Government appoints Rishi Sunak's former boss to lead BBC

BBC Broadcasting House in London. Picture date: Tuesday January 21, 2020. Photo credit should read:

Richard Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker and boss to chancellor Rishi Sunak, could become the next chairman of the BBC - Credit: Ian West/PA

Former Goldman Sachs banker Richard Sharp will succeed Sir David Clementi as BBC chairman, BBC News has said.

His appointment comes amid a debate about the BBC licence fee and how the broadcaster is facing competition from streaming services.

Sharp, who was once Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s boss, will take over from Sir David, who will stand down in February, according to BBC media editor Amol Rajan.

Names previously linked with the post include former chancellor George Osborne and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph Charles Moore, who reportedly ruled himself out.

The new chairman will work closely with new director-general Tim Davie, who is the former chief executive of the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Studios.

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He took over from Lord Tony Hall in September and said the corporation needs to keep reforming “with urgency” and stressed it must be “a universal public service”.

The broadcaster currently faces scrutiny over equal pay, diversity, free TV licences for the over-75s and competition from streaming services such as Netflix, as well as the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

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