Lorraine Heggessey

Chair, The Grierson Trust and Advisor, Channel 4’s Growth Fund

Lorraine Heggessey is a trailblazing media executive with wide ranging experience of broadcasting and production. 

She was the first woman to be appointed as Controller of BBC One which she led to become the most popular channel in the UK introducing shows like Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and Spooks. She went on to become CEO of one of the UK’s leading independent production companies talkbackThames, producer of some of Britain’s biggest hit shows, including X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Apprentice. 

Lorraine started her television career as a BBC News Trainee before working on Newsnight and Panorama.  She is no stranger to controversy having filmed secretly behind the iron curtain, doorstepped Roger Cook in a documentary directed by Ken Loach, persuaded notorious gangster “Mad” Frankie Fraser to give his first ever television interview, and as Head of Children’s BBC had to sack Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon for taking cocaine.  

Lorraine is Chair of The Grierson Trust and is an advisor to Channel 4’s Growth Fund where she has supported the development of several independent production companies.