Apple has appointed the executive who stole Bake Off as it targets Netflix and Amazon with video programming

Alys Key
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Hunt headed up Channel 4 when it tempted Bake Off away from the BBC (Source: Channel 4)

Apple has appointed the highly respected former Channel 4 executive Jay Hunt to its emerging video arm, as its bid to compete with Amazon and Netflix gathers steam.

Hunt, who left Channel 4 last month after seven years at the broadcaster, joins the Silicon Valley giant as it pushes an extended video offering, planning to spend $1bn (£750m) on original content next year. She will be the creative chief in charge of new programming.

Hunt is set to join a team which already includes former Sony TV presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who are heading up Apple's push back against digital rivals.

The appointment of Hunt is the latest in a string of top-tier talent moves in the race to dominate digital video content, including Netflix's move to lure hitmaker Shonda Rhimes away from Disney's ABC.

Jay Hunt was most recently chief creative officer at Channel 4, but also served stints on BBC One and Channel 5, making her the only person to have led all three channels. She has been responsible for commissioning and developing some of the biggest TV hits of the last 10 years including Sherlock and Mrs Brown's Boys on the BBC and Humans, Gogglebox and First Dates for Channel 4.

She also pulled off the infamous poaching of The Great British Bake Off from the BBC, which gave Channel 4 its biggest night since 2012 and a host of advertising deals.

She had been tipped as the favourite to succeed David Abraham as chief executive of Channel 4 but resigned a few days before the final decision was made.

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