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Tony Hall to be next BBC director general

Tony Hall to be next BBC director general
Tony Hall has been confirmed as the new BBC director general in what BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten described as a "new start" for the Corporation.

Lord Hall, previously the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, is taking up the role after George Entwistle resigned over a Newsnight report which led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly accused of child abuse.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon alongside Lord Patten before he met some of the BBC staff, Lord Hall pledged to build a “world class team” for the corporation.

“I know that with the right creative team in place, working off each other, sparking off each other, you can do extraordinary things… I want to build a world class team for this world class organisation.”

Culture Secretary Maria Miller also welcomed Lord Hall’s appointment, saying he had a “very strong track record in successfully leading iconic organisations”.

He was unanimously agreed as the candidate by BBC trustees at a meeting this morning, and Lord Patten said the BBC would begin to “refocus on its main purpose” of creating good programmes and rebuilding the trust in the organisation.

Lord Hall will take over from acting director general Tim Davie in March on a salary of £450,000. The Trust also revealed it had not approached anybody else for the position.

This morning BBC trustee Anthony Fry revealed Mr Entwistle had been given 12 month's private medical cover and legal costs, as well as his £450,000 pay-off.

Mr Fry revealed the arrangement to MPs on the Public Accounts Committee this morning, as he also spoke of his "substantial irritation and aggravation" over Mr Entwistle's settlement.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge said the latest revelations were "just shocking".

But Lord Patten today passionately defended the Corporation's handling of Mr Entwistle's departure.

“I’m not completely crazy – I knew perfectly well what newspaper headlines would say; I also knew what was in the interests of the BBC as an organisation and above all in the interests of the licence payer.”

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