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Last Updated: Friday, 14 May, 2004, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Keating's climb to BBC success
BBC Four controller Roly Keating
Keating called his new role at BBC Two "a huge honour"

Roly Keating has been appointed the new controller of BBC Two - another milestone in a lengthy career with the corporation.

Mr Keating's media career has seen him devote much of his professional life to the BBC, which he joined as a general trainee in 1983.

As a producer and director in music and arts, Mr Keating made films for BBC cultural stalwarts like Omnibus, Bookmark and Arena.

His documentary subjects included Ealing Studios, VS Pritchett and Philip Roth, marrying both populist appeal with intellectual thrust.

Mr Keating went on to found and edit the influential arts and media series The Late Show.

Heritage background

From 1992, he spent five years as editor of Bookmark, winning the Huw Weldon Award for best arts programme in 1993.

Not one to rest on his laurels, in the same year, Mr Keating devised the long-running heritage series One Foot in the Past.

As executive producer, Mr Keating was also responsible for A History of British Art, The House Detectives and How Buildings Learn.

In 1997, Mr Keating oversaw the launch of UKTV - a joint venture between the BBC and Flextech. As head of programming, he launched channels including UKTV Style and relaunched UKTV Gold.

Digital chief

In 1999, Mr Keating returned to the BBC proper to become controller of digital channels, adding the role of head of arts commissioning to his brief one year later.

It gave him responsibility for music and arts programming across the BBC's TV channels, and cemented his standing as a major creative influence at the corporation.

In December 2001, he took on arguably his most challenging role, launching the new digital arts channel BBC Four.

Critics said the BBC was simply trying to dump its arts programming on one, little-watched channel. But despite having to work with a limited budget, Keating helped the channel to evolve into a promising platform.

Recent successes included The Alan Clark Diaries, which drew almost one million viewers on its first outing, and Bafta-winning documentary The National Trust.

His new post as controller of BBC Two sees Keating take on his most significant role to date.

With thoughts at the BBC turning towards getting its charter renewed in 2006, a channel once heralded for its ground-breaking programming and extensive arts coverage looks to be in safe hands.

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