Sir David Clementi receives final backing from MPs for new BBC chairman role

Sir David Clementi cleared the latest hurdle in his appointment as the new BBC chairman after he won the backing of MPs.

The former Bank of England deputy governor was revealed as the Government’s preferred candidate for the role last week but needed support in Parliament.

Hours after he appeared before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, its members approved the appointment.

The nomination will now go before the Privy Council where it is expected to be rubber-stamped.

Clementi carried out a review of BBC governance that recommended a major overhaul of the system, but he has no professional experience in a media organisation.

The committee said: “We acknowledge his honesty in accepting there were gaps in his knowledge of the industry, and he assured us that he would endeavour to plug these gaps with careful appointments of non-executive directors, who would bring specific areas of expertise to the unitary board.

“Despite this lack of broadcasting experience, given Sir David’s responses to our questions, we are content to confirm his appointment as chair of the BBC Board and wish him well with the challenges the corporation will face in the new charter period ahead.”

In the pre-appointment hearing, Clementi had told MPs he would be “disappointed” to see the BBC attempt to reproduce The Great British Bake Off after it lost the popular cookery show to Channel 4.

“It would need to be a different format,” he said. “To put an absolutely similar programme on would be very disappointing.”

Clementi was also quizzed on his plans to build “distinctiveness” into the channel’s programming.

While praising original dramas such as Sherlock and Line Of Duty, he showed a hint of scepticism about repetitive reality shows.

Commenting on the latest reality singing contest, Let It Shine, airing in BBC One’s prime Saturday evening slot, he said: “It isn’t a new concept, but it’s quite warm-hearted.

“We need to allow it a few more Saturdays before making a judgment and see how Gary (Barlow) brings it together.”

Under the new charter, the corporation’s trust is being replace by the BBC Board.

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