Alex Gardiner is stepping down as MD of Shiver, ending 22 years with ITV Studios.

Shiver, the MediaCityUK-based factual arm of ITV Studios, has started the search for a new MD.

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Gardiner has decided to take a career break, although he will stay on until the summer.

He said: “After 22 hugely enjoyable years with ITV Studios in which I have been lucky enough to make some fantastic television, the time has come to seek out fresh challenges.

“I leave behind a great team of people working in what must be the most vibrant and dynamic production company in the world. I wish Julian Bellamy and all in Shiver the very best and look forward to cheering them on from the outside.”

Julian Bellamy, the MD of ITV Studios, added: “Alex is one of a kind – there are very few people who have had an ITV career so broad and successful as his.

“From working on the launch of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to spearheading ITV’s first election debate and overseeing the seismic Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, Alex has been involved in many of ITVs most important and memorable programmes over the last 22 years.

“He will be missed by all of us, but particularly his team for whom he has been a fantastic champion. We wish him all the very best for the future.”