ITV director of television Simon Shaps has hired channel Five’s Jay Kandola to be the network’s new film and US TV show buyer.

Ms Kandola’s move to ITV comes barely six months after she joined Five as director of acquisitions from Channel 4, where she was behind the purchases of Lost and Desperate Housewives.

Her appointment as director of acquisitions comes the day after Mr Shaps recruited BBC children’s controller Alison Sharman to be ITV’s director of factual and daytime.

She replaces Jeremy Boulton, who resigned as ITV’s director of acquisitions earlier this year and is leaving the broadcaster at the end of 2005.

Acquisitions have become more important to ITV recently, after many years when the broadcaster showed little interest in buying US TV shows and films, aside from the Bond franchise.

However, with the network developing its multichannel strategy and launching digital services ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4, it has a renewed appetite for US programming and movies.

Ms Kandola was named the sixth most powerful Asian in British media in a survey published earlier this year.

She began her broadcasting career at Channel 4 as a programme sales accountant, before moving into business affairs and acquisitions at the BBC.

She returned to Channel 4 in an acquisitions role and during her time at the broadcaster was involved in buying shows including Desperate Housewives, Lost and The Simpsons.

A Five spokesman said: “We wish Jay well in her new role. She’s achieved much in her time at Five and leaves behind a department in great shape with our established acquired series committed to long term deals and a raft of exciting new shows already in the bag for next year.”

“Acquired programming is increasingly important for ITV as we expand the ITV family. In recent months we have seen how the right series can break through to become huge hits and we are delighted to have the person responsible for two of the biggest recent phenomena – Desperate Housewives and Lost – at ITV,” Mr Shaps said.