Channel 4 hires Murdoch for new-look ents team

Formats-logo-460_2UK broadcaster Channel 4 has unveiled its new look entertainment team, with producer Karen Murdoch drafted in and Tom Beck promoted.

Head of entertainment and TV events Ed Harvard as added Murdoch as a third commissioning string. She will be commissioning editor, entertainment alongside Syeda Irtizaali, who also has a commissioning editor role, and Antonia Howard Taylor, who is commissioning executive.

Commissioning editor for factual entertainment and entertainment Sarah Lazenby will remain in her role.

Beck has been upped from commissioning editor for entertainment, a role he keeps, to head of live events, meaning he will oversee series such as The Crystal Maze and Stand Up to Cancer.

Madeline Ireland is entertainment and events genre assistant, and Katie Buckley remains programme co-ordinator.

The entire team report into Havard, who recently took on his post.

The news comes after Liam Humphreys was poached to become CEO of unscripted at production giant FremantleMedia.

New recruit Murdoch has worked in various producer roles, including executive producer, for the likes of Magnum Media, Zeppotron, Objective, Open Mike, Princess Productions and Burning Bright.

She recently executive produced seasons five and six of Sky 1 panel show Duck Quacks Don’t Echo, and has overseen Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, BBC One’s Would I Lie To You? and John Bishop’s Britain, ITV1’s The Marriage Ref and BBC Two’s Let’s Play Darts for Comic Relief.

“Karen has had huge experience and success in production and has worked with many of the best entertainment indies,” said Harvard, adding Beck’s promotion “re reflects the importance of events” such as Stand Up to Cancer to Channel 4.

On the factual entertainment front, Channel 4 has commissioned NBCUniversal International Studios-owned Chocolate Media to produce Restoration of the Year, which will look at historic British buildings that have been refurbished and renovated.