Kay Benbow has been named the new controller of CBeebies – confirming she will go to Salford after all.
Benbow, who is currently head of CBeebies production, animation and acquisition, had previously ruled herself out of the departmental move north but reversed her decision to take up the new post, recently vacated by Michael Carrington.
She already plays a major role in shaping the channel, overseeing all in-house CBeebies production and commissioning acquired programmes ranging from new launch ZingZillas to In The Night Garden, on which she is also executive producer.
She is also credited as a major force in building the BBC’s pre-school production unit and developing the service as an integrated multiplatform offering.
Proposed £10m investment
Director of BBC Children’s Joe Godwin said: “Kay’s a great programme maker and creative leader and, through her animation work, is well known and highly respected across the pre-school world.
“Kay will be taking over at such an exciting time, with [Putting Quality First] proposing an additional investment of £10million in BBC Children’s. I couldn’t wish for a better person to lead CBeebies to its new home in Salford and to keep it number one.”
Leading to Salford
Benbow added: “I am passionate about children’s programming – there can be no better job in the world than helping provide young children with memorable programmes and experiences that will stay with them all their lives.
“It’s particularly thrilling to be leading the channel to our new Salford base which throws up lots of exciting opportunities to develop new relationships with our audiences and pilot new ways of working.”
In total, Benbow has spent more than 20 years in children’s television, including a two-year stint at Tell Tale Productions as producer on the Tweenies. Her early career also saw her managing the live weekday links with Andi Peters and Edd the Duck and working as producer/director on Get Your Own Back and Bodger and Badger.