John Hay has been appointed as Commissioning Editor, Arts at Channel 4, reporting to the Head of Factual, Ralph Lee.
John joined Channel 4 in August 2012 to cover Julia Harrington’s maternity leave as history commissioner and stayed on to commission projects across Specialist Factual. Since arriving, he’s looked after Richard III: King in the Car Park, and commissioned multi-award-winning 24-hour real-time multiplatform event D-Day: As It Happens, The Plane that Saved Britain with Arthur Williams, the revived Secret History strand and world record-breaking attempt Walking the Nile. He will continue to commission projects across the genre.
John began his career as a runner in the BBC Arts Department and went on to spend 13 years at the corporation as a programme-maker. He was a producer on Newsnight, part of the launch team for Newsnight Review and The Culture Show and, and developed and made films for several BBC landmark arts series, among them Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture (BBC Two), Jeremy Paxman’s The Victorians (BBC One), and David Dimbleby’s Seven Ages of Britain (BBC One). He series produced the BAFTA-nominated Art of Russia for BBC Four and ran the Arts development team for BBC London Factual before leaving to take up the role of Commissioning Editor, Factual, Five.
As well as looking for new projects, John will assume responsibility for upcoming 2014 arts commissions including the return of Grayson Perry, who won a BAFTA for the 2012 series In the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, a major series exploring music education with unconventional classical pianist James Rhodes, and Wayne Sleep mentoring a group of plus-size dancers in Big Ballet. Source: Channel 4 press release