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First members of the new BBC Unitary Board announced

First members of the new BBC Unitary Board announced

Steve Morrison and Dr Ashley Steel have been announced as the first board members of the BBC’s new governing body.

The BBC Unitary Board, which will take over from the BBC Trust, will come into effect next month following plans laid out in the recent Government charter.

Morrison will stand in as the board member for Scotland, while Steel will take the post for England.

The full board, led by Sir David Clementi, will consist of 14 members and will be responsible for governing the broadcaster, while Ofcom will act as regulator.

Sir David will lead the new board.
Sir David will lead the new board (World First/PA)

Following the announcement of the first members on Thursday, Sir David said: “I’m delighted that Ashley and Steve will be joining the board of the BBC and am really looking forward to working with them.

“Their experience will be a great asset to the board.”

Rector of Edinburgh University Morrison has a four-decade history in broadcasting and acted as chief executive of Granada PLC before retiring.

He said: “As a Scot who has spent his life in television it is a great honour to be the first Scottish member of the new BBC Board.

“The BBC is taking important steps to increase programme production both in Scotland and for its network channels.

“I look forward to contributing my broadcasting experience to the new board and encouraging the growth of the creative industries in Scotland.”

The new board will govern the broadcaster.
The new board will govern the broadcaster (Nick Ansell/BBC)

Steel, former vice chairman at professional services firm KPMG, said: “I am delighted to be joining the new BBC board as the non-executive director representing England.

“The BBC is one of the best and most respected media organisations in the world, and I look forward to working with Sir David Clementi and colleagues.”

According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the four non-executive board members representing nations are recruited through a public appointments process co-ordinated by the department.

Ofcom will stand in as regulator alongside the board.
Ofcom will stand in as regulator alongside the board (Yui Mok/PA)

The board itself is then responsible for appointing five non-executive members to join the four executive members picked by the broadcaster, including BBC director general Tony Hall.

On the selection of the remaining national members, the DCMS has said that “a board member for Northern Ireland will re-commence once the new Northern Ireland executive is in place”.

It added that plans are under way to launch the process to find a member for Wales.