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BBC Hires Channel 4 Comedy Czar

Inbetweeners Portrait - H 2011
"The Inbetweeners"

The broadcaster lures Shane Allen, who was behind "The Inbetweeners," to be controller, comedy commissioning.

LONDON – It's a serious business comedy, especially when it comes to hitmakers.

Channel 4 comedy czar Shane Allen, the man who lists The Inbetweeners film on his executive producer resume, is jumping to the BBC.

The public broadcasting giant has appointed Allen to be BBC controller, comedy commissioning.

Allen jumps from Channel 4 to replace Cheryl Taylor who was made controller of the BBC's children's channel CBBC in June this year.

Allen, who has been in the comedy hotseat at Channel 4 since 2009, has overseen programs such as Friday Night Dinner, Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror and new Ricky Gervais sitcom Derek.

He also commissioned Facejacker, the return of Comic Strip Presents, and bad boy standup Frankie Boyle's Channel 4 show, Tramadol Nights among others.

Allen said: "Comedy is my life's passion, so this is a dream job and the best gig in TV comedy given the BBC's unique volume, range, commitment and legacy.

He described it as a "perfect time" to join the BBC as "Cheryl Taylor leaves behind a string of big audience delivering hit shows across all the channels, and George Entwistle is a very keen and inspiring champion of comedy on his new watch."

Entwistle takes up the reins as BBC director general from the outgoing Mark Thompson later this year.

"I feel proud to leave Channel 4 comedy in rude health and end on a high with the Funny Fortnight season," Allen said.

Roger Mosey, acting director of BBC Vision, said he is "delighted" by Allen's appointment.

"He has a great track record in the industry and we're pleased he's joining the BBC to make sure that we continue to offer original and distinctive comedy to our television audiences," Mosey said.