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Peter Bazalgette appointed Arts Council England chairman

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Peter Bazalgette has been appointed as the new chair of Arts Council England, succeeding Liz Forgan.

Bazalgette is a television producer who is widely credited with popularising the Big Brother TV format while at Endemol. He is currently chairman of English National Opera and a non-executive director of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He had been widely considered favourite to land the post, after it was announced earlier this year that Forgan would not be re-appointed.

He said: “2013 will be an excellent time to join the arts council, following the success of the London 2012 Festival and the launch of The Space in 2012. Sustaining our vigorous arts and cultural sector is admittedly a challenge but one I greatly look forward to.”

Bazalgette’s appointment will be for a four-year term, from February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2017. The position carries a remuneration of £40,000 per annum, for a time commitment of up to two days per week.

The appointment was made by outgoing culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, with the approval of the prime minister.

ACE chief executive Alan Davey said: “This is an excellent appointment. Peter is a great philanthropic contributor to the arts; an enthusiast who has done amazing work with English National Opera and has helped the arts council over the years to develop our digital thinking. We look forward to working with him.

“At the same time I would also like to pay tribute to Liz Forgan – who has done such a marvellous job for us during a time of rapid change. I know she will continue to play an active role until she leaves in January and I thank her sincerely for her all hard work and inspired leadership.”

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