Dr. Samir Shah confirmed as the first Indian-origin chairman of BBC

Dr Samir Shah BBC
Dr Samir Shah BBC

Dr. Samir Shah, a 72-year-old media veteran in the UK, has been confirmed to take charge as the first Indian-origin Chair of the British public service broadcaster, BBC starting from March 4 and running until March 2028. His renumeration will be 160,000 pounds per year.

Dr. Shah is a celebrated India-born media executive with over 40 years of experience in UK broadcasting. He is the first Indian-origin person to assume the role at BBC.

Dr Samir Shah has worked in broadcasting for over forty years. Prior to taking up the role as Chairman of the BBC, he was the CEO of Juniper, an independent television and radio production company, since 1998. Before Juniper, Samir was head of current affairs and political programmes at the BBC. In 2022, the RTS (Royal Television Society) awarded him its top honor: Outstanding Contribution (AKA Lifetime Achievement award) to journalism. Samir was a Non-Executive Director of the BBC (2007-2010), Chair of the Museum of the Home (2014-2022), and was a trustee then Deputy Chair of the V&A (2004-2014). He was Chair of the Runnymede Trust (1999-2009) and One World Media (2020-2024) and was a Member of the Arts and Media Honors Committee (2022-2024).

He was picked as the government’s preferred candidate in December last year and went on to be quizzed by cross-party MPs of the House of Commons Media Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for his pre-appointment scrutiny. His selection cleared the stages of scrutiny to be approved by King Charles III this week.

“With a career spanning more than 40 years in TV production and journalism, Dr Shah has a wealth of experience to bring to the position of BBC Chair,” said UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer as she announced his selection.

“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 and opportunities of the future,” she said.

As BBC chairman, Shah will oversee the board's decisions, ensuring the broadcaster's independence and acting in the public interest.

According to Junper’s website, “Dr. Shah has established a track record for high-quality journalism and excellent documentaries on wide-ranging subjects. He is not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects and has built up a reputation for insightful, powerful and journalistically demanding factual programmes ranging from politics, contemporary history, drama docs to issues surrounding race. He is highly regarded as an executive producer by both the BBC and commercial channels. He has worked with many talented writers, directors and politicians over the years.

Apart from Juniper, his other media commitments include being a member of the Future of public service broadcasting (2021).  He is a Fellow of RTS; Board member of BAFTA and the Chair of One World Media (2019 -). In February 2022, Dr. Shah was bestowed with the Outstanding Contribution Award by the Royal Television Society for services of over 40 years and commitment to diversity in television journalism.”

Dr. Samir Shah was born in India and came to England in 1960. He is married to Belkis with one son, Cimran.



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