Monday, January 2, 2017

The Apprentice DG - Peter F

Peter Arthur Fincham (Tonbridge and Churchill College, Cambridge) edged into broadcasting via keyboards. He played the piano for Footlights Revues, with Griff Rhys Jones, Jimmy Mulville, Rory McGrath and Clive Anderson front of mic.

After college, he was playing in the house band for Godspell when a call came from Griff and Mel Smith, who needed someone to look after the books for their fledging indie, Talkback. That was 1985. He became Chief Executive and is thought to have made over £12m when the company was taken over by ITV.

His next move was to BBC1, a period curtailed by a dodgy trail, which appeared to show The Queen storming out of a photo-shoot for a documentary. In fact RDF's Chief Creative Officer Stephen Lambert had changed the order of shots. The BBC held an enquiry under Will Wyatt (this blog, passim) which concluded Fincham and his team has "misread the mood" and were working "in a bubble" in the immediate aftermath, and were too slow in making a full apology. Fincham was selected to go, and the careers of his boss Jana Bennett and Mark Thompson as DG sailed on, unsullied.

Fincham went to run ITV for eight years, and in January left to form a new indie with Tim Hincks. He probably doesn't need the money - houses in Notting Hill, Walberswick and Courcheval. He's just 60 - and ought to be persuaded to have another shot at the BBC.  

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