The BBC has filled the vacuum at the top of its entertainment department by appointing controller of daytime Jane Lush as its new controller of entertainment commissioning and Sophie Clarke-Jervoise as
The BBC has filled the vacuum at the top of its entertainment department by appointing controller of daytime Jane Lush as its new controller of entertainment commissioning and Sophie Clarke-Jervoise as head of comedy.

Lush takes over the high-profile role four months after Danielle Lux left for Channel 4. She will be charged with sourcing new formats for entertainment and comedy. She will be temporarily replaced by senior daytime commissioning executive Fenia Vardanis.

Lush's appointment has been seen as an expedient choice by the corporation which was keen to get the key post filled quickly. It was forced through by acting director of television Sophie Turner-Laing after the departure of Mark Thompson to C4. A source told Broadcast: 'Mark wouldn't have gone for this solution.'

A number of people are understood to have turned down the job, including Endemol UK controller of entertainment Ruth Wrigley, entertainment commissioner Jane Fletcher who this week quit to join indie RDF Media as head of entertainment, and BBC commissioner John McHugh, who left to join C4 last week.

Lush's lack of entertainment experience has worried some. However, the appointment of Clarke-Jervoise - who as editor of comedy has executive produced around half the corporation's comedy output since joining in November 1999 - is thought to be a bid to counter misgivings. She replaces Geoffrey Perkins who joins Tiger Aspect next month.

The appointments, along with the promotion of Phil Parsons to BBC entertainment editor in Manchester, will go some way to pacifying producers who have complained commissioning has slowed down since the departures of five senior executives within months of each other.