BBC executive Jackie Edwards tapped to head new £57m BFI children’s TV fund
BBC Children’s boss Jackie Edwards has been selected to head up the British Film Institute’s (BFI) new fund for children’s TV programmes.
Edwards, who has been in charge of children’s programming for the BBC since 2015, will join the BFI next month ahead of the fund’s launch in April.
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The Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), which has received £57m in funding from the government, is a three-year pilot aimed at delivering content for children and young audiences to be aired by public service broadcasters.
The fund will support live-action and animation programming across all genres and will offer funding to projects that have secured a commitment from a broadcaster.
Jackie Edwards said: “While I will be sad to leave BBC Children’s, the role of head of Young Audiences Content Fund was simply irresistible as it presents a unique opportunity to revivify and diversify the kids public service broadcast landscape in the UK.”
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the funding was part of a campaign to halt the decline of domestically-produced content and find the “next big thing” in UK children’s TV.
The government has assigned a further £3m to the Audio Content Fund, which will back audio content for all ages on commercial radio.
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BFI deputy chief executive Ben Roberts said: “Jackie’s passion for public service broadcasting, and her extensive experience in original and high quality programmes for young people of all ages, made her the perfect choice to help us shape and deliver the fund.
“The landscape for television audiences is evolving at speed, but the appetite for innovative, relevant material which speaks to today’s young people feels as strong as ever.”