Speculation fever hots up on Fincham replacement

LONDON - Several names have emerged as possible replacements for former BBC One controller Peter Fincham, who resigned on Friday, with BBC Two controller Roly Keating being hotly tipped.

Keating was named acting controller of BBC One on Friday, hours after Fincham resigned, fuelling speculation that he will replace Fincham full time.

Fincham's resignation followed the publication of a damning report on the BBC's and production company RDF Media's mishandling of the 'A Year with the Queen' affair.

According to reports, there is speculation that Keating could move over to BBC One, while BBC Four controller Janice Hadlow may replace him.

Other names linked to Fincham's old job are Peter Barron, the editor of Newsnight; Jane Tranter, the controller of BBC Fiction; former Endemol creative director Peter Bazalgette; Paul Jackson, ITV's comedy and entertainment chief; Alison Sharman, ITV's director of factual and daytime; BBC Three controller Danny Cohen; and ITV's programme chief Simon Shaps.

Another name being linked to the job is former BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey who is now chief executive at independent production company TalkbackThames.

However, according to reports, BBC insiders have indicated that the corporation is more than likely to appoint an internal candidate to the role and one who is steeped in BBC culture.

Last week, the BBC announced that Fincham resigned voluntarily, although a report in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph contests this, arguing that he was "hung out to dry" to safeguard the position of his boss, director of vision Jana Bennett.

There was also speculation that she could face questions over her role in the affair and may also have to go.

RDF Media also announced on Friday that one of its executives, chief creative officer Stephen Lambert, had fallen on his sword.

Both the BBC and RDF were highly embarrassed this summer when Fincham announced at a press preview that the royal documentary showed the Queen storming out of a photo shoot in a huff, only for it to transpire that RDF had manipulated the footage and re-ordered the sequence of events, resulting in a humiliating admission the next day.

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