Tony Hall

Tony Hall calls for increased funding of the BBC

Tony Hall and Zeinab Badawi

Tony Hall’s keynote speech centred on the BBC’s need for more money. Only then would it thrive and retain its role at the heart of Britain’s democracy, in a world of technological change and intense competition from global media giants.

He insisted that “cracks are starting to show” in BBC services following a decade of austerity, licence-fee freezes and top slicing, which were threatening its ability to innovate and meet the digital challenge.

BBC launches Culture UK

Culture UK aims to inspire new audiences and enhance the UK’s position as a global creative force.

The BBC has partnered with Arts Council England, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland to launch the scheme which aims to develop UK-wide cultural festivals, increase the platforms for emerging talent and develop content that can be shown on the BBC. 

BBC announces New Talent Hotlist and new commissions

Some of the leading creatives from across the BBC identified over 200 one and off screen talent of the future at the event.

The New Talent Hotlist features fresh new voices taking risks in front of and behind the camera and reflecting the diversity of modern Britain in the creative industry.

"Finding and supporting the next generation of new talent - both on and off screen - is a vital part of the BBC’s remit," said Tony Hall. 

Riz Ahmed joins Channel 4 in calls for improved diversity

Channel 4 has reaffirmed its commitment to diversity in its new ‘Diversity Charter 360° - Two Years on.’

The charter, which builds on the channel’s work over the past years, outlines four key areas for the broadcaster in 2017.

The ‘Four New Frontiers’ for 2017 aim to increase diversity of programme directors by providing opportunities to 40 directors from under-represented groups, including BAME, female and disabled people, as well as actively enhance the careers of 10 high-potential BAME individuals to improve representation as senior levels.

TV's top business leaders weigh in on future challenges

From left: Tony Hall, Andrew Griffith, Lorraine Heggessey, David Abraham, Dido Harding and Tom Mockridge (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Among the subjects they covered were the UK’s inadequate digital infrastructure, Netflix, Brexit and, inevitably, The Great British Bake Off. 

Matt Hancock’s speech in the previous session found favour with the panel. BBC chief Tony Hall welcomed the emphasis the Minister of State for Digital and Culture had put on “social and regional” diversity in television.