Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall has been appointed as the new director general of the BBC.
He will take up the post in March next year, and replaces George Entwistle, who resigned earlier this month.
Hall, who has been chief executive of the ROH since 2001, said: “I believe passionately in the BBC and that is why I have accepted Lord Patten’s invitation to become director general. The organisation is an incredibly important part of what makes the United Kingdom what it is. And of course it matters not just to people in this country, but to tens of millions around the world too. It’s been a difficult few weeks but together we’ll get through this.”
Hall is a former BBC employee, having worked there for 28 years. He was head of BBC News and Current Affairs between 1996 and 2001.
BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten said: “While there are still very serious questions to be answered by the on-going inquiries, it is in the interests of licence fee payers that the BBC now starts to refocus on its main purpose – making great programmes that audiences love and trust. In doing this it will need to take a long, hard look at the way it operates and put in place the changes required to ensure it lives up to the standards that the public expects. Tony Hall is the right person to lead this and I am delighted that he is taking on this role. For its part I want to make sure that the trust gives Tony Hall whatever help and support he needs to re-build the BBC’s management around him.”
He added: “Tony Hall has been an insider and is a currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man he understands how the Corporation’s culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world. And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the sometimes justified criticisms of the Corporation – that it can be inward looking and on occasions too institutional. But perhaps most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his background in news will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences.”