BBC names Lorna Clarke as first controller of Pop Music

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A view of New Broadcasting House in central London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Lorna Clarke has been named the first controller of Pop Music at the BBC in a major radio leadership reshuffle.

Clarke, a veteran production executive at the corporation, will oversee the BBC’s popular music output from September.

The newly created role gives her control over stations including Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 6 Music and the Asian Network.

She said: “My career has been defined by music, and as a music lover I want the BBC to continue to bring the world of music even closer to our listeners.

“These are exciting times for the BBC and the music industry globally, where change is affecting us all at a rapid pace. I am really looking forward to working with the industry and our partners to continue delivering amazing music for our audiences.”

Current Radio 5 Live controller Jonathan Wall has also been appointed the first controller of BBC Sounds, the service which features the corporation’s live and on-demand radio, podcasts and music.

He said: “After 21 wonderful years at 5 Live it is time for a fresh challenge.

“BBC Sounds, alongside iPlayer, will help make the BBC thrive and it’s a privilege to get the chance to lead so many talented people who want to make sure we reach as many listeners as possible with our brilliant radio, music and podcasts. I can’t wait to get started.”

Mohit Bakaya has also been announced as the new controller of Radio 4.

Bakaya, who has been the station’s commissioning editor for factual since 2008, will replace Gwyneth William.

Bakaya said: “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t passionate about Radio 4. I know what the station means to our listeners and the unique place it has in the public consciousness and important role it plays in the national debate.

“The intellectual ambition of the network and the thought-provoking, and often awe-inspiring, programmes we broadcast are more important now than ever. After being a Commissioning Editor at the network for several years, it will be a privilege to lead Radio 4 and the brilliant staff who, every day, make it the valued and much loved station it is.”

Clarke will start in September while Wall and Bakaya will take on their new roles in August.