Byline: POPPY BRECH
ITV's track record on surprises isn't great. As the recent Dawn Airey fiasco showed, the network centre's tendency of late has been to be more surprised than surprising. But last week's appointment of Nigel Pickard as ITV director of programmes reversed that trend.
The choice of Pickard is surprising on two counts: ITV was successful in keeping his candidacy a secret and from an advertiser point of view no one has really heard of him. 'Nigel who?' was a typical reaction from agencies and advertisers, some of whom had been hoping for a big name to replace David Liddiment, such as BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey.
But the response from the programming community has been overwhelmingly positive. 'It's a clever, imaginative appointment,' …