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UKTV has expanded the briefs of two senior executives following the departure of long-serving comedy entertainment and drama chiefs.

Steve North steps up from comedy and entertainment general manager to chief programme officer, with oversight of the editorial direction and programming of the broadcaster’s entire channel brand portfolio.

Meanwhile, director of commissioning Richard Watsham becomes chief creative officer and global director of acquisitions for UKTV and BBC Studios.

“They both have incredible creative vision, alongside being highly strategic and business-minded, and in these new roles they will work closely together to help drive UKTV and BBC Studios towards further success,” said chief executive Marcus Arthur.

The promotions come as head of comedy entertainment Iain Coyle exits after nine years with the broadcaster. Coyle’s hits include Meet the Richardsons, which has become Dave’s biggest show with a fifth series in the works, Hypothetical, Question Team and Dave Gorman’s Modern Life Is Goodish.

Adrian Wills, who has worked at UKTV for more than 25 years, is also stepping down. Latterly general manager of global acquisitions for BBC Studios and drama and lifestyle for UKTV, he launched Drama and Alibi, where he was general manager. He also oversaw the launch of Yesterday and Eden.

Arthur said Wills “has been at the heart of UKTV since its inception and his contribution has been immense”.

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