Julia McKenzie appointed BBC Radio Comedy executive

Julia McKenzie

The BBC has announced that Julia McKenzie has been appointed as Executive Editor of BBC Radio Comedy.

Going forward, she will be responsible for overseeing in-house radio comedy at the BBC, as the corporation's comedy department moves into the new BBC Studios division.

McKenzie is an experienced producer. Talking about her career to date, the BBC explains: "For the past year Julia has been acting as the editorial lead for BBC Radio Comedy. She joined the team in 2007 as producer, working across a broad range of output including the Sony Gold Award winning The Jason Byrne Show for Radio 2 in 2011. She became an Executive Producer in 2013, during which time she has also produced TV Comedy for the department. Prior to joining Radio Comedy, Julia was an Assistant Editor at BBC London and was previously responsible for programming at the BBC Nations and Regions best practice centre, SONAR, in Bristol.

"Julia's first job in radio was work experience at Viva, a female-focused radio station in 1996 and she went from there to KISS 100. She began freelancing at BBC Greater London Radio in 1998, where she became a producer in 2000, working with comedians including Mel & Sue, Jo Brand and Simon Day and producing five annual comedy nights for Children in Need at the Shepherds Bush Empire. She took over The Danny Baker Breakfast Show in 2003 earning the moniker of 'Mountain Goat' from Danny, who won a Sony Gold for the show in 2005."

BBC Radio Comedy - mainly via the medium of Radio 4 - produces hundreds of hours of comedy each year. It's diverse slate includes panel shows such as The News Quiz, sketch shows like John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, and stand-up formats such as The Now Show.

Julia McKenzie is taking up the role of Executive Editor immediately. She will work closely with the new Head of Studios Comedy - to be announced shortly - in shaping the new strategy for BBC Comedy Production; across radio, TV and online.

Mark Freeland, BBC Controller of Fiction and Entertainment, says: "I am absolutely thrilled that Julia will be heading up the legendary Radio Comedy team, as BBC In House Production goes on its exciting journey. She is a skilled and passionate leader who always does the very best for her team and for talented, diverse performers who, day-in day-out make listening to the radio an utter delight."

McKenzie herself says: "I'm delighted to be confirmed as the editorial lead for BBC Radio Comedy and am honoured to be working with so many outstanding writers, performers and producers who have the rare and magical ability to make us laugh. I cherish the diverse range of our output from block-busting big hitters on Radio 4 like Just a Minute, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, The News Quiz, The Now Show and Dead Ringers through to shows with brand new writers and performers including the award-winning open door show Newsjack on BBC Radio 4 Extra and all stops in-between. It really is my dream job to preside over such rich content, working closely with Radio 4 which is undeniably the home of radio comedy."

Published: Thursday 11th February 2016
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