His predecessor lasted 54 days. But new BBC Director General has plans for 2022

Boss happier to talk about Corporation's centenary than Savile on his first day in the job

By way of correcting anyone who thought he was arriving as an interim Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall told the organisation's staff that he was setting his sights on its centenary – nine years away in 2022.

On his first day in his new role, Lord Hall, 62, arrived at New Broadcasting House in London at 8.30am and spent time meeting new colleagues and giving interviews to rival broadcasters. He sent an email to the BBC's 23,000 staff in which he told them "the BBC's best days lie ahead of us". Not once did he mention the name of their erstwhile co-worker, Jimmy Savile, the man responsible for the scandal that has given Lord Hall a belated chance to run an organisation he joined 40 years ago as a trainee.

Instead, he talked of "learning the lessons" and "building on our many strengths" and going on the "next stage of our journey". The BBC has just endured one of its worst leadership crises, so it was understandable that Lord Hall's first day performance came straight out of the textbook. What he did do was make a firm commitment to the role. His predecessor George Entwistle, exposed by the Savile scandal and brought down by the Lord McAlpine fiasco which followed it, lasted 54 days. Lord Hall told staff he is already looking forward to the Twenties. "In the coming weeks, I will set out how we can all shape the next chapter for the BBC as we move towards our centenary in 2022," he said.

Should he remain that long, Lord Hall would be longer serving than Mark Thompson, the most successful recent incumbent, who did the job for eight years. Thompson left in the afterglow of the BBC's coverage of the London Olympics. The BBC centenary would provide Lord Hall with a similarly momentous finale. By then he would be 71 – most BBC DGs have stood down in their late Fifties. His entrance was an attempt to allow the BBC to begin a new era. He knows further turbulence is to come as the BBC publishes the findings of two internal inquiries into workplace harassment.

The Dame Janet Smith review is examining how Savile and others were able to commit sex offences on BBC premises. Lord Hall, who arrived at the BBC in 1973 when Savile was starting to present his BBC1 show Clunk, Click, will have a better grasp than younger BBC executives of the culture of that period.

He paid tribute to Tim Davie's "excellent leadership" as acting DG and said the BBC was back on track. "We are now winning back trust, something which will always be the most precious commodity for our organisation. We must never take it for granted.

"What we produce here is extraordinary and distinctive and very, very wonderful." But with budgets being reduced and more job cuts to come, his tenure at the BBC will also be a battle to convince MPs and the public that its licence fee funding is value for money.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Manchester - Urgent Requirement!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Sauce Recruitment: Senior Management Accountant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for a independently owne...

Sauce Recruitment: Senior Management Accountant

£17 - £20 per hour: Sauce Recruitment: Working for a independently owned and c...

Guru Careers: Mac Operator / Artworker

£Negotiable (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Mac Operator / Artworker to ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness