Entertainment

New BBC chairman will return to corporation after 25-year absence

BBC Broadcasting house (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
BBC Broadcasting house (Jordan Pettitt/PA) BBC Broadcasting house (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Dr Samir Shah is a veteran of the television industry who has been celebrated for his work championing diversity and the role of BBC chairman will bring him back to the corporation for the first time since 1998.

After a short stint in the Home Office Intelligence Unit, he began his television career at London Weekend Television in 1979.

He first joined the BBC in 1987 to head its television current affairs and later ran the corporation’s political journalism department at Millbank.

In 1998, he left the broadcaster to take over production company Juniper TV, where he is chief executive and creative director.

Dr Samir Shah
Dr Samir Shah Dr Samir Shah is a veteran TV executive (DCMS/PA)

Among Juniper’s current productions are Politics London for BBC London and The Political Slot for Channel 4, while the company won awards for The Qu’ran and for Bare Knuckle Boxers, about black boxers in Georgian England.

Dr Shah was made a CBE for services to television and heritage in 2019 and in February 2022 he was bestowed with the outstanding contribution award by the Royal Television Society (RTS) for commitment to diversity in television journalism.

He is a member of the Bafta board and a fellow of the RTS.

Away from television, he was chairman of the Museum of the Home and deputy chairman of the V&A museum, chairman of the Runnymede Trust, member of the Cultural Recovery Board (2020-2021); and of the Heritage Advisory Board in 2020.

He was born in India and came to England in 1960. He is married to Belkis with one son, Cimran.

Dr Shah will appear before MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny.