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Danny Cohen (television executive)

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Danny Cohen (television executive)

Danny Cohen (born 1974)[1] is the Director of BBC Television.[2] He was previously the Controller of BBC One,[3] the BBC's principal television channel in the United Kingdom.[4] and the youngest person to be appointed as Controller of the channel.


Cohen attended a Jewish primary school in north London, followed by the City of London School, an independent school for boys in the City of London.[5] Cohen read English at Lady Margaret Hall of Oxford University, from which he graduated with a BA Honours Double First in English Literature.[5]


Channel 4

Cohen worked earlier in his career for Channel 4 in the UK in various roles including Head of Documentaries, Head of Factual Entertainment and Head of E4. His television commissions at Channel 4 included 'Fonejacker, The Inbetweeners, Supernanny, Cutting Edge, The Great British UFO Hoax, The Games, and the BAFTA award-winning Skins.[6]

BBC Three

Between May 2007 and October 2010, Cohen was the Controller of BBC Three. During his tenureship of BBC Three, the channel increased its share of 16-34-year-old viewers by 58% and won Digital Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in two out of three years – 2008 and 2010.[7] His BBC Three commissions included the BAFTA nominated Blood, Sweat and T-shirts and follow-up series Blood, Sweat and Takeaways, The Undercover Princes, Britain's Missing Top Model, The World's Strictest Parents, The Adult Season, Russell Howard's Good News, Young Voter's Question Time, Stacey Dooley Investigates, Lip Service, Lee Nelson's Well Good Show, Being Human and Mongrels.

Alongside these commissions, he also acquired Summer Heights High from Australia and built a strong following for U.S. animation Family Guy. He also revamped the hourly bulletins 60 Seconds adding a World News update, and hired Tasmin Lucia-Khan as the face of news.[8][9]

In February 2008, The Times newspaper described Cohen as "the boy wonder of British television".[10] In January 2009, the Royal Television Society's magazine Television wrote an article about Cohen which posed the question of whether "the 34 year-old wunderkind" would be Director General of the BBC by his early forties.[11]


As Controller of BBC One from 2010, Cohen's commissions have included Call the Midwife, which launched as the highest rating BBC drama series for over a decade,The Voice UK, and a new BBC adaptation of Great Expectations, The Village and the Ben Elton comedy series The Wright Way.

Cohen's television commissions have included Gangsta Granny, Call the Midwife, The Voice UK, The Inbetweeners, Skins, Supernanny, Being Human, Blood Sweat and Takeaways, Him & Her, Russell Howard's Good News, Luther, Truckers, Jamaica Inn, From There To Here, The Ark, The Game, In The Club and Women, Weddings, War and Me.

BBC Television

In April 2013 Cohen became Director of BBC Television, succeeding Roger Mosey who had been temporarily in the post since August 2012[12] and will take up his new post on 7 May.[2]

He recently appeared in a short film: 'The Creative Revolution',[13] commissioned by the Digital Production Partnership, exploring the relationship between digital technology and creativity in the production and delivery of TV programming.

Personal life

Cohen is married to the economist and author Noreena Hertz.


Media offices
Preceded by
Julian Bellamy
Controller of BBC Three
2007 – 2010
Succeeded by
Zai Bennett
Preceded by
Jay Hunt
Controller of BBC One
2010 – 2013
Succeeded by
Charlotte Moore
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