A former Goldman Sachs banker and Tory-party donor will be picked by the UK prime minister this week as the next BBC chairman, according to Sky News, amid raging debate about the corporation’s future.
Sky News first reported on Wednesday that Richard Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs banker and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s old boss, will be announced as the BBC’s new chairman this week.
Sharp, 64, has spent much of the past year working as an unpaid economic adviser to the chancellor on the Covid pandemic’s impact.
The former banker, who is a major Tory party-donor, would be expected to relinquish his Treasury duties after he takes up his BBC appointment in mid-February.
Sharp is also a culture lover, according to reports. He served as chairman of the Royal Academy of Arts Trust, which manages funds given to the iconic arts institution on Piccadilly.
If he’s made the new chairman, Sharp would work alongside fellow newcomer, director-general Tim Davie, who became BBC director-general just four months ago.
The BBC has come under fire in recent years with the corporation’s impartiality often called into question. PM Boris Johnson previously labelled the broadcaster the “Brexit Bashing Corporation,” while the licence fee-funded organisation has been branded “woke” by critics over some of its recent decisions.
Among a number of clangers in 2020, the BBC vowed to omit the lyrics to popular patriotic songs, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory, from the Proms. The corporation eventually gave in to public pressure and the songs were sung by a small choir.
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