Saturday, November 12, 2016

Merry-go-round 2

The BBC's Head of Religion and Ethics, Aaqil Ahmed, is leaving the BBC, after his job was split in two and taken away. The bit where he makes programmes has gone to a new department, BBC Factual Scotland, to be run by Mark Hedgecoe (more later) with support from one of Aaqil's team, Tommy Nagra.

One of the department's biggest earners, Songs of Praise, is already out to tender, under "Compete and Compare". (Quite how any of this helps keep up production quotas in Salford, where the show is headquartered, is another matter, for another time).

Aaqil's other task was to commission programmes, which he lost in 2015, when religion was bundled up with science, business and history. Aaqil's departure is a blow to diversity at senior management level; he's been a mover and shaker on that front for a number of outside organisations. He was born in Bolton, did a B.Tec in graphic design at Wigan College of Technology, then a degree in Photography Film and Video at Westminster. He started at the BBC straight from there as a researcher in the 'Multicultural Programmes Unit', and has been with Auntie most of his career, apart from 6 years at Channel 4.  Here's a sort of parting plea from Aaqil.

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