The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced Jane Lush as its new chair. Lush has been closely involved with BAFTA for ten years.
She joined the Board of Trustees as deputy chair of the Television Committee in 2010 and has been deputy chair for the past year. She succeeds Anne Morrison, and her tenure as chair will run for the next two years. Morrison will be deputy chair for one year.
Lush was a factual programme-maker at the BBC, eventually becoming controller of daytime and transforming it into the market leader with many breakthrough shows such as Weakest Link and the drama series Doctors. As the BBC’s controller of entertainment and comedy, she was responsible for a budget of £200m, commissioning a range of multi-BAFTA-winning series including Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice, The Catherine Tate Show, Dragons’ Den and Have I Got News for You. She was part of the BBC Television Board, shaping its channel strategy, managing talent and revitalising programming. Since leaving the BBC, she has been working in the independent sector and is currently running Kalooki Pictures and co-producing with Hat Trick Productions.
She was also the founding chair of the BBC’s Performing Arts Fund charity, which has awarded around £5m to young aspiring musicians through scholarships, mentoring projects and giving musical instruments to hundreds of children, one of whom was the international pop star Adele.
Lush said: “It’s a huge honour to become chair of BAFTA, succeeding Anne Morrison who has taken the Academy from strength-to-strength. It’s exciting to build on all of those achievements, ensuring BAFTA stays ahead of the curve by continually enhancing our gold standard award ceremonies and attracting the brightest and the best to our membership, while expanding diversity across all our activity. I would also hope to extend our reach to younger up-and-coming talent through our excellent year-round programme of events.”
Alongside its awards recognising excellence in film, television and games, BAFTA offers a wide range of initiatives that help ensure talented people get the recognition and support to achieve their potential, regardless of their background. BAFTA Guru, the online learning site, is one way people can hear directly from the experts and learn more about a particular craft or career. People can attend any one of hundreds of BAFTA events across the UK, USA and Asia, apply for a BAFTA scholarship or be part of a mentoring scheme or talent development initiative.