Jon Petrie becomes BBC Director of Comedy

Jon Petrie

Jon Petrie will be the new director of comedy at the BBC, responsible for the commissioning of all scripted comedy programmes.

The BBC says: "Jon will lead the UK's largest generator of original scripted comedy responsible for multi-awarding winning comedies and audience hits including The Young Offenders, Inside No. 9, This Country, Ghosts, Man Like Mobeen, Motherland and In My Skin."

Jon replaces Shane Allen, who has been the BBC comedy commissioner since 2012. He has announced he is returning to production. Jon's start date will be announced soon.

Petrie started his career at Talkback Productions, before moving to Roughcut Television in 2008, making internet shorts for BBC Comedy. Early credits included working with Misery Bear, Cardinal Burns and Doc Brown. He went on to nurture a portfolio of new wave talent for television, including Anna & Katy, Stath Lets Flats and all five series of the BAFTA and RTS winning People Just Do Nothing.

In 2019 he was appointed comedy commissioning editor at Channel 4 overseeing The Windsors, Friday Night Dinner and Dead Pixels. Jon is currently head of comedy at Broke And Bones, owned by Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.

Jon Petrie says: "Shane has done an incredible job of banging the drum for UK comedy over the last few years. He leaves massive clown shoes to fill, and I'm under no illusions about the magnitude of the task ahead of me. As a team, BBC Comedy Commissioning will continue to develop comedy with the most exciting new and established talent, both on and off-screen, that speaks to everyone across the UK. It's not like we couldn't all do with a laugh right now."

Charlotte Moore, the BBC's chief content officer, says: "Jon is a talented creative with a passion for comedy and an impressive track record for spotting new and diverse talent from across the UK and creating mainstream hits. I'm thrilled he's joining the BBC as the new director of comedy and can't wait to start working with him as he leads BBC comedy commissioning into an exciting new era."

Jon will be responsible for the commissioning of all scripted comedy programmes to BBC channels and BBC iPlayer, and the BBC Comedy Association.

Published: Friday 9th July 2021
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