Kay was appointed Controller of CBeebies in May 2010 and is responsible for commissioning content for the under-six demographic across all platforms—TV, online, mobile and radio (download to own daily podcasts). Kay has over 20 years of experience in children’s programming, primarily at the BBC, but also in the independent sector.
Under Kay's leadership, CBeebies continues to be the UK's most popular channel for the under sixes and this year was again recognized as Channel of the Year by BAFTA. This is the third time in the past four years that CBeebies has won the award. Over 2.2 million children watch the channel each week, and this year there has been a 60% increase in requests for CBeebies titles on the BBC iPlayer. 2013 also saw the launch of the CBeebies App which was an instant success with over 1 million downloads in the first two months - the most successful BBC App launch to date! A refresh of the website means that ouraudience will be able to engage with their favorite CBeebies characters and content wherever and whenever they want - on their mobile device of choice.
CBeebies remains the only pre-school channel committed to original British factual and live action shows for pre-schoolers, reflecting their real lives and those of their families and communities. Two dramas, featuring children in the lead roles have brought a new genre to CBeebies, something Kay has worked towards for some years. Katie Morag andTopsy & Tim achieved excellent ratings (outperforming slot averages) and wide critical acclaim in November 2013.
This year CBeebies added a range of new, distinctive shows to its portfolio and increased the number of female role models in both live action and animation - something else Kay has been championing for some time and will continue to do! Recent hits include Sarah and Duck, Let's Play, Get Well Soon, Tree Fu Tom, Old Jack's Boat, Woolly and Tig specials, Magic Hands(signed poetry for deaf children, but inclusive and accessible to all) Peter Rabbit, Whats the Big Idea?, and The Ugly Duckling- a special programme made in partnership with the Northern Ballet, which won the Pre School Live Action award at the 2013 Children's BAFTAs.
These new series join Channel favourites including Something Special, Mr. Maker, Octonauts, Abney and Teal, Mike the Knight, Rastamouse, Baby Jake, Postman Pat, Andy's Wild Adventures, Mr Bloom's Nursery, Nina and the Neurons, Grandpa in my Pocket, Show Me Show Me, In the Night Garden and Bedtime Stories read by a host of famous names - from Maxine Peake to David Hasselhof! They are all introduced by presenters Cerrie Burnell, Cat Sandion, Andy Day and Alex Winters, to form the UK's best loved pre-school service.
Kay remains passionate about providing the very best content for the BBC's youngest audience by working with in house production, independent producers and international partners. Kay studied Theology at Oxford University, is married with two teenage sons and a proud Arsenal supporter!
Featured in: Lunching With...; 30 Minutes with Kay Benbow, CBeebies