Alan Hart (television Executive)
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Alan Hart Television Executive

Alan Hart
Born (1935-04-17) April 17, 1935 (age 85)
TitleController of BBC1 (1981-1984)

Alan Hart (born 17 April 1935) is a former British television executive, who from 1981 to 1984 was the Controller of BBC1.[1]


Hart's initial career was in the BBC sports department as Editor of Grandstand in the late 1960s and for much of the 1970s, and he rose through the ranks to become BBC Head of Sport in 1977. In 1981 BBC1 Controller Bill Cotton was promoted, and Hart was chosen to succeed him.

As channel Controller, Hart was responsible for managing the direction, content and commissioning of programmes on the BBC's premier television station.

Although his period in charge of BBC1 is still fondly regarded by television enthusiasts, his tenure was not generally regarded as one of the most successful in the BBC's history, largely because of the huge success enjoyed by ITV drama during that period. However, it was Hart who greenlit BBC1's first all-year round twice-weekly drama in modern times, EastEnders, which became a runaway success even though Hart had moved on by the time it began broadcasting in February 1985.

One of Hart's early decisions in the role was taking Doctor Who off its traditional early evening Saturday slot, and giving it an early evening, twice-weekly slot, beginning in 1982. Hart also green-lit a 90-minute special to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary, which became The Five Doctors and was broadcast as part of Children in Need.

In 1984, Hart was replaced as Controller of BBC One by Michael Grade, who had expressed a desire to return from working in the US to work for the BBC, and Grade proceeded to radically overhaul the BBC's main channel.

Media offices
Preceded by
Bill Cotton
Controller of BBC1
Succeeded by
Michael Grade


  1. ^ Marris, Paul; Thornham, Sue (2000). Media Studies: a Reader. NYU Press. p. 574. ISBN 978-0-8147-5647-8.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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