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BBC Newsnight editor Ian Katz takes leading role at Channel 4

The BBC’s Newsnight editor Ian Katz is to move to Channel 4 as he takes on a top role as the broadcaster’s director of programmes.

The appointment will see him take the helm of all programming at Channel 4 and oversee all of the channel’s output.

Mr Katz will take over in January from Ralph Lee, who has acted as the broadcaster’s interim chief creative officer since the departure of Jay Hunt in September.

He has been editor of the current affairs programme, formerly hosted by Jeremy Paxman and now presented by Evan Davis, Kirsty Wark and Emily Maitlis, since 2013.

Evan Davis is one of the Newsnight presenters (Jude Edgington/BBC/PA)

Mr Katz, also a former deputy editor of The Guardian newspaper, said in a statement: “I’m impossibly excited to be joining a broadcaster whose unique combination of innovation, risk-taking and elan I have admired for decades as a viewer – and more recently as a frequently envious rival.

“Channel 4’s deeply held values and relentlessly challenging sensibility have never been more important or relevant and I feel incredibly privileged to play a part in shaping the next stage of its remarkable journey.”

Channel 4’s chief executive Alex Mahon added: “Ian is an inspirational leader who assiduously builds and nurtures talented and empowered teams.

“He has fantastic instincts and intelligence, huge editorial strength and is a proven creative and digital innovator, who lives and breathes the Channel 4 values.”

Mr Katz’s role with Newsnight has seen him claim the RTS Scoop Of The Year prize for an investigation into Kids Company, share revelations on claims of bullying within the Conservative Party, and contribute to an ongoing probe into the causes and handling of the Grenfell disaster.

He is also credited with developing The Guardian’s first website in 1997.