Andy Parfitt takes pop music role at BBC

Lesley Douglas quit post after Russell Brand prank

LONDON -- Andy Parfitt, controller of U.K. national top 40 station BBC Radio 1, has expanded his responsibilities by becoming controller of BBC popular music.

The role was previously held by Lesley Douglas, controller of AC network Radio 2 and modern rock digital station 6 Music. Douglas quit on Oct. 31 after the controversy surrounding a broadcast by Radio 2 presenters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross; she has since joined Universal Music U.K. as director of programming and business development.

Parfitt has been covering the popular music role since Douglas left. He became controller of Radio 1 in March 1998 and his since added various roles, including overseeing BBC Switch, the multiple-platform teen content programming, and since April taking responsibility for the Asian Network.

"Andy's work leading the younger focused networks has been outstanding -- and I'm confident that he'll develop our popular music content with the same energy and focus that he has brought to BBC Radio and Switch," said Tim Davie, director BBC Audio and Music.

Parfitt added: "I'm really pleased to expand my role. This is a great opportunity, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of driving our popular music strategy forward on all platforms."

He will also oversee the pan-BBC live music event the Electric Proms, staged in October.

The Guardian reports that Parfitt has not applied for the vacant Radio 2 position. Radio 2 is the most popular station in the U.K., according to official radio research and ratings body BARB.