U.K. Parliament Approves David Clementi as BBC Chair

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BBC

A committee questioned him about such topics as whether the U.K. public broadcaster should launch a new version of 'The Great British Bake Off' after losing the baking competition to Channel 4.

David Clementi is one step closer to becoming chair of a newly organized BBC board after winning approval for his appointment in the U.K. parliament.

The British government last week announced Clementi, a former Bank of England deputy governor, as its preferred candidate for the BBC chair role. On Tuesday, he was questioned by the parliament's culture, media and sport select committee, whose members approved his appointment.

Clementi now only needs final approval from Queen Elizabeth II, whose so-called privy council of advisers is expected to wave through the appointment. He authored a review of the U.K. public broadcaster's governance setup last year and recommended axing the BBC Trust and establishing a new unitary board, which he will now head up.

"We acknowledge his honesty in accepting there were gaps in his knowledge of the industry, and he assured us that he would endeavor to plug these gaps with careful appointments of non-executive directors, who would bring specific areas of expertise to the unitary board," the parliamentary committee said about its decision to approve Clementi for the role.

It added that it was "pleased" that he "acknowledged the BBC’s shortcomings in the area of diversity — not least the dearth of older women on screen — and that he has promised to tackle this as a top priority."

In his committee appearance, he was, among other things, asked if the BBC should launch a new version of The Great British Bake Off after losing the baking competition to Channel 4. “It would need to be a different format,” he said. “To put an absolutely similar program on would be very disappointing.”

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