UKTV controller Emma Tennant passes away

The British television industry is today mourning the passing of the well liked UKTV controller Emma Tennant, who has died aged 49.

Tennant (pictured) had fought a long battle with cancer, but sadly passed away on Tuesday.

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

“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.”

Tennant had been controller of UKTV since 2011 and had spells running ITV’s digital channels and CITV and worked at Living TV (now Sky Living).

On the international front, she was well respected as a buyer with a keen eye for US shows that could work on thematic UK networks.

In the UK, she oversaw the major growth of UKTV network Dave, the launch of Drama and premium pay TV network W. Her tenure also led to the commissions of formats such as Taskmaster, Dave Gorman: Modern Life is Goodish and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, and the revival of BBC comedy Red Dwarf.

The multichannel broadcaster also pushed heavily into original programming, and recently ordered its first drama for W, an Anna Paquin-fronted series called Flack.

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