John Hay

head of specialist factual,
Channel 4

John took over as the channel’s Head of Specialist Factual in July 2016 after nearly four years in the department. He now heads a team whose recent output includes Mutiny, Guy Martin’s Speed and Our Guy in China, The Secret Life of 4 and 5 Year Olds; SAS: Who Dares Wins, Spies, Walking the Nile/ Himalayas/ Americas, Meet the Trumps, 50 Shades of Gay, Man-Made Planet: Earth from Space, First Contact: Lost Tribe of the Amazon, Interview with a Murderer and – with C4’s drama department – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

In his previous role as Commissioning Editor for Arts, John oversaw the BAFTA, RTS and Grierson-winning Grayson Perry: Who Are You? and Grayson Perry’s Dream House and commissioned the double-RTS-winning Grayson Perry: All Man, as well as the unique real-time theatrical event The Vote, the Grierson, Prix Italia and Rose d’Or-winning Our Gay Wedding: The Musical and the recently-expanded Random Acts shorts strand.  Before that, he looked after the channel’s coverage of the discovery and reburial of Richard III, commissioned the multi-award-winning 24-hour real-time multiplatform event D-Day: As It Happens, two series of Flying to the Ends of the Earth with Arthur Williams, the world record-breaking attempt Walking the Nile as well as reviving  the Secret History strand.

Prior to his arrival at Channel 4 in August 2012, John was Commissioning Editor for Factual at Channel 5 (where commissions included Nazi Titanic, Brain Hospital, North Pole Ice Airport and The Woman Who Lost Her Face) and spent 13 years in production and development at the BBC.)