Stuart Murphy

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For the visual learning specialist and author, see Stuart J. Murphy.

Stuart Neil Luke Murphy (born 6 November 1971, Leeds) is the Director, Entertainment Channels at Sky, running Sky1, Sky Living, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, Sky 2, Challenge and Pick TV, and the commissioning team.

Early and personal life[edit]

He attended St. Mary's Menston in West Yorkshire. He studied Political Geography at Clare College, Cambridge in 1990. He has two sons with his ex-wife. He is openly gay and first spoke publicly about his sexual orientation in a 2012 interview.[1][2]


He started his career as a tea boy at BBC Manchester working in DEF II programming. He then worked on shows such as Reportage, The Sunday Show, Fist of fun, and Lifeswaps with Paul O'Grady. He later worked as a producer at MTV on Hanging Out with Davina McCall, and at the Big Breakfast. He re-joined the BBC to work for Jane Root in the Independent Commissioning Group, and later developed Radio One TV for Roly Keating, on UKTV.

He launched and ran UK Play, a music and comedy channel owned by UKTV from 1998.

BBC Choice[edit]

He joined BBC Choice, the BBC's forerunner to BBC Three, becoming Head of Programmes in 2000, and then Controller.

BBC Three[edit]

Became the first channel controller of BBC Three, which launched in February 2003. He commissioned comedies including Little Britain (which had been originally commissioned by BBC Radio 4), Pulling, and Early Doors as well as various dramas including Torchwood, and Conviction. He kickstarted parenting programming on TV, with Who Rules The Roost, Honey, We're Killing The Kids, Little Angels and The House of Tiny Tearaways both presented by Tanya Byron. Other commissioned shows included Flashmob The Opera (a live opera from Paddington station) and Flashmob The Opera: Meadowhall.

He was tipped as an outsider in the running for the controllership of BBC One in 2007.[3] In 2004 The Observer included Murphy in a list of 80 young people who they believed would shape people's lives in the early 21st Century.[4]

Media offices
New creation Controller of BBC Three
Succeeded by
Julian Bellamy

Commercial Broadcasters[edit]

After BBC Three he joined RDF Media[5] in 2006 where he stayed for 11 weeks.

Between 2006 and 2008, he was the Creative Director of Twofour Broadcast.


He joined Sky1 in May 2009 and commissioned a variety of drama, entertainment, and factual programmes including Got to Dance, Must Be the Music, A League of Their Own, Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, Strike Back, Mad Dogs, The Runaway, Little Crackers, Ross Kemp: Middle East Special, Pineapple Dance Studios, Louie Spence's Showbusiness, An Idiot Abroad, Trollied, Mount Pleasant, Spy, Stella, Starlings, among many others.

Sky Atlantic[edit]

In November 2010 he was made Director of Commissioning across all Sky Entertainment channels. He was also given responsibility for launching Sky Atlantic, a new entertainment channel which is the home of the majority of HBO content in the UK. He bought Mad Men (previously at the BBC), Entourage (previously at ITV) as well as Blue Bloods and The Borgias. He commissioned screenwriter Paul Abbott to make Sky Atlantic's first drama, Hit & Miss, starring Chloë Sevigny, commissioned cult comedy This is Jinsy, brought Alan Partridge back to TV, commissioned Kathy Burke's Walking and Talking, Julia Davis's new comedy Hunderby, as well as documentary Flying Monsters with David Attenborough.

Sky Atlantic launched on 1 February 2011.[6]

In May 2012, he was made Director of Entertainment Channels at Sky, overseeing all of the entertainment and commissioning portfolio.


  1. ^ John Plunkett (24 June 2012). "Stuart Murphy talks tough on Sky's battle for the box | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Campbell, Lisa (25 June 2012). "Murphy: how I've tackled personal and professional challenges". Broadcast (UK). Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Silver, James (14 October 2007). "'I don't think TV is full of shysters'". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Colvile, Robert (26 June 2004). "The bright stuff". The Observer (UK). Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Stuart Murphy to leave the BBC". BBC. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Sky Atlantic HD to bring the very best in entertainment and dramaSky Atlantic

External links[edit]