ITV’s director of television Peter Fincham is to step down from his role after eight years.
He will be replaced by Kevin Lygo, currently managing director of ITV Studios.
Fincham joined the commercial broadcaster in 2008 from the BBC where he was controller of BBC1 from 2005 to 2007. Before that he headed up successful independent production company TalkBack which produced a string of popular comedies including The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, Smack the Pony and Ali G.
The company was bought by Freemantle Media in 2001 and later merged with Thames Television to form TalkBack Thames.
Fincham said: “This is a personal decision that I have been thinking about for a good while. By the time I leave at Easter I will have been a channel controller at the BBC and ITV, amazing as it seems, for 11 years. Quite simply, it’s time to do something different.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with Adam and senior colleagues at ITV during a period of great revival, supported by a wonderful team, and there’s a very strong pipeline of new programmes to look forward to. I haven’t made any firm plans for the future yet, but I wouldn’t rule out a return to the indie sector – I ran TalkBack for a lot longer than I’ve been on the broadcasting side and that indie heart has never quite stopped beating.
“I’ll miss ITV and I won’t deny that Director of Television at ITV is a hard job to leave, but it’s somebody else’s turn and I wish Kevin the very best of luck – I’m sure he will do it brilliantly.”
Lygo said: “I’ve had a terrific time over the last five years building ITV Studios in the UK and internationally into the success story that it is today, but the chance to become Director of Television of the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster was just too good to miss. I can’t wait to get started.
“Peter has done an amazing job in leading the creative resurgence of ITV’s programming. I have enjoyed working closely with him during that time and wish him the very best for the future. I’m also delighted to leave ITV Studios in the extremely capable hands of Julian who will do a fantastic job.”
It’s understood that Lygo will take up his new position on 1st February and that Fincham will stay on for a period to oversee the handover process.
Lygo began his career at the BBC on a traineeship. After a lengthy hiatus from the industry, he returned to the BBC to commission shows including Men Behaving Badly and They Think It’s All Over.
In 1997 he joined Channel 4 as head of entertainment, where he remained until 2001, commissioning shows such as TFI Friday, So Graham Norton, Trigger Happy TV and Spaced. After two years at Channel 5, he returned to Channel 4 as director of television, before joining ITV Studios in 2010.