Jane Lush

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Jane Elaine Lush (born 10 August 1952)[1] is the Chairman of BAFTA, and a former BBC executive. She left the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2006, after a career spanning over 35 years.

Early life[edit]

She was born in Marylebone. She attended Camden School for Girls from 1963, then a girls' grammar school.


At 18, she started as a trainee secretary in 1970 and later held 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.

Controller of Daytime[edit]

As Controller of Daytime, Lush led the transformation of BBC daytime with commissions that included Weakest Link, Doctors and Bargain Hunt. She made 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.

Head of Department[edit]

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 was also responsible for overseeing the BBC's Comedy output including a role with Have I Got News for You since its start in 1990.


She was involved in a number of controversial situations at the BBC. She was at the center of the infamous fight over fake guests on the The Vanessa 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 Kaplinsky refused to participate for 6 months, 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".[2]

Splash Media[edit]

Lush left the BBC in 2007 to start up the independent production company, Splash Media,[3] its first output being The Underdog Show. Although she still shares links with the BBC, chairing the Fame Academy Bursary with trustees including Sir Paul McCartney.

Personal life[edit]

She married Peter Tenenbaum in 1974. They have a son (born September 1987) and daughter (born 1981). They live in north London, off the B519.


Media offices
Preceded by
Chairman of BAFTA
June 2016 -
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Controller: Entertainment Commissioning (BBC)
2002 - 2005
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Controller: Daytime Television (BBC)
1998 - 2002
Succeeded by