Jay Hunt (television executive)
|Born||Jacqueline Leigh Hunt
1967 (age 45–46)
|Title||Chief creative officer, Channel 4|
|Children||1 son, 1 daughter|
Jay Hunt (born Jacqueline Leigh Hunt in Sydney, Australia), is a United Kingdom-based television executive, appointed to the new post of Chief Creative Officer, Channel 4. She is a former controller of BBC One and the only person to have been the creative head of BBC One , Channel 4 and Channel 5 .
Hunt was born in Sydney, Australia, and lived in Pittsburgh and Crete before moving permanently to London. Hunt's father John is Emeritus Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the London Business School. Her sister is the BBC presenter, Kristina Murrin.
Hunt joined the BBC in 1989 as a researcher, working on BBC Breakfast News. She went on to work on Newsnight and Panorama, subsequently becoming editor of the BBC's One O'Clock News and the Six O'Clock News. She led outside broadcast teams to cover the handover of Hong Kong to China and the first multiracial elections in South Africa.
Hunt became BBC Birmingham's Executive Producer for Daytime in 2002, being promoted to Senior Commissioning Executive for Daytime in 2003 and then Controller of BBC Daytime and Early Peak with responsibility for programming across both BBC One and BBC Two between 9am and 7pm. In this role, she commissioned Great British Menu, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, The Heirhunters, Missing.
Hunt left the BBC for six months in 2007, to replace Dan Chambers as Controller of Programmes for Five, from where she poached Natasha Kaplinsky from the BBC. At Five, she commissioned Cowboy Builders, Extreme Fishing with Robson Green, Police Interceptors, Breaking into Tesco and Britain's Best Home.
On 3 December 2007 it was announced that she would be returning to the BBC to take up the vacant post of Controller of BBC One in early 2008, replacing the resigning Peter Fincham following criticism over the handling of A Year with the Queen. She worked her notice at five until April 2008 before returning to the BBC as Controller, BBC One. She underlined her objections to use of the word golliwog by Carol Thatcher, while still condoning the consumption of alcohol in the BBC workplace. In 2009 Hunt was accused of a conflict of interest after it was revealed she was secretary of a production company owned by her husband which had a contract with the BBC. The BBC said this did not breach their conflict of interest policy.
In 2008 and 2009 BBC One won MGEITF Terrestrial Channel of the Year. At BBC One her commissions included Sherlock, Criminal Justice, Five Daughters, Come Fly with Me, Mrs Brown's Boys, The Day the Immigrants Left, Famous, Rich and Homeless, Let's Dance for Comic Relief.
In September 2010, Channel4 announced Hunt's appointment to the new post of Chief Creative Officer. Immediately placed on "gardening leave" from the BBC, she joined Channel 4 in January 2011. While on leave, Hunt was a witness at the employment tribunal of former-Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly, who accused Hunt of ageism, sexism and that she "hated women." In January 2011, the day after Hunt began working at Channel 4, O'Reilly's claims for age discrimination and victimisation were upheld. As part of her strategy to improve the quality of Channel 4 News, from spring 2011 Hunt hired Matt Frei (Washington), Jackie Long (Social Affairs) and Michael Crick (Political Correspondent) from the BBC. At Four she commissioned Utopia, The Mill, Southcliffe, Educating Yorkshire, Gogglebox, The Undateables, Run and George Clarke's Amazing Spaces. She acquired Homeland and the French zombie drama, The Returned and led the team that delivered the BAFTA award winning coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics.
- "Channel 4 picks Jay Hunt for top job". Channel 4, 14 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Interview, Guardian newspaper, 12 November 2007. Retrieved 5 Feb 2009
- "Jay Hunt is new Five director". Press Gazette. 2007-05-31. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
- Quentin Letts (2009-08-05). "Lean-lipped, humourless, the killer kitten who is steering Auntie on to the rocks". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
- Holmwood, Leigh (2009-12-03). "Hunt facing baptism of fire". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
- Carol Thatcher 'golliwog' jibe referred to black tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
- Waterhouse, Keith (2009-02-09). "Golly-phobia gets the Beeb in a right tizz". Daily Mail (London).
- "Former BBC1 controller dropped older presenters 'because she hated women'". The Guardian, 5 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Plunkett, John (11 January 2011). "Countryfile's Miriam O'Reilly wins BBC ageism claim". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list
- Jay Hunt at the Internet Movie Database
- BBC Press release 3 December 2007
- BBC News - Hunt becomes BBC One's controller