RTÉ comedy chief Eddie Doyle leaves for BBC Northern Ireland

Senior broadcasting executive will oversee content production in Belfast

Eddie Doyle: Incoming head of content production at BBC NI.

Eddie Doyle: Incoming head of content production at BBC NI.

 

Senior RTÉ executive Eddie Doyle is leaving the broadcaster to become head of content production at BBC Northern Ireland.

Mr Doyle was head of comedy, talent development and music for RTÉ and had also last year taken on the additional role of head of factual programming. In his new role, he will oversee the BBC’s in-house production in Northern Ireland across television, radio and digital, excluding news and current affairs.

He succeeds another former RTÉ executive, Steve Carson, in the position following Mr Carson’s move to BBC Scotland as its head of multi-platform commissioning.

Mr Doyle, who is from Belfast, will report to BBC NI director Peter Johnston and will work closely with head of content commissioning Susan Lovell. Mr Johnston said an £11 million (€12.4 million) increase in its budget meant it was “an exciting time” for BBC NI.

“The additional £11 million investment into BBC NI means, among other things, more local programming across comedy, factual, drama and entertainment as well as more digital output and Eddie’s wealth of experience in these areas will be extremely valuable in his new role,” Mr Johnston said.

“I’m thrilled to be taking on the role of head of content production at such an exciting time in broadcasting,” said Mr Doyle.

Restructuring

He leaves RTÉ as the organisation is in the process of a restructuring that will see responsibility for drama and comedy combined in one role. His departure also follows the exit last month of executive board member Willie O’Reilly, who was RTÉ’s group commercial director, and Sheila de Courcy, its head of children’s content.

Best known in the industry in recent years for his role in commissioning comedy for RTÉ, Mr Doyle is a former Sunday Business Post journalist who began his career at the broadcaster in the late 1990s as producer of Prime Time and served as the executive producer of the Prime Time Investigates strand from its birth in 2002 to 2006.

He moved on to become commissioning editor for entertainment and later for RTÉ2, introducing programmes such as The Savage Eye and Republic of Telly, before becoming head of comedy, talent development and music in 2013.

More recent comedy commissions include Damo & Ivor, Bridget & Eamon and The Tommy Tiernan Show, while he also brought new talent to air in Can’t Cope Won’t Cope, Nowhere Fast and The School.