BBC Radio 5 Live appoints Heidi Dawson as Controller

Heidi Dawson has been appointed as the new Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra.

Heidi is currently Managing Editor of BBC Radio 5 Live and becomes Controller with immediate effect. She succeeds Jonathan Wall who was appointed as Controller of BBC Sounds in July 2019.

Heidi started her career in local radio at BBC Radio Solent before working as a journalist on BBC Radio 4’s World At One and PM. She moved to BBC Radio 5 Live in 2001 as a Breakfast show producer; she has produced and edited most 5 Live News programmes. Heidi has also worked oversees in Israel, Iraq, at World Cups and Olympic Games.

In 2013, Heidi joined 5 Live’s management team and is now Managing Editor. She commissioned the award-winning podcast Brexitcast and is also Chair of the BBC North Diversity Action Group.

Heidi Dawson says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to become the Controller of the radio station I’ve loved listening to and working at for the last 18 years. I’m honoured to now be leading the most impressive, creative and hard-working team in the industry. I can’t wait to get started as Controller and continue the evolution of the station with innovative and entertaining radio and podcasts that reflect the whole of the UK.”

James Purnell, Director of Radio and Education, says: “5 Live is a constantly-moving, fast-paced environment and, during her time with the station, Heidi has proved herself as a confident leader with strong editorial judgement and a willingness to take risks. Heidi’s passion for 5 Live is clear to see and she’s going to make a fantastic Controller. I look forward to working with her and seeing the exciting future for 5 Live and Sports Extra.”

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  1. Mr Boltar says

    Did she get the job purely on merit or in part because she has ovaries? Hard to tell with the BBC any more.

    1. Joanne greenwood says

      On merit, obviously, did you not read her bio!! Sounds like somebody is a little bitter……

      1. Mr Boltar says

        Bitter about what exactly? I don’t work there. As for her bio its no better than many others. However I did notice this bit:

        “Chair of the BBC North Diversity Action Group.”

        Prime BBC virtue signalling material then and a shoe in for the job.

    2. Ted says

      She’d have been further up the list if she identified as “they”

  2. Mark Budgen says

    no doubt another privately educated.

  3. David says

    Heidi has worked for Five Live for 18 years across a large section of the stations output, I think that more than qualifies her for the job regardless of gender.

    In commercial radio the vast majority of Programme Directors are men. A lot of BBC Programme Directors are men.

    There’s no shortage of fantastic producers who are women and I very much hope they get the chance to progress further in Programme Management on equal level and pay as the men do.

    Congrats to Heidi.

  4. Mike says

    It will soon be impossible for a man to get a decent job at the BBC. That’s discrimination isn’t it?

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