Lorraine Heggessey is the former and first ever female BBC One controller, a television producer and highly regarded keynote speaker. In a huge variety of public, private and third sector roles, Lorraine has been the brains and the face behind huge successes and transformations.
About Lorraine Heggessey
Lorraine Heggessey, in her role as first female controller of BBC One, led the channel to become the most popular in Britain, even overtaking its main competitor of many years, ITV1. Having commissioned Strictly Come Dancing and Dr. Who, Lorraine is well-versed in innovation, reinvention and leadership, rendering her a perfect choice for corporates audiences.
Lorraine Heggessey became CEO of British television production company, talkbackThames. She possesses an innate creative leadership and remarkable ability to motivate talent to drive commercial success. As a result, Lorraine totally revitalized the programming portfolio and saw the introduction of a new digital division.
Throughout her time in the role, Lorraine also oversaw the introduction of various hit entertainment shows, including Britain’s Got Talent and Take Me Out. The success of these shows were instant, and resulted in profits increasing by over 50% in Lorraine’s first two years.
Back in 2012, Lorraine made the leap to build a new independent production group. Leading Boom Pictures in her role as Executive Chair, Lorraine went on to build the 7th largest production company in Britain, worth c£100 million and eventually bought by ITV and renamed Two Four Group.
More recently Lorraine was CEO of The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. With instructions to use her incredible business acumen to professionalise and grow the Foundation, she helped develop and refine its unique model of venture philanthropy that incubates initiatives to tackle some of today’s biggest challenges. This included mental health – through the Heads Together campaign – and supporting wounded, sick and injured veterans.
Lorraine’s varied career has meant she is no stranger to controversy – known as the woman who sacked Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon for taking cocaine, turned the tables on reporter Roger Cook by door stepping him for a Channel 4 Documentary and secured the first ever television interview with notorious villain Mad Frankie Fraser for a series on the history of crime in Britain.
A Fellow of the Royal Television Society and frequent judge for BAFTA and the RTS, Lorraine continues to act as an external advisor to Channel 4’s Growth Fund – set up to invest in small to medium sized production companies. She supports the companies in the portfolio helping them to deliver creative and commercial success. She is also Chair of the Grierson Trust, which celebrates and promotes documentary excellence through its annual awards and opens doors to the industry for young people from diverse backgrounds whose voices might otherwise not be heard. She is a regular contributor to the Today Programme and Newsnight on media topics.
- Making Change Happen
- Star Quality Leadership
- Creating an Intrapreneurial, Empowered Work Culture
- Women Thriving in Business
- Mental Health at Work