Radio 2 resignation: the exchange of letters

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The Independent Online

Radio 2 Controller Lesley Douglas tonight resigned over the Andrew Sachs row. Here is the exchange of letters between her and BBC Director General Mark Thompson:

Dear Mark,

The last week has been a painful one for the BBC and particularly for BBC Radio 2.

It is with enormous regret that I have decided to resign as Controller of BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and of Popular Music. This is my decision alone.

Over the 23 years of my career at the BBC I have enjoyed a deep love and respect for both the audience and the BBC. The events of the last two weeks happened on my watch. I believe it is right that I take responsibility for what has happened.

It is a matter of the greatest possible sadness to me that a programme on my network has been the cause of such a controversy. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my personal apology to Andrew Sachs and his family and to the audience for what has happened.

It has been a huge privilege to have been entrusted with the leadership of the UK's most popular radio station, which is so intensely loved by the audience. I have also had the tremendous pleasure of launching BBC 6 Music and more recently of leading popular music output across the BBC.

I know I leave BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music in the hands of a dedicated and passionate team of incredibly talented presenters and production staff. I am enormously proud of what we have achieved together.

Yours ever,
Lesley Douglas

Dear Lesley

Thank you for your letter.

It is with real sadness that I accept your decision to resign. There is no doubt that my sadness today will be shared both across the BBC and the wider music industry.

You have been an outstanding Head of Programmes and then Controller of Radio 2 over the past eight years.

You have presided over a creative transformation of the Network, and have rightly been recognised by the industry for your massive contribution to UK radio.

Your decision to take responsibility for what has happened is an illustration of the integrity and commitment which has characterised your leadership at BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.

Over the past 23 years, you have been a devoted servant of the BBC, and your absence will be felt by your many colleagues and friends at the BBC. I am sure you will continue to make an outstanding contribution to radio and popular music in the UK.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Thompson
Director General

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