Indian-origin Samir Shah is the UK govt’s choice as new BBC chairman

British television executive Samir Shah has been chosen as the government’s preferred candidate to chair the BBC, according to media reports, quoting UK’s culture minister Lucy Frazer. 

Shah, 71, has been the chief executive of Juniper TV, a production company, since the late 1990s. He has a 40-year career in television, having held positions including head of current affairs and non-executive director at the BBC and London Weekend Television, an ITV commercial network franchise, according to Reuters. 

TV executive Samir Shah has been named as the government’s choice for the new BBC chairman. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

“Shah has a wealth of experience to bring to the position of BBC Chair,” Frazer said in a post on X.

He has a clear ambition to see the BBC succeed in a rapidly changing media landscape, and I have no doubt he will provide the support and scrutiny that the BBC needs to meet the challenges of the future.

Lucy Frazer

“The BBC has a great place in British life and a unique duty to reach a wide audience right across the country and I will do all I can to ensure it fulfils this in an increasingly competitive market,” Shah told Reuters. 

Before Shah is formally appointed, a parliamentary committee of lawmakers will question him, the reports said. 

The previous chair, Richard Sharp, resigned in April after failing to disclose that he had helped secure a $1 million loan for then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the report said. 

The BBC is politically independent and funded by licence fees paid by TV-watching households, but its chair is chosen by the government.