‘Two Ronnies’ Producer & ITV Program Boss Was 77 – Deadline

Marcus Plantin, a British TV executive best known as ITV’s first Network Director and as a producer on The Two Ronnies, has died aged 77.

The news was confirmed by Plantin’s family this afternoon. He passed away following a long illness, according to a former colleague who posted on social media.

Plantin was a storied program maker and decision taker, known for producing beloved British comedy series The Two Ronnies and light entertainment hits such as The Generation Game, where he began his career.

He produced and directed hundreds of shows during a 14-year run at the BBC before moving to ITV affiliate London Weekend Television in 1985, where he developed a reputation as a light entertainment expert, working to create popular shows such as Blind Date.

In 1992, he was named network head at ITV, making him the most powerful player in UK commercial TV. He oversaw a period characterized by supercharging soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale, launching dramas such as Cracker and Heartbeat and the capture of FA Cup football.

He left in 1997 and joined producer and ITV network franchise owner Granada Television, which was the channel’s top supplier at the time, remaining there until 2002. Later, he worked at UK indie September Films.

ITV programs boss Kevin Lygo said: “It’s so sad to hear about Marcus. I worked for him as a young producer and he was always so kind and fun, and lived and loved the business. He was a brilliant first Director of Programmes at ITV – we owe him a lot and he will be missed.”

Sammy Nourmand, the former DCD Media and Keshet UK boss who worked under Plantin at September in the early 2000s, added: “Marcus was one of the great pioneers in a golden age of light entertainment. To me he was a friend and mentor that I had the pleasure and privilege of working with in the latter part of his career.”

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