Dr. Samir Shah becomes first Indian-origin BBC Chairman

Dr. Samir Shah becomes first Indian-origin BBC Chairman

February 23, 2024

London: India-born media executive Dr. Samir Shah was yesterday confirmed as the new BBC Chairman after his selection cleared the stages of scrutiny to be approved by King Charles III this week.

Dr. Shah, who has worked in UK broadcasting for over 40 years, was picked as the government’s preferred candidate in December last year and went on to be quizzed by cross-party MPs of the House of Commons Media Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for his pre-appointment scrutiny.

The 72-year-old has now been confirmed in the 160,000 pounds per year and four-year term role to take charge as BBC’s first Indian-origin Chair from Mar. 4 and running until Mar. 2028.

“With a career spanning more than 40 years in TV production and journalism, Dr. Shah has a wealth of experience to bring to the position of BBC Chair,” said UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer as she announced his selection. “He has a clear ambition to see BBC succeed in a rapidly changing media landscape, and I have no doubt he will provide the support and scrutiny that BBC needs to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future,” she said.

Dr. Shah, who was honoured with a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2019 for services to television and heritage, will replace Richard Sharp who had been forced to resign after a communication with former PM Boris Johnson came under scrutiny.

“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,” said Dr. Shah.

Born in Aurangabad, Dr. Shah came to England in 1960 and has previously been the head of current affairs and political programmes at the BBC.

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Before taking up the role as Chair of the BBC, he was the CEO of Juniper – an independent television and radio production company, since 1998.


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