James Runcie for BBC arts post

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James Runcie, son of the former Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie, has been appointed to one of the top BBC arts posts.


Runcie will be BBC radio 4’s first commissioning editor for arts responsible for the overall development of the channel’s arts programming, both on air and digitally.

The appointment is part of the BBC’s promise to improve its arts programming, announced BBC director-general Tony Hall in 2014.

He will work with in-house and independent programme makers, artists and external partners, to identify new ways of exploring arts and music on Radio 4.

Runcie is a writer, director and literary curator, known to many as the author of The Grantchester Mysteries, adapted for television as Grantchester (ITV/PBS). Most recently, he has been the head of literature and spoken word at Southbank Centre and the artistic director of the Bath Literature Festival. 

Alan Stacey is to be Headlong’s new executive director.  He takes up the post in succession to Henny Finch, who is leaving the theatre company after 10 years to join Hofesh Shechter Company. Stacey is currently director of development and commercial investment at the Young Vic, and managing director of Young Vic Films.  Previous roles include marketing and sales manager at Bill Kenwright Ltd.

Ros Rigby OBE, Sage Gateshead’s performance programme director since the music venue opened in 2004, will be standing down from the post after fifteen years. She will be replaced by Tamsin Austin, currently head of popular and contemporary programme at the Sage.  

Rigby initially worked in arts development roles in Peterlee and Gateshead before co-founding Folkworks in 1988, which became the UK’s foremost producer, presenter and educator in folk and traditional music. She was awarded the OBE for this work in 1999.

Rigby will continue to work with Sage Gateshead on a project basis on its jazz programme and will combine other freelance work and non-executive roles with being able to spend more time with her three grandchildren, and in supporting her busy family’s own cultural activities.

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