Danny Cohen resigns as BBC’s director of television


The BBC’s director of television Danny Cohen has announced that he is leaving the corporation after eight years.

It is understood that he is considering offers from both UK and US television companies.

He said: “In the last few weeks I’ve been approached about a number of exciting opportunities and I want to consider these in an open and transparent way.”

Mark Linsey, the deputy controller of entertainment commissioning, will take over until a permanent replacement is appointed. He is tipped as one of the favourites to get the job.

Mr Cohen, a former controller of both BBC One and BBC Three, said: “After eight wonderful years at the BBC it is time for my next big challenge. BBC Television is on brilliant creative form.

I feel very privileged to have led Television for the world’s finest public service broadcaster and to have worked with so many smart and talented people.”

BBC director general Tony Hall said Mr Cohen had done “ an extraordinary job over the last eight years at the BBC.

“In a world of intense competition and choice, he has further enhanced the BBC’s reputation for quality programming that is full of ambition and creativity.”

When he became director of television in 2013, Cohen, a former pupil of the Rosh Pinah Primary School in north-west London, was tipped as a future director general.

In December last year he revealed that, in the wake of a rise in antisemtism, he had “never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the past 12 months”.

He said: “It’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home? Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before actually.”

Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Mr Cohen, 40, added: “You’ve seen the number of attacks rise. You’ve seen murders in France. You’ve seen murders in Belgium.

“It’s been pretty grim. And having lived all my life in the UK, I’ve never felt as I do now about antisemitism in Europe.”

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