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BBC factual head Patrick Holland is leaving the corporation after almost six years to take the reins at super-indie Banijay UK.

Holland will join as executive chair, with incumbent Peter Salmon due to stand down at Easter.

It marks a return to the indie sector for Holland, who was managing director of Fremantle label Boundless and director of factual of Ricochet before joining the BBC in 2015 as head of documentaries commissioning.

A year later, he became BBC2 channel editor and subsequently controller, and has been the corporation’s director of factual, arts and classic music since April.

For the immediate future, his BBC remit will be covered by BBC3 channel controller Fiona Campbell.

BBC2 hits under Holland’s leadership included docs Once Upon a Time in Iraq, The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty and Hospital; formats including Race Across the World and The Ranganation, and scripted shows Giri/Haji, Motherland and Alma’s Not Normal.

“With unrivalled knowledge of the UK market following a hybrid producer/commissioner career, Patrick couldn’t be better placed to take on the reins of the business and join our global collective of creative entrepreneurs,” said Banijay UK chief executive officer Marco Bassetti.

Former BBC North director Salmon became Banijay UK's executive chair when Endemol Shine and Banijay combined last year, having previously held the role of global chief creative officer of Endemol Shine.

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