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George Entwistle named next BBC director general

Category: Entertainment

Published: 4th Jul 2012 11:16:22

George Entwistle has been named the new director general of the BBC, it has been announced.

Mr Entwistle, who is currently director of BBC Vision, will take over from outgoing director general Mark Thompson.

Announcing the appointment, BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said: "George is a creative leader for a creative organisation."

The BBC Trust said Mr Entwistle would be paid an annual salary of £450,000.

It is a smaller figure than the £671,000 earned by Mr Thompson, bearing out Lord Patten's repeated assertion that the next head of the BBC would have a salary less than their predecessor.

"I'm delighted that the chairman and Trustees have decided I'm the right person for the job and I'm very excited about all that lies ahead," Mr Entwistle said.

"I love the BBC and it's a privilege to be asked to lead it into the next stage of its creative life."

Mr Entwistle - who will be celebrating his 50th birthday this weekend - was selected by a BBC Trust panel, the governing body of the BBC, led by Lord Patten.

"[Entwistle's] experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love - built up through many years of working for the corporation - will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world," Lord Patten said.

"Above all George is passionate about the BBC, is committed to its public service ethos and has a clear vision for how it can harness the creativity and commitment of its staff to continue to serve audiences in ever more innovative ways," he added.

Mark Thompson said it was a "brilliant appointment".

"George has shown himself to be an outstanding leader with an intuitive understanding of public sector broadcasting," he said.

"He has a formidable track record as a programme maker and in recent years has also shown his calibre as a leader. I wish him and the BBC every success in the years to come."

Mr Thompson is expected to stand down from his post after the Paralympics, after eight years in the role.

He is the BBC's longest-serving director general since the 1970s.

His tenure has seen the BBC suffer scandals including the Sachsgate affair, and controversy over the tone of the coverage of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last month.

The corporation has also seen a series of budget cuts and staff redundancies in recent years.

Yet Mr Thompson has also presided over successes including Strictly Come Dancing and Frozen Planet, and the launch of the BBC iPlayer.

The new director general's first priority will be to prepare the BBC for the review of its Royal Charter.

The current charter, which expires in 2016, sets out how the BBC should be funded, what it does and how it is managed.

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