UKTV boss Emma Tennant dies

The UKTV and former ITV executive has passed away aged 49.

“Anyone who met Emma knew her to be one of the kindest, warmest and most nurturing people working in television. She had a sharp wit and incredible strength, and is an inspiration to her team and those around her.” – Darren Childs, CEO, UKTV

Emma Tennant, Controller of UKTV since 2011, has died from cancer. Under her stewardship, UKTV launched new channel Drama and the premium entertainment channel W.

UKTV also significantly increased its investment in programming during her tenure and expanded its original commissions into scripted comedy, which sit alongside hit entertainment, factual entertainment and comedy formats such as breakout hits Taskmaster, Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled and Red Dwarf XI.

Emma helped return Red Dwalf to television screens.

Before joining UKTV in late 2011, Emma worked at ITV Digital Channels where, as Controller, she helped deliver consistent and sustained growth across its digital portfolio. Collaborating with Director of Digital Channels on editorial strategy for ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV, Emma oversaw a 14% growth in the ITV Digital Channels, and the significant growth of ITV3 to become the leading digital channel in the UK and the largest growing digital channel in 2010.

Prior to her work as Controller of ITV Digital Channels, Emma worked as Controller of ITV3 and CITV where she commissioned a range of successful shows for CITV including Bookaboo, which won a Children’s BAFTA, Broadcast Award and Prix Jeunesse. For ITV3 she commissioned Martina Coles Ladykillers and Ladies of Letters.

February 2016 saw the W Channel launch.

Emma began her broadcasting career at Living TV where she was responsible for setting the channel’s strategy and establishing it as the must-see channel for a young, female demographic with smart acquisitions including CSI, Next Top Model and Will & Grace.

UKTV staff are supporting GIST UK an organisation working to help patients and families affected by the rare GIST cancer. If you would like to donate to GIST Support UK please click here. Emma Tennant died on Tuesday 20th of March.

“We are all in total admiration of how hard she fought, and how she was still able to put other’s needs before her own. Despite her long illness, her untimely passing comes as an awful shock to me and all of our colleagues. All of our thoughts are with Emma’s husband and daughters of whom she is very proud, and with her many friends.” – Darren Childs, CEO, UKTV

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