Kevin Lygo is switching to ‘The Brighter Side’ as he leaves Channel 4 for the ITV Network. The company announced that Lygo will join the 55-year-old channel as Managing Director of ITV Studios.
Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV, said: “A clear outcome of the ongoing strategy review is the importance of our in-house production arm to the future of ITV’s business.
“Kevin’s appointment underlines our commitment to ensuring home-grown content stays at the heart of our business and our focus on attracting the very best creative talent, both on and off-screen, to ITV. His track record in finding hit programmes and exploiting content will be invaluable as ITV focuses on improving its hit rate across all platforms – television, online and mobile.”
In his current role as Director of Television and Content at Channel 4 he’d brought programme hits such as Skins [pictured below, right], Come Dine With Me, The Inbetweeners, One Born Every Minute, Mo, Jamie’s School Dinners, Shameless, Supernanny, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Brat Camp, Deal or No Deal, Green Wing, Da Ali G Show, Smack the Pony and The 11 O’Clock Show to the station.
Kevin Lygo said: “ITV Studios is one of the most successful commercial producers in the UK and owns some of the biggest brands in TV. Our goal is to keep those programmes fresh and relevant, develop new hits and exploit the full value of those properties across all platforms in the UK and internationally.”
Prior to joining Channel 4 in 1997 Kevin worked at the BBC, most recently as Head of Independent Commissioning for Entertainment. His credits include The Two Ronnies, Not the Nine O’clock News, They Think It’s All Over and Men Behaving Badly.
Kevin first joined Channel 4 as Head of Entertainment and Music in August 1997 and presided over an acclaimed expansion of the channel’s entertainment portfolio. Commissions during his first employment at Channel 4 include So Graham Norton as well as the now notorious Brass Eye special on paedophilia. Kevin also acted as Controller for the successful launch of Channel 4’s digital entertainment channel, E4, in January 2001.
He left later in 2001 to spend two years as Director of Programmes at Five, where he is credited with broadening the channel’s programme offering from a reliance on films, sport and acquisitions to embrace original UK production including arts, popular factual and history programming.
Lygo [pictured left, at Channel 4] rejoined Channel 4 as Director of Television in November 2003 and since his return the channel has enjoyed one of the best periods in its history, both in terms of ratings and the critical response to its programmes.
Under Lygo’s creative leadership, Channel 4 won more awards than any other channel at the 2006 BAFTA ceremony, picking up prizes for programmes as diverse as Jamie’s School Dinners, The Government Inspector, Make Me Normal, Dispatches and The Ashes. In 2005, Channel 4 won 10 BAFTAs, as many as all other channels combined.
Peter Fincham, Director of Television, Channels and Online, said: “This is a great signing for ITV as Kevin joins us at the very beginning of an exciting new era for the company. We have worked very successfully together in the past and I’m personally delighted that we will be renewing what I’m sure will be a very fruitful relationship. Working closely with ITV Studios is a high priority for the Network as we seek to ensure that we secure the best possible programmes, and talent, for all our channels. Kevin is uniquely placed to make a real difference to those key objectives.”