The UK government has announced Dr. Samir Shah, a distinguished Indian-origin media executive, as its preferred candidate for the position of BBC Chairman. Dr. Shah, originally from Aurangabad and a resident of England since 1960, boasts over 40 years of experience in TV production and journalism.
Formerly the head of current affairs and political programmes at the BBC, Dr. Shah will succeed Richard Sharp, who resigned amid scrutiny of his communication with former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. As the CEO and owner of Juniper, an independent television and radio production company, Dr. Shah received a CBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2019 for his contributions to television and heritage.
A respected figure, Dr. Shah served as a non-executive director of the BBC from 2007 to 2010 and co-authored the government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report in 2021. He was also part of a panel appointed to independently review unrest in Leicester in the aftermath of an India-Pakistan cricket match.
In his new role as BBC Chairman, Dr. Shah, an Oxford University alumnus, will lead the public broadcaster in its mission to inform, educate, and entertain. The appointment comes with a three-day-a-week commitment and an annual salary of £160,000. Prior to taking charge, Dr. Shah will undergo pre-appointment scrutiny by the House of Commons Media and Sport Select Committee.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer expressed confidence in Dr. Shah’s ability to navigate the challenges of the evolving media landscape, citing his extensive career and clear ambition to ensure the BBC’s success. Dr. Shah, in response, expressed his honor and commitment to supporting the BBC in fulfilling its unique duty to a wide audience across the country.