BBC Four Controller Richard Klein joins Creative England

Klein, who has been Controller of BBC Four since December 2008, joins the board of Creative England.

The BBC describe BBC Four as “the channel of distinction for people who love to think, appealing to those parts of the brain that other television channels don’t reach.”

Richard’s time with the corporations forth television channel has seen it air some of its most successful programming. This includes the channel’s highest-rating programme, Gracie!, the drama about the life and times of singer Gracie Fields. Other successes include the topical On Expenses dramatisation as well as factual documentaries such as Chemistry – A Volatile History, The Art Of Russia and RTS award winning satire and observational series Newswipe.

Richard joined the BBC in 1996 as a series producer and moved into commissioning to become a commissioning executive. From there he became a senior commissioning executive and then the Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, in March 2005. In 2008, Richard became the BBC’s Head of Independent Commissioning, Knowledge. In this role he oversaw all commissioning from independent production companies across features, arts, music, religion, specialist factual and documentaries.

He has been responsible for commissioning programmes such as Stephen Fry – The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive, Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children, Filthy Rich And Homeless and Mischief.

Today the BFI announced that Klein is to be one of seven board members of the new agency Creative England which has been created to replace a number of regional bodies.

The new agency will, for the first time, provide joined-up support for England’s creative industries outside of London, supporting Film, Television, Games, and Digital and Creative Services. Creative England now receives DCMS Grant-in-Aid from the BFI to support the strategic development of film in the English Regions, and is a BFI delegated body for the distribution of National Lottery funds for film.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Creative Industries, said: “This marks a new chapter for the creative industries in the English regions, which are a crucial part of the UK economy and essential for driving growth and employment. I commend the dedication and commitment of everyone that has worked so hard to get Creative England up and running, and look forward to working with the agency, particularly on the current film policy review, which is seeking to boost growth and help tackle some of the barriers to the further expansion of the creative industries.”

Richard Klein studied English at Aberdeen University and his background is in print journalism, before he moved into television. His family come from Germany and Britain, he is divorced with a child and he lives in London with his partner and daughter.