TV executive Samir Shah named new BBC Chairman

Since then, he has held positions as the BBC's head of television current affairs, and later went on to head the corporation's political journalism across radio and television.

London: TV executive Samir Shah has been named as the government’s choice for the new BBC Chairman, following Richard Sharp’s resignation in April, media reports said.

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Shah, 71, previously held a series of roles at the BBC, including as its head of current affairs.

In a statement, he said he was “delighted” to have been named the government’s preferred candidate, BBC reported.

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Sharp resigned earlier this year after breaking rules over dealings with then Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of his appointment.

Professor Dame Elan Closs Stephens, a BBC board member, stepped in as acting Chairwoman following his exit.

Although the BBC is politically independent, its Chairperson is appointed by the government.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said that Dr Shah had “a wealth of experience to bring to the position”.

“He has a clear ambition to see the BBC succeed in a rapidly changing media landscape, and I have no doubt he will provide the support and scrutiny that the BBC needs to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future,” she added.

Dr Shah said: “The BBC is, without doubt, one of the greatest contributions we have made to global culture and one of our strongest calling cards on soft power.

“The BBC has a great place in British life and a unique duty to reach a wide audience right across the country and I will do all I can to ensure it fulfils this in an increasingly competitive market.”

As Chairman of the BBC’s board, Dr Shah will be in charge of upholding and protecting the BBC’s independence and ensuring the BBC fulfils its mission to inform, educate and entertain, BBC reported.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We welcome the announcement that Samir Shah has been selected as the Government’s preferred candidate to take up the role of BBC chair and look forward to him joining the Board once the formal process has been completed.”

His selection marks a sea change, as it means there will now be a journalist at the top of the BBC.

Shah has worked in TV for more than 40 years, starting at London Weekend Television in 1979, BBC reported.

Since then, he has held positions as the BBC’s head of television current affairs, and later went on to head the corporation’s political journalism across radio and television.

In 2007, he was appointed as a non-executive director on the BBC Board.

Shah is currently chief executive of Juniper, an independent production company, which supplies programmes to the BBC, as well as other organisations including Channel 4, Netflix and National Geographic, BBC reported.

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