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Ex-Goldman Sachs banker (and Rishi Sunak’s former boss) Richard Sharp named as next BBC chairman

Press Gazette

Former Goldman Sachs banker Richard Sharp will succeed Sir David Clementi as BBC chairman, according to BBC News.

His appointment comes amid a debate about the BBC licence fee and how the broadcaster responds to competition from streaming services.

Sharp (pictured), who was once Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s boss, will take over from Sir David, who will stand down in February.

Sir David himself was a former deputy governor of the Bank of England where Sharp was a member of the Financial Policy Committee between 2013 and 2019.

Names previously linked with the post include former chancellor George Osborne and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph Charles Moore, who reportedly ruled himself out.

Former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie also claimed to have applied for the role.

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The news was confirmed by BBC media editor Amol Rajan in a BBC News story although it was broken earlier on Wednesday by Sky News.

Sky reported Sharp is expected to give up his Treasury duties after taking up the appointment, which has been signed off by the Prime Minister and is expected to be confirmed by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden this week.

[Read more: New BBC director-general threatens to suspend staff Twitter accounts if not impartial enough]

The BBC chairman and other non-executive directors of the BBC Board are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of ministers.

The new chairman will work closely with new director-general Tim Davie, who is the former chief executive of the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Studios.

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He took over from Lord Tony Hall in September and said the corporation needs to keep reforming “with urgency” and stressed it must be “a universal public service”.

The broadcaster currently faces scrutiny over equal pay, diversity, free TV licences for the over-75s and competition from streaming services such as Netflix, as well as the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

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Picture: PA/Bank of England

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