Mirror chief on panel to advise over BBC charter

A panel of the great and the good including Sly Bailey, the chief executive of the group that owns the
Daily Mirror, is to advise the Government on the future of the BBC.

A panel of the great and the good including Sly Bailey, the chief executive of the group that owns the Daily Mirror, is to advise the Government on the future of the BBC.

The woman in charge of the ailing newspaper - in May its circulation dropped to its lowest level since the Second World War - is one of a panel of six independent experts announced yesterday by the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, to assist the Government with its review of the BBC's charter, due for renewal in 2006.

The panel, drawn up by Lord Burns, chairman of Abbey bank and adviser to Ms Jowell on the charter review, will help to mould the future of the BBC in a crucial period when it must justify its licence fee against increasing competition from multichannel television. Ms Jowell said: "I am delighted that Terry has secured such a strong cast list for his panel. The breadth of knowledge, range of views and extensive experience contained within it will prove invaluable."

The other members are Tim Gardam, a former director of programmes at Channel 4; Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics: Sir Alan Budd, a former chief economic adviser to the Treasury; Alice Rawsthorn, director of the Design Museum and a former journalist; and Janet Finch, vice-chancellor of Keele University.

The panel will "marshal and formulate" arguments ahead of the BBC's key submission to the charter review in June.

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