Richard George Deverell became Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in September 2012. He was previously Controller of CBBC, the department within the BBC responsible for output aimed at children.
After graduation, Deverell worked for several years in management consultancy before joining the BBC, where he was Head of Strategy and Marketing and on the Board of BBC News, as Head of News interactive.
After taking up his post as CBBC Controller in 2006, Deverell re-aligned CBBC towards a target audience of 6–12 years. Several popular series were revised or cancelled outright; Byker Grove ended in 2006 after 18 series, the last being broadcast solely on the digital CBBC Channel. The other teenage drama series, Grange Hill, was removed from BBC One in 2007 in favour of exclusive scheduling on CBBC and ceased in 2008, with its last series concentrating on the early years of secondary school in order to fit in with CBBC's new brief.
The BBC's new programming strand for older children and teenagers launched in the autumn of 2007, but CBBC was criticised for not continuing to provide for this age range until the new service was up and running.
He was appointed the Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Kew Gardens) in 2012 having spent 6 years as a Trustee of RBG Kew (2003–2009), during which time, amongst other things, he chaired the Board Audit Committee.
In this role Deverell is responsible for the botanic gardens and collections in London and Wakehurst, Sussex as well as a large number of plant conservation and research projects internationally.
In his time at Kew he has overseen several new developments aimed at broadening the appeal of the Gardens in West London, increasing visitors and deepening understanding of what happens behind the scenes in science as well as horticulture.
In 2016, he supported the transfer to Kew of the award-winning British-designed structure, The Hive, which was initially commissioned by UKTI as the UK Pavilion for the Milan Expo in 2015. The installation aims to raise awareness amongst visitors of the relationship between plants and pollinators and has receeived huge acclaim.
Facing a significant funding shortage in 2014/15 Deverell oversaw a restructure of RBG Kew. In December 2014 he appeared in front of the Science and Technology Select Committee of the House of Commons to explain the reasons why and to outline the support RBG Kew needed from government and elsewhere. In April 2016 RBG Kew announced a positive 4 year funding settlement from the UK government through DEFRA.
Deverell has also been behind a higher profile for botanical science at RBG Kew since he took over as Director, with the unveiling a new Science Strategy in 2015, the launch of the first ever State of the World’s Plants report in 2016 and the first Kew Science Festival in August 2016.
Deverell is married with three children.
- "Richard George Deverell". Company Check. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Dowell, Ben (13 June 2012). "Richard Deverell to become director of Kew Gardens". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- E-mails from Richard Deverell to Grange Hill Online, July and August 2007
- CBBC head defends Byker decision – CBBC Newsround Online, May 2006
- Hemley, Matthew (4 March 2009). "Deverell announced as chief operating officer of BBC North". The Stage. Retrieved 12 March 2009.