Chairman of the BBC

Last updated
Chairman of the BBC
Richard Sharp

since 10 February 2021
Member of BBC Board
Appointer Monarch
Term length Four years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentRoyal Charter
First holder The Lord Gainford

The Chairman of the BBC is the head of the BBC Board, responsible for maintaining the independence of the BBC and overseeing the functioning of the BBC to fulfil its mission. [1] [2] The chairman leads the process for appointing the Director-General and can dismiss the Director-General. [3] The chairman of the BBC also acts as the corporation's most senior representative to parliament and the government, including the devolved administrations. [4]


The chairman is formally appointed by the Queen-in-Council, on the advice of the Secretary of State for a four-year term. [3] The current Chairman is Richard Sharp, who succeeded Sir David Clementi in February 2021. [5]

List of chairmen

  Denotes Acting Chairman
Term of officeHonour(s)Prime MinisterMonarch

Chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Broadcasting Company

1910 Jack Pease.jpg The Baron Gainford
18 December 192231 December 1926 David Lloyd George George V
Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Ramsay MacDonald
Stanley Baldwin

Chairman of the Board of Governors of the BBC

George Herbert Hyde Villiers.jpg The Earl of Clarendon
1 January 19271930Stanley Baldwin George V
Ramsay MacDonald
1915 John Henry Whitley.jpg John Henry Whitley
19303 February 1935
(Died in Office)
William Bridgeman, 1st Viscount Bridgeman.png The Viscount Bridgeman
193514 August 1935
(Died in Office)
Stanley Baldwin
Philpot, Glyn Warren; Ronald Collet Norman (1873-1963), Chairman of the BBC; City of London Corporation.jpg Ronald Collet Norman
Neville Chamberlain Edward VIII
George VI
No image.svg Allan Powell
Winston Churchill
Clement Attlee
No image.svg The Baron Inman
Lord Simon.jpg The Baron Simon of Wythenshawe
Winston Churchill Elizabeth II
Sir Alexander Cadogan.jpg Alexander Cadogan
Anthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
No image.svg Arthur fforde
Alec Douglas-Home
No image.svg The Baron Normanbrook
196415 June 1967
(Died in Office)
Harold Wilson
No image.svg The Baron Hill of Luton
Edward Heath
Michael Swann 1987.jpg Michael Swann
19731980 Baron Swann for Life in 1981
Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Margaret Thatcher
No image.svg George Howard
19801983 Baron Howard of Henderskelfe for Life in 1981
No image.svg Stuart Young
198329 August 1986
(Died in Office)
No image.svg Marmaduke Hussey
19861996 Baron Hussey of North Bradley for Life in 1996
John Major
No image.svg Christopher Bland
1 April 199630 September 2001
Tony Blair
Gavyn Davies.jpg Gavyn Davies
1 October 200128 January 2004
Official portrait of Lord Ryder of Wensum crop 2.1.jpg The Baron Ryder of Wensum
28 January 200417 May 2004
Official portrait of Lord Grade of Yarmouth crop 2.jpg Michael Grade
17 May 200428 November 2006 Baron Grade of Yarmouth for Life in 2011
No image.svg Anthony Salz
28 November 200631 December 2006Knighted in 2013

Chairman of the BBC Trust

No image.svg Chitra Bharucha
1 January 200730 April 2007Tony BlairElizabeth II
No image.svg Sir Michael Lyons
1 May 200730 April 2011
Gordon Brown
David Cameron
Official portrait of Lord Patten of Barnes crop 2.jpg The Baron Patten of Barnes
1 May 20116 May 2014
Diane Coyle gets OBE-27Feb2009.jpg Diane Coyle
6 May 20148 October 2014
Lady Fairhead (cropped).jpg Rona Fairhead
9 October 20142 April 2017 Barones Fairhead for Life in 2017
Theresa May

Chairman of the BBC Board

No image.svg Sir David Clementi
16 February 2017 [6] [7] 15 February 2021 [7] Theresa May Elizabeth II
Boris Johnson
No image.svg Richard Sharp
16 February 2021 [8] 15 February 2025 [8]

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  1. "The Chairmanship of the BBC" (PDF). Parliament of the United Kingdom. 6 August 2007. p. 6. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  2. "Sir David Clementi". BBC. Archived from the original on 2 November 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  3. 1 2 "Royal Charter for the Continuance of the British Broadcasting Corporation" (PDF). BBC. December 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 July 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  4. "Chair - British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)". Cabinet Office. Government of the United Kingdom . Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  5. "Former banker Richard Sharp to be next BBC chairman". January 6, 2021 via
  6. Became Chairman of the BBC Board on replacement of the BBC Trust on 3 April 2017
  7. 1 2 "David Clementi". About the BBC. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  8. 1 2 "Richard Sharp". About the BBC. Retrieved 19 February 2021.