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Jane Lush left the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2006, after a career spanning over 35 years. Having started at the age of 18 as a trainee secretary, she worked her way up the company, with jobs including heading the BBC's daytime department and later becoming the Entertainment commissioner for the BBC, giving her control of all the BBC's comedy, format and factual entertainment output.
She has never been far from controversy in her time at the BBC, having been at the centre of the infamous row over fake guests on the Vannessa Show and later oversaw the firing of Angus Deayton as host of Have I Got News For You. She was also a close personal friend of murdered television presenter Jill Dando. In 2008 former BBC newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky told how she felt Lush and her junior managers had intimidated her into participating in the BBC's high profile Strictly Come Dancing entertainment programme in 2003. After 6 months of refusing to participate, the matter was escalated to the BBC One Controller, Lorraine Heggessey and when that approach failed, Lush, Head of Entertainment took Kaplinsky aside and told her "I'm sure you're not going to be penalised for not doing it".
As Controller of Daytime, Lush led the transformation of BBC Daytime from the poor relation of television with commissions including "Weakest Link", "Doctors" and "Bargain Hunt", making BBC One and BBC Two the market leaders. She gave Jill Dando and Kirsty Young their big breaks, cast Anne Robinson in the Weakest Link and brought Graham Norton to the BBC.
Lush was responsible for many of the BBC's hit entertainment shows when she became the head of the department in 2002 including The Apprentice, Dragons Den, "Fame Academy", "Comic Relief Does Fame Academy", "Test the Nation", "Strictly Dance Fever", "Just The Two of Us" and "Strictly Come Dancing". She has also been responsible for overseeing the BBC's Comedy output including a role with "Have I Got News for You" since its start.
She also still shares links with the BBC, chairing the Fame Academy Bursary with trustees including Sir Paul McCartney.
- Billen, Andrew (14 February 2008). "Natasha Kaplinsky on her £1m Five News deal". London: The Times.
- Broadcasting - News - Jane Lush leaves BBC to start indie - Digital Spy