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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Profile: Peter Fincham
Peter Fincham
Mr Fincham blamed a "human error" for the row over the Queen
Peter Fincham, who has resigned as controller of BBC One, arrived at the corporation in May 2005.

His move to the BBC marked the end of two decades working in the independent TV sector, most recently overseeing hits such as The X Factor and Jamie's Kitchen.

He had joined Talkback as a producer in 1985.

The company was established by comics Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones to make radio programmes, commercials and corporate videos.

A year later he was its managing director, and became chief executive in 2003.

He had played an integral role in Talkback's merger with Thames, which brought together his company's ground-breaking comedy with the solid background in drama offered by Thames.

At the time of his appointment, BBC director of television Jana Bennett hailed him as one of "maybe 10 people who have shaped television over the last decade".

"He has a formidable track record in delivering original and outstanding programmes across a range of modern public service genres, and the knack of making them appeal to broad audiences," she said in a statement two-and-a-half years ago.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate
Doctor Who was one of Peter Fincham's biggest hits at BBC One
Mr Fincham described how he felt BBC One had to be popular and successful, without necessarily seeking high viewing figures.

"I'll be chasing success, and that's not just measured in terms of ratings," he said.

As the channel's creative leader, he was responsible for its editorial vision as well as the way it commissioned programmes - and then scheduled them.

But he was thrust into the media spotlight in July, after a press conference for BBC One's autumn launch.

He introduced a documentary trailer that he said showed the Queen storming out of a photo shoot "in a huff" - and the monarch's supposed tantrum made headlines around the world.

But the clip had been edited out of sequence and the Queen had not stormed out at all. The fallout ultimately forced Mr Fincham to quit.

Indeed, more of Mr Fincham's programmes have hit the headlines this year as part of the industry's crisis of trust.

Socks the cat
Blue Peter's cat was named Socks even though Cookie topped a poll
The decision to let a studio visitor pose as the winner of a phone-in competition on Blue Peter led to a 50,000 fine for the BBC by regulator Ofcom.

It also emerged the result of a poll to name a cat had been altered. The show's editor has now left his job.

And it transpired that members of the production team had "won" phone-in competitions on Comic Relief in March and Sport Relief in July 2006.

But Mr Fincham also enjoyed success among critics and audiences.

BBC One was named terrestrial channel of the year at the Edinburgh TV Festival in August, recognising Mr Fincham's achievements in programming, while Doctor Who won best programme.

At the time, just weeks after the controversy over the Queen, he described the award as "the best thing that's happened to me all month".

He said was "very lucky to be running BBC One", adding it was a job he "loved".

"I hope I'll be doing it for a good while yet," he told TV industry figures who had gathered in the Scottish capital.

But this did not turn out to be the case.


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