Alex Mahon must hit the ground running at Channel 4

Problems facing new chief executive include stopping its young audience from switching to Netflix, and pressure from government for a move out of London

If timing is everything, then Alex Mahon’s arrival in her new job as chief executive of Channel 4 on the eve of the final of The Great British Bake Off could not have been planned better. The new-look show’s critical and commercial success has more than justified the £75m spent taking it from the BBC.

Mahon, who turns 44 this weekend, joins Channel 4 from the special effects company behind the films Gravity and Guardians of the Galaxy. Her inbox includes pressure from the government for a move out of London, arresting a decline in TV viewing (especially among youth audiences), a volatile ad market and hiring a new chief creative officer to spearhead Channel 4’s £700m programming budget.

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