UKTV's Steve North on Red Dwarf, Taskmaster and what it takes to be a Chief Programming Officer

In his 20-plus years at the broadcaster, he has led the rebrand of UKTV’s comedy channel to Dave, brought the huge hit Taskmaster to our screens and revived a childhood favourite, Red Dwarf. He also manages the combined BBC Studios and UKTV global compliance team.

What does the job involve?

Setting the editorial direction of the business so we can create distinctive, original, creative, enjoyable channels at UKTV that viewers want to watch.

Do you use gut instinct or data?

Jamali Maddix to meet leaders of the fringes in new Dave docuseries produced by Louis Theroux

A headshot of English comedian Jamali Maddix, wearing a black shirt and glasses

Across four parts, Follow The Leader with Jamali Maddix will see the comedian meet and observe leaders of fringe communities on the rise, aiming to find out what drives them, and why they attract so many devout followers.

Maddix said: "I've always been fascinated by cults and sub-cultures - people that choose to live as 'other'. Comedians are typically outsiders and I've made a career from observing people's behaviour and nuances from this perspective.

Stars from Bridgerton, Bodyguard and Showtrial in first look images for The Red King

The six-part series stars Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard) as Grace Narayan, a once successful police sergeant who has been forced into a “punishment post” on an obscure and sequestered island. When Narayan begins investigating the unsolved case of a missing teenager, what at first glance appears as a gritty police thriller, drifts into folk horror upon the unearthing of a bygone cult called True Way. Narayan comes to realise the cult, and its dedication to pagan god the ‘Red King’, are not as confined to the island’s past as it first appears.

W receives first true crime series commission from UKTV

The logo for TV channel W, namely a white 'W' against a slanted red rectangle

The eight-episode programme will detail the exploits of digital manipulators, using first-person testimony from the people they targeted. Catfishing, gaslighting and deception all take centre-stage, as the show explores the darker side of dating sites and online messaging. 

Produced by First Look TV, the hour-long programme delves into several of the tools used by manipulators, from love bombing to mirroring to breadcrumbing. 

Stacey Dooley to hit the States for a second series of sleepovers

The first series saw Dooley stay with Autumn, a 9-year-old GunTuber (someone who shares their collection of weapons on YouTube) who lives with her parents in Oklahoma, Mya and Kennedy, a transgender mother and father living in Virginia, and Cheryl and Quran, a Georgian couple with a 37 year age gap.

The new series will explore similarly modern themes, including attitudes to love, relationships, marriage, parenting and money. More information on the families and locations Dooley is visiting will be revealed in due course.

David Mitchell’s Outsiders to return for third series

Hosted by David Mitchell (Peep Show), the comics will be presented with different survival challenges to create their new civilisation. Previous tasks have included felling trees, milking goats, and writing national anthems.

Living in tents and stripped of life’s luxuries, the comedians have got one week to prove themselves as survivalists.

Executive producer Leanne Klein has promised “ever more creative challenges” in this series.

UKTV announces new W documentary series Katie Piper: Babies Behind Bars

Piper will talk to female prisoners who are trying to come to terms with what the future looks like for their children while trying to negotiate a prison term.

Over five episodes, Piper will explore the different ways women and their children are treated in the US judicial system and how they cope with the difficult prospect of having to give up their babies while they serve their time.