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TV producer Elaine Bedell appointed Southbank Centre CEO

Elaine Bedell
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Former The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent boss Elaine Bedell has been appointed chief executive of London’s Southbank Centre.

She succeeds Alan Bishop, who served as chief executive at the arts centre for eight years before stepping down in November 2016.

As well as becoming the organisation’s first woman chief executive in its 66-year history, her appointment alongside Susan Gilchrist as chair and Jude Kelly as artistic director will mean that the arts centre – Europe’s largest – has an all-female leadership team.

Bedell stepped down as director of entertainment and comedy at ITV in January last year, where she was responsible for overseeing the talent shows as well as programmes including I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

Previously she was controller of entertainment at the BBC, where she commissioned Top Gear and Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. She also set up the commercial arm of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2002.

Bedell said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Jude Kelly and the team at such an exciting time with the reopening of the Hayward Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room on the horizon in 2018. I look forward to bringing my experience of combining public service with commercial enterprise to help shape the future of this internationally respected cultural institution.”

Kelly added: “No other arts centre produces a greater variety of work than Southbank Centre, and Elaine’s unique experience will bring a different perspective to our entrepreneurial management, efficiency and ambition, broadening and expanding our terrific team here.”

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