, especially panel-type shows that appeal to women
  • Presenters with authority. “Does this person open up the subject; do I value and respect this presenter?” Do they have an idea and something to say? Can they translate their expertise into something that 2million people can enjoy. Welcomes younger presenters.
  • Science – looking for 24-carat, thoughtful, content-rich science programmes and programmes about how science is applied to everyday life eg. science of the mind and science of life and health, such as Prof. Regan programmes.
  • Factual programmes with wit and warmth, like Mary Queen of Shops.
  • Big ‘event’ docs that will define a night eg. The Fallen.
  • Single docs for Wonderland strand.
How to pitch 
  • Proposals need to demonstrate intellectual originality and originality of format. “Tell me something I don’t know.” A subject isn’t enough: “What’s the proposition, what’s the idea, argument or thought?” And “Why should I care?”

Source: MGEITF session

See also: Julian Bellamy, Ch4

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