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Apple TV Plus could be the new home of great documentaries – at the BBC’s expense

BBC documentaries are, quite rightly, a massive source of pride for Brits. Without going all flag wavy and Rule Britannia on you, some might say they’re the envy of the world.

Whether it’s incredible Sir David Attenborough-fronted nature programmes coming to us at the apex of technological advancement, or the incisive investigative reporting seen on Panorama, it’s hard to argue the licence fee isn’t going to good use on factual programming.

Now, one of the key people behind the success of the BBC’s documentaries, is jumping ship to head up non-fiction programming at the Apple TV Plus streaming service. Alison Kirkham, who helped bring documentaries like Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II to fruition in her role as controller of factual commissioning, will now join the growing array of talent at Apple’s original content division.

Related: Apple TV Plus review

Apple’s factual programming has so far included the Beastie Boys Story from Spike Jonze, as well as the documentaries Home, Visible: Out on Television and The Elephant Queen. The company has also commissioned Long Way Up, which stars Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, as well as another series named Prehistoric Planet. That pair is yet to air on Apple TV Plus.

BBC director of content Charlotte Moore confirmed the departure to Variety, saying: “I would like to thank Alison for leading factual during a period of such impressive creative success … She will be missed by us all and I hope you will join me in wishing her the very best in her new role.”

Of course, the departure of Kirkham doesn’t mean the Beeb’s documentaries are about to go south. They were great before she took on the role in 2015 and will be great moving forward. There are hundreds of exceptionally talented storytellers within the ranks and we expect Auntie to keep pumping out amazing factual programming in the future.

Which is your favourite BBC documentary? Are you impressed with Apple TV Plus thus far? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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