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BBC’s Catherine Catton: ‘Bring us ideas you don’t think we’ll take’

Head of factual entertainment and events sets out need to find ‘completely different’ shows.

BBC factual entertainment and events commissioning chief Catherine Catton has urged producers to pitch ideas they ‘don’t think we would want’, laying bare her shifting programming priorities.

In an exclusive interview with Broadcast, Catton said her department’s number one challenge is working out how to attract younger, underserved audiences, and offer them “poppy” and “returnable” content that will help them “fall in love” with the BBC as an institution.

“It has to be achieved through the power of ideas, because those audiences are not necessarily coming to the BBC for other reasons,” she said.

“If those ideas aren’t here already, we need to find [them] – those completely different shows. So I want producers to bring things to us they wouldn’t necessarily think the BBC would take.”

Catton said BBC3’s LGBTQ+ reality show I Kissed A Boy/ Girl demonstrates the department’s willingness to break the mould, and that it is this evolution that makes working in TV “joyous”.

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