ITV is bringing in Peter Fincham, the BBC executive who quit over a misleading trailer featuring the Queen, to head its channels.

Mr Fincham succeeds Simon Shaps as director of television, who has been in charge of ITV's channels division since 2005.

The broadcaster said Mr Fincham, who was controller of BBC1 between March 2005 and October 2007, will take up his new post at ITV in the spring.

Executive chairman Michael Grade said: "It is very unusual to find a ready made successor for a job as big as this. Peter was far and away the strongest candidate to succeed Simon.

"His programme making, commissioning and scheduling experience make him uniquely qualified for the job and I am deeply impressed by his competitive instincts - particularly at the BBC."

ITV also confirmed that Michael Grade has agreed to stay in his post as chairman until the end of 2010, one year longer than his original three-year term.

In addition, Dawn Airey, managing director of global content and Rupert Howell, managing director of ITV brand and commercial, have been appointed to join John Cresswell, chief operating officer, as executive directors on the main board.

Mr Fincham was previously chief executive of talkbackTHAMES, and joined Talkback in 1985. His credits as executive producer include Never Mind the Buzzcocks, They Think It's All Over, and I'm Alan Partridge, as well as dramas Perfect Strangers and The Lost Prince.

28/02/2008 16:19:42