Dyke to chair British Film Institute

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The Independent Culture

The former BBC director general Greg Dyke has been chosen to succeed Anthony Minghella as the chairman of the British Film Institute.

Mr Dyke, who resigned in 2004 in the wake of the Hutton report into the death of the government scientist David Kelly, takes up the four-year post next month.

Minghella, 54, the Oscar-winning director of The English Patient and Cold Mountain, is stepping down after five years at the BFI to focus on filmmaking and opera. His tenure saw the launch of the BFI South Bank centre in London.

The institute, founded in 1933, houses the world's most significant film and television archive, with more than 230,000 movies, 675,000 TV programmes and four million film stills. It has plans for a new film centre – as yet unfunded – to house the archive and galleries and to show films.

"This is an exciting moment to be joining the BFI," Mr Dyke said. "Anthony Minghella has done a brilliant job in refocusing the BFI in a new direction. My job is to take the BFI's ambitious strategy to the next level in both the virtual and physical worlds."

Mr Dyke who began his television career as a researcher for London Weekend Television, said he hoped to increase online use of the BFI archive, adding: "What I believe is essential is that not only are its films preserved but also made available to as wide an audience as possible."

Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, said: "Greg is an excellent choice to lead the BFI. He brings a wealth of experience in the fields of television, education and the arts and a well-deserved reputation for getting things done and inspiring the people around him."

Mr Dyke, 60, was a popular BBC director general from 2000 to 2004 but fell foul of the Blair government over the corporation's coverage of the run-up to the war in Iraq.