Janice Vivienne Hadlow (born November 1957[1] in Lewisham[2]) is a former BBC television executive.[3] She was the controller of the BBC television channel BBC Two, taking over this position in November 2008 having previously been controller of BBC Four.[3] At the beginning of March 2014 she assumed a new post within the BBC responsible for special projects and seasons[4]. Hadlow's post was abolished when she left the BBC in 2016.[5]

Early lifeEdit

Hadlow was educated at comprehensive school in Swanley (now called Orchards Academy), in north Kent, and graduated with a BA in History from King's College London in 1978. She then spent time as a Postgraduate History Researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London (1978–81).

BBC careerEdit

Hadlow began her media career with the BBC in 1986 as a production trainee.[3] For two years between 1987 and 1989 she was a producer for BBC Radio 4 in the Current Affairs and Magazines department, where she produced Woman's Hour before moving to television. She worked in the BBC's Music and Arts department between 1993 and 1995 before become joint-head of the History department.[3] One of the television shows she helped to create in this period was Simon Schama's A History of Britain.

In 1999 Hadlow moved to Channel 4 where she became Head of History, Art and Religion, followed by Head of Specialist Factual in 2002 where she commissioned various works, including David Starkey's The Six Wives of Henry VIII series.[3]

As stated by her "Inside BBC" biography, other works she commissioned were "highly successful and award-winning programmes from most factual genres including history, science, arts and religion, including... Elizabeth, The 1940s House, Edwardian Country House, The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, Operatunity and Death of Klinghoffer (which won an Emmy)."[3]

She returned to the BBC as Controller of BBC Four after five years and specialised in commissioning programmes concerning factual genres such as history, science and religion. In 2004 The Observer included Hadlow in a list of 80 young people who they believed would shape people's lives in the early 21st Century[6] and in 2006 sister-paper The Guardian praised her for her work over the preceding 18-months at BBC Four.[7]

In 2008 Hadlow became controller of BBC Two,[3] then was joint controller of BBC Two and BBC Four from 2013.[8] In February 2014 she stood down from the post of channel controller taking up a new post responsible for special projects and seasons.[9] She was succeeded by Kim Shillinglaw.[10] Among the decisions taken by Hadlow as controller was the 2013 cancellation of the Golden Globe-nominated and Emmy award-winning BBC drama, The Hour, starring Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Dominic West, after its second season.[11] It was announced in January 2016 that Hadlow would be leaving the BBC, and that her post would be abolished.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

She has two children, Alexander and Louis, born in 1996 and 1999 respectively, and has been married to Martin Davidson since 2003. She lives in Oxford.

Her book, A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III, was published by Henry Holt and Company in October 2014.


  1. ^ UK Companies House database, "Janice Vivienne HADLOW", entry for company "CLEVER CROWS LIMITED (10012897)", accessed 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Books interview with Janice Hadlow: The private lives of George III and his family". HistoryExtra. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Press Office - Janice Hadlow". BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
  4. ^ "BBC - Janice Hadlow to step down as Controller of BBC Two - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  5. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (22 January 2016). "Janice Hadlow to leave the BBC". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  6. ^ Colvile, Robert (2004-06-27). "The bright stuff". The Observer. London. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  7. ^ "In praise of ... digital television". The Guardian. London. May 1, 2006. Retrieved June 24, 2008.
  8. ^ "BBC - Janice Hadlow to step down as Controller of BBC Two - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  9. ^ John Plunkett "BBC2 controller steps down", The Guardian, 11 February 2014
  10. ^ John Plunkett "Kim Shillinglaw named as new controller of BBC2 and BBC4", The Guardian, 11 April 2014
  11. ^ Ben Dowell "The Hour writer [Abi Morgan] wants to revive the show for a third series set in the 1960s", RadioTimes, 18 April 2018

External linksEdit

Media offices
Preceded by
Roly Keating
Controller of BBC Four
Succeeded by
Richard Klein
Controller of BBC Two
Succeeded by
Kim Shillinglaw