Richard Deverell

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Richard George Deverell[1] became Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in September 2012.[2] He was previously Controller of CBBC, the department within the BBC responsible for output aimed at children.[2]

Early life[edit]

Deverell was born in 1965.[1] He graduated in biological sciences from Cambridge University.[2]

Career history[edit]

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.[3]

In May 2006, Deverell promised there were no plans to alter the format of Grange Hill.[4] He commissioned the very popular In the Night Garden.

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.[citation needed]

In March 2009 Deverell was named chief operating officer of the BBC's new broadcasting and production centre in Salford Quays.[5]

Kew Gardens Director[edit]

Deverell was appointed the Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew — Kew Gardens (RBG Kew) in 2012. He had been a Trustee of RBG Kew from 2003 to 2009, during which time his contributions included chairing the Board Audit Committee.

As Director, Deverell became responsible for: the botanic gardens and collections located in London and Wakehurst, Sussex; and a large number of U.K. and international plant conservation and research projects.

He has overseen several new developments aimed at broadening the appeal of the gardens in London, increasing the number of visitors and deepening their understanding of what happens behind the scenes in horticulture, botany, and other scientific research at RBG Kew.

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. [6] The installation aims to raise awareness amongst visitors of the relationship between plants and pollinators and has received huge acclaim.

Facing a significant funding shortage in 2014/2015 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, [7] 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. [8]

Deverell has also been behind a higher profile for botanical science at RBG Kew since he became 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, [9] and the first Kew Science Festival in August 2016.

Personal life[edit]

Deverell is married with three children.

References[edit]

Interviews[edit]