CEO, English National Opera
Stuart Murphy is ENO’s Chief Executive Officer.
Stuart grew up in Leeds, where his passion for classical music was sparked by playing the clarinet in Leeds Youth Orchestra and Leeds Youth Opera. He began his career at BBC Manchester, worked in Africa on the BBC’s Great Railway Journeys with Professor Henry Louis Gates Junior, and became the country’s youngest TV Channel Controller at the age of 26, running comedy and music channel UK Play.
Stuart subsequently became Channel Controller of BBC Choice, then devised, launched and ran BBC Three in 2003. While at BBC Three he commissioned shows from Gavin and Stacey to Bodies and developed a reputation for developing new talent as well as for commissioning innovative, award-winning programming. Particularly notable was Flashmob The Opera, a live opera from Paddington Station in October 2004, which brought together opera choruses from across the country with the BBC Concert Orchestra and was watched live by almost 100,000 viewers. This was followed, in April 2005, with Flashmob The Opera: Meadowhall, a specially adapted version of the Faust legend, again bringing opera to new audiences in an unexpected setting. BBC Three went on to win both Channel of the Year and Best Entertainment Channel.
After two years as Creative Director at Two Four Productions, Stuart joined Sky in 2009 to run family channel Sky One. At Sky One Stuart brought to the screen numerous award-winning shows from Stan Lee’s Lucky Man to Mad Dogs, from An Idiot Abroad to Stella and from Modern Family to Flash. After two years of Stuart’s leadership, Sky 1 was named Channel of the Year for the first time in its 20-year history.
In 2011 Stuart devised, launched and ran Sky Atlantic, bringing, among others, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, The Affair, Big Little Lies and Fortitude to UK screens. Under his tenure, he attracted many individuals to work with Sky for the first time, including Sir David Attenborough, Joanna Lumley, Dawn French, Idris Elba, Meera Syal, Matthew Perry, Kim Cattrall, Jon Hamm, Davina McCall, Melvyn Bragg, John Ridley and Sally Wainwright and numerous others.
Stuart has sat on the board for A&E Networks International and Jaunt Virtual Reality Company.