John Whiston is Managing Director, Continuing Drama and Head of ITV in the North, ITV Studios responsible for Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
John started his career as a General Trainee at the BBC, going on to produce arts programmes then nurturing new comedy.
Moving to Manchester to head up the ‘yoof’ department, John built up a broad slate of BBC programming in the North from the anarchic live Sunday Show to Red Dwarf, from Mrs Merton and The Royle Family to Mastermind. He also looked after The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
As Director of Programmes at Yorkshire, he then helped nurture key ITV shows such as Emmerdale, A Touch of Frostand Heartbeat. As well as growing Emmerdale from three episodes to six, he also helped launch some of ITV’s most popular dramas including The Royal, At Home With The Braithwaites, Fat Friends and Lost For Words.
He then took on responsibility for Coronation Street and soon all of ITV Production’s drama such as Poirot, Marple, Prime Suspect, Blue Murder, Lewis and the Oscar winning feature film, The Queen.
A further shift saw him become responsible for all of ITV Studios’ UK production, including I’m A Celebrity, Dancing On Ice and Come Dine With Me as well as overseeing some significant new ITV hits such as the The Chase and Vera.
Now working with two of the most talented production teams in the UK, he reckons he finally has the best job in television - not least because it comes with the nickname The Pope of Soap.