Tim Davie: New BBC boss says corporation needs to reform with 'urgency' and serve entire country

'We will need to keep reforming the BBC with urgency so that we are trusted, relevant and indispensable in this digital age', Mr Davie says

Vincent Wood
Tuesday 01 September 2020 22:10
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Tim Davie, new Director General of the BBC, arrives at BBC Scotland in Glasgow
Tim Davie, new Director General of the BBC, arrives at BBC Scotland in Glasgow

The new director general of the BBC has said the broadcaster must strive to reach audiences across the entire nation.

Tim Davie is due to set out his plan for the future of the broadcaster on Thursday amid reports he will be tough on social media use and take a hard line stance against political bias leaking into the publicly-funded corporation’s journalism.

Arriving at BBC Scotland’s Glasgow HQ in jeans — a marked departure from his predecessor’s suit and tie — the replacement for Lord Tony Hall said it was a "tremendous honour" to take on the role.

He added: "Overall my guiding principle is that we are a universal public service, a BBC for all, that serves and represents every part of this country.

"Our focus must be to ensure that we deliver outstanding and unique value to all audiences, those who pay for us and are in effect our customers, in return for their licence fee.

"To do this we will need to keep reforming the BBC with urgency so that we are trusted, relevant and indispensable in this digital age.

"While we do face challenges, the senior team and I are incredibly proud to be leading this organisation and supporting you.

"We are an organisation that matters, and your work is admired for its creative brilliance, outstanding journalism and much more across the world.

"I am here to ensure that continues."

Mr Davie takes over the job from Lord Hall, who spent seven years in the role, amid a turbulent time for the BBC - facing scrutiny over equal pay, diversity, free TV licences for the over-75s and competition from streaming services.

Now he is expected to make combatting accusations of partisan bias a focus of his tenure by using his opening address to staff to tell those who cannot leave their politics at the door that they have no place at one of the world’s most trusted news brands.

According to The Sunday Times Mr Davie, a former PepsiCo marketing manager who twice stood as a Conservative party councillor in west London, is expected to tell journalists: “Impartiality is our bedrock.

“If you are a journalist who isn’t interested in balance, if you can’t leave your politics at the newsroom door, you have no place here.”

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