New ITV chief faces Heartbeat decision

THE new chief executive of ITV who will decide what to do with axed show Heartbeat has been appointed.

Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier is to become the broadcaster’s new head.

The announcement marks the end of ITV’s long search for a replacement for Michael Grade, who said last April that he wished to give up the role.

Prior to joining the Royal Mail, Mr Crozier had been the boss of the Football Association.

His predecessor at ITV mothballed the Goathland-filmed Heartbeat and sold off the sets in Leeds.

Last year, a glimmer of hope surfaced for Heartbeat’s legion of fans amid rumours Sky television is interested in taking over the show’s production.

The Whitby Gazette reported how debate had been raging that both the BBC and Sky may grant a reprieve to the now suspended ITV drama.

Arthur Newton (55), who has loaned his period vehicles to Yorkshire Television including the famous Greengrass’s truck, the breakdown crane from Scripps’ Garage and the show’s police vehicles since the screening of Heartbeat’s first episode, said he’d heard Sky were interested.

“I’d heard someone from Sky wanted to take it over but it’s all cloak and dagger,” he said.

“But I’d also heard ITV are refusing to sell the rights.”

Mr Newton added when filming was suspended by ITV last May, he was told by them to keep hold of his vehicles.

Campaigner Brian Taylor, who owns Goathland Post Office and has amassed a 105,000 signature petition to save the show, said he’d heard a rumour the BBC were considering taking Heartbeat over.

“People have come into the shop and say things like the BBC are interested in taking it over but when I listen to people in the know at ITV they just seem to think it’s dead and buried,” he said.

Mr Taylor added he is now planning to hand over his petition to Mr Crozier, once the final nine episodes are screened.