Sky hires BBC exec as new head of comedy

Friday, June 19 2009, 12:25 BST

By Andrew Laughlin

Sky has hired the BBC's controller of comedy commissioning Lucy Lumsden to become its new head of comedy for Sky1, 2 and 3.

Director of programming Stuart Murphy announced the appointment today, with Lumsden due to start the new role this autumn.

After taking on the senior BBC commissioning role in 2005, she has since backed numerous successful comedy programmes during her tenure, including Gavin and Stacey and The Thick Of It.

Speaking about the appointment, Murphy described Lumsden as the "best commissioner in the comedy business".

"Her track record is astonishing, from Gavin and Stacey to The Catherine Tate Show, from Lead Balloon to Green Green Grass, she has shown time and again that she is as comfortable working with new talent as she is with established names," he explained.

"Comedy takes time to get right, and it's an art not a science, but with Lucy at the helm it feels like we are giving ourselves the best chance of generating hits which our subscribers will love. I loved working with her before, and can't wait to start working with her again."

Lumsden added: "I've absolutely loved being at the BBC, but Stuart's unstoppable enthusiasm for comedy is utterly infectious and I am really looking forward to working with him again.

"Sky1 has always delivered big on its programming promise and I'm excited about the opportunities for comedy."