Apple is hiring Jay Hunt, one of the U.K.'s top TV executives with a long list of hit shows, to be its first creative head for video in Europe. Her appointment is fueling speculation about Apple's TV ambitions as it seeks to compete with Netflix and Amazon in original content.
Hunt is the former chief creative officer at Channel 4. Before that, she was controller of BBC1, where she was involved in commissioning popular shows such as "Sherlock," starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and crime drama "Luther" with Idris Elba.
She resigned from Channel 4 in June, just days before the U.K. commercial channel's new CEO was announced, and departed in September. Hunt had been seen as a front-runner for the role, which ended up going to Alex Mahon of VFX firm Foundry. Hunt joined Channel 4 in 2011, and was instrumental in the biggest coup in U.K. TV last year: poaching popular show "The Great British Bake-Off" from BBC One. She also commissioned popular shows like "Gogglebox," in which opinionated TV viewers hanging out on their own sofas comment freely on programs as they watch them.
Hunt, who starts in her new role at Apple in January, will report to Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, Apple's worldwide video heads, who joined from Sony Pictures Television in June.