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
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
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
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
News
i100
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: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Charter Selection: Graphic Designer, Guildford

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Charter Selection: This renowned and well establish...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas