Veteran TV executive Samir Shah is set to be appointed as the next chair of the BBC.

Shah, who has worked in broadcasting for over 40 years, was announced this week as the government’s preferred candidate for BBC chair by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer.

3. Samir Shah BBC portrait

Samir Shah, BBC

Shah will now appear before MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny.

Shah succeeds Richard Sharp who resigned in April after a report found that he broke rules over dealings with Boris Johnson ahead of his appointment. Frazer thanked Dame Elan Closs Stephens, who has acted as the chair in the interim.

Shah is the CEO and owner of independent TV and radio production company Juniper. Before that, he was head of current affairs and political programmes at the BBC.

In 2022, the Royal Television Society awarded him its top honour: Outstanding Contribution to journalism.

Shah was a Non-Executive Director of the BBC from 2007-2010, Chair of the Museum of the Home (2014-2022), and was a trustee then Deputy Chair of the V&A (2004-2014). He was Chair of the Runnymede Trust (1999-2009). He is currently Chair of One World Media and sits on the Arts and Media Honours Committee.

He was born in India and came to England in 1960. He is married with one son.

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Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said Shah had a wealth of experience to bring to the position of BBC Chair. “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.

“His knowledge of the BBC and his belief in its role as a national broadcaster alongside his extensive work to promote diversity in broadcasting will be invaluable in helping to ensure that the BBC reflects, represents and serves communities across the whole of the UK.”

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.

“If I am able to put what skills, experience, and understanding of public service broadcasting I have built up during my career to help this brilliant organisation meet the complex and diverse challenges it faces over the coming years, it would be an honour.

“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.”

The Chair of the BBC is paid £160,000 per annum for 3 to 4 days per week.

Shah was appointed a CBE for services to Television and Heritage in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was previously made an OBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Television Society in 2002.

Shah was appointed Visiting Professor of Creative Media at Oxford University in 2019 and the University of Nottingham appointed him to a Special Professorship in the Department of Post Conflict Studies.

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