ITV's Zai Bennett to take over as BBC3 controller

Bennett will replace Danny Cohen, who moved as the controller of BBC1 in October

The BBC on Thursday appointed Zai Bennett, ITV's director of digital channels and acquisitions, as the new controller of its digital channel BBC3.

Bennett will replace Danny Cohen, who moved as the controller of BBC1 in October. However, his exact date of joining is yet to be confirmed.

He has been with ITV since 1998 and worked as controller of ITV2 from 2006 to 2009 before becoming the broadcaster's director of digital channels and acquisitions.

In his current role, Bennett oversees commissioning, acquisitions and scheduling at ITV's digital channels - ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV.

He played a crucial role in drawing in more audiences and creating awareness of channels such as ITV2 using celebrities like Katie Price and bringing ITV1 spin-off shows such as Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor.

Jana Bennett, the outgoing BBC Vision director, described the new BBC3 controller as "one of the most energetic and creative leaders working in television today".

Bennett said of BBC3: "The channel is on fire at the moment and I hope to be able to continue to support everyone's great work on quality programmes."