John Kaye Cooper started his distinguished career with Scottish Television in 1967, moving on to Thames Television and Yorkshire Television as a Floor Manager and Associate Producer on major ITV drama and comedy series.
As a Producer/Director since 1976 his credits are many and varied, including a BAFTA award-winning comedy series and specials with Stanley Baxter; Russ Abbot’s Madhouse; and specials with Michael Crawford, Emma Thompson, Alan Davies, Bill Bailey, and Julian Clary. His situation comedy directing credits include Surgical Spirit, Relative Strangers, The Glums, and the British Comedy Award winner, Time after Time. Between 1984 and 1987, John was Controller of Entertainment at TVS, where he launched the solo television careers of several young performers including Brian Conley, Matthew Kelly, and Bobby Davro. Also at TVS he launched Catchphrase, one of the UK’s longest running game shows.
He became Controller of Entertainment & Comedy at London Weekend Television in 1990 with responsibility for many of ITV’s top prime-time series including Barrymore, Blind Date, Gladiators, Hale and Pace, You Bet, The Brian Conley Show, My Kind of People, Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch; Second Thoughts, It’ll Be Alright On The Night, The BAFTA Awards and the Audience With…Specials. In 1991, 1993 and 1995 he produced the Royal Variety Performance for ITV.
John left LWT to become Managing Director of Talent Television in 1996, and in the ever changing world of television entertainment, the company have been at the forefront of the development of both innovative and interactive programme formats, including Test The Nation (BBC One) The Villa (Sky One); Its Your Funeral (Five); TV Scrabble (Challenge TV); Casino, Casino (Challenge TV) Best of Friends (CBBC) and How Euro Are You (BBC2) . In 2005 John produced one of the ITV 50th Birthday programmes “ What Did ITV Do For Me? a two hour documentary featuring the careers of Sir Roger Moore, Sir David Jason, Bruce Forsyth, Victoria Wood, Chris Tarrant and Simon Cowell, and more recently has completed No 1 Soap Fan – a new prime-time quiz for ITV. The company now has a very active children’s division, Talent Kids.
Test the Nation, licensed from leading Dutch production company, Eyeworks, has become the interactive prime time flagship of BBC One and BBCi. Launched in 1992, with The National IQ Test, the live interactive programme continues to be at the cutting edge of the latest technology, and in 2005 won a Rose d’Or in Lucerne.
John has been Talent TV’s Creative Director until 2007 before becoming Controller of Entertainment at ITV.