Who could replace Richard Sharp as chairman of the BBC?

Muriel Gray and Sir Nicholas Serota are among those who could be in contention.
Muriel Gray and Sir Nicholas Serota are among those who could be in contention.

The resignation of Richard Sharp as BBC chairman leaves a void at the top of the corporation at a time when it faces pressure on different fronts.

The ex-banker formally succeeded Sir David Clementi in early 2021 and his exit comes just over halfway into his four-year term.

Here are some of the figures who could replace Mr Sharp.

– Muriel Gray

British Academy Scottish Awards
Muriel Gray (Jane Barlow/PA)

Gray currently serves as one of the non-executive directors on the BBC board and the member for Scotland.

Starting her career as a broadcaster, she first came to public attention as one of the hosts of Channel 4’s popular music programme The Tube, and also appeared on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4 in the 80s.

She was the first female rector of the University of Edinburgh and has published a series of horror novels, including The Trickster and Furnace.

– George Osborne

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 – London
George Osborne (Matt Crossick/PA)

Before the appointment of Mr Sharp, former Tory chancellor Mr Osborne was widely tipped as a contender for the role.

He served as editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper from 2017 to 2020 but his appointment prompted criticism from some MPs.

He has been chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership since 2016 and of the British Museum since 2021.

– Charles Moore

Question Time
Charles Moore (Ian West/PA)

Another figure reportedly in the running before Mr Sharp emerged as the preferred candidate, Mr Moore is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph.

In October 2020 media reports suggested he had ruled himself out of the race for BBC chairman, but Mr Sharp’s resignation may offer another opportunity.

Known for his authorised biography of Baroness Thatcher, Mr Moore was given a peerage in July 2020 and made a member of the House of Lords.

– Sir Nicholas Serota

Tate Director Nicholas Serota
Sir Nicholas Serota (Katie Collins/PA)

Sir Nicholas is currently a member of the BBC board and spent almost 30 years as the director of the Tate galleries.

He is currently chairman of Arts Council England, a post he took up in February 2017.

In that time the body has faced criticism for introducing a new funding programme resulting in grant reductions to parts of the opera world and theatres such as the Donmar Warehouse.

Academy-award winner Sir Sam Mendes was among those who protested against the move.

– Sir Robbie Gibb

Sir Robbie Gibb, right (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The former journalist had a 25-year career at the BBC before spending two years in Downing Street as communications director under Theresa May.

After leaving frontline politics, Sir Robbie wrote articles criticising the broadcaster, particularly about its supposedly “woke” staff.

Sir Robbie was knighted in Mrs May’s resignations honours list in 2019 and joined the BBC board in May 2021.

In 2021, Labour called for him to be sacked from the board after claims he tried to block of the appointment of Jess Brammar as head of the corporation’s news channels on political grounds.