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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
New BBC Director General: Your reaction
The BBC has confirmed that Channel 4's Mark Thompson is to become its new director general.

He replaces Greg Dyke, who left in the wake of the Hutton Report.

Mr Thompson worked at the BBC for 20 years, eventually becoming director of television, before leaving to take up the chief executive role at Channel 4 in 2001.

He will be responsible for leading the corporation through the review of its current Royal Charter, which expires in 2006.

What do you think of Mark Thompson's appointment?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far.

Mark Thompson seems to have a good track record in broadcasting
Pieter Dyson, Manchester, UK
Reading the other comments on this page I find it extraordinary some people consider that whether or not you wear a tie or have a beard determines the suitability of a person to be Director General. Mark Thompson seems to have a good track record in broadcasting, so as long as the staff of the BBC are happy with him then he should be an excellent choice.
Pieter Dyson, Manchester, UK

This is not exactly an original or inspired choice really. Thompson as a person who has been trained by and spent almost his entire working life at the BBC will obviously not be introducing the root and branch reforms to the corporation that are so very necessary.
Matt Davis, London, UK

Great choice! Without innovation the BBC will gradually decline, and who better to encourage ingenuity than Mark Thompson.
Neil, Manchester, UK

Another sad choice; Mark is just too inexperienced in the outside world and will not have the vision to provide programmes for the whole of the UK. But if he proves me wrong I apologise!
Jon Kent, Ware, Herts

With all of this, not one mention anywhere of what happens to Mark Byford after being in the unenviable position as a "caretaker" Acting DG. Hopefully he gets his old job back.
Mike, Seattle, WA, USA

Depressing. C4 under Thompson severely distanced itself from film funding and the buying of rights to independent cinema. It bought in highly rated US shows and, like BBC2, scheduled them late on week days. C4 moved away from their original remit and crammed their schedules (again like BBC2) with reality and home improvement shows. Like Greg Dyke, Thompson seems a nice guy but both appear fully committed to eroding the cultural aspect of television.
A, Bolton, UK

I think Mr Thompson will be a good thing for the BBC. Hopefully he will be able to enliven the news content which appears to have stagnated post-Hutton.
Dave H, Aylesbury , UK

Hopefully he will realise that the BBC isn't C4 and therefore isn't dependent on ratings
Tim, Bristol
Hopefully he will realise that the BBC isn't C4 and therefore isn't dependent on ratings. I would rather watch half an hour of good TV in a week than 4 hours of average TV. C4 has had some excellent shows in recent years but also many boring and mindless ones that seem to be there to raise cash for them.
Tim, Bristol

We grew up with BBC World Service in Mauritius. Since coming to England in December 1974, we have always loved BBC. Therefore, we are bias for BBC. Mark Thompson will do a fine job. Under the Chairmanship of Michael Grade, we believe the BBC will get better than it already is now. It will also not bow to the politician hypocritical attitudes towards the BBC. Well done BBC. Do not allow the politician to take our freedom away. Fight them with the words and truths. Remember well that words are sharper than Sword.
Hassan Deedaur, London, England, U.K.

Delighted. I work a lot overseas in Humanitarian Aid situations and rely on BBC World Service for truth and standards. So do millions of non-Brits, so I believe Mark will think globally and continue to build this amazingly effective communications icon.
Brian Oxley, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucs UK

Yet more hip trendiness! Bring back Lord Reith.
Fred Bloggs, Wood Norton UK

Oh joy! I do hope that the BBC now follows the great success that Channel 4 has become over the past few years (I am being sarcastic). Can I have my license fee back now?
Jonathan Gray, Chesterfield, UK

Who cares? I am sure the BBC's policies will remain unchanged - virulently anti-USA and Israel, obsessively pro-Arab and unswervingly europhile.
Licenseslave, Cambridge

Does Blair like him? If not, he may as well resign now
Herbert, Leeds

Depressing. Channel 4 under Thompson severely distanced itself from film funding and the buying of rights to independent cinema. It bought in highly rated US shows and, like BBC2, scheduled them late on week days. C4 moved away from their original remit and crammed their schedules (again like BBC2) with reality and home improvement shows.

Like Greg Dyke, Thompson seems a nice guy but both appear fully committed to eroding the cultural aspect of television. God, that sounds anal but it is true.
Arkady, Bolton, UK

Hopefully he will realise that the BBC isn't Channel 4 and therefore isn't dependent on ratings. I would rather watch half an hour of good TV in a week than four hours of average TV. Channel 4 has had some excellent shows in recent years but also many boring and mindless ones that seem to be there to raise cash for them.
Tim, Bristol

Does Blair like him? If not, he may as well resign now.
Herbert, Leeds

Too late! We've just ditched the last TV in our house. You won't get us back without some creative programming. Axing Film Four does not earn him any brownie points.
Mrs Mac, Cornwall, UK

I welcome Mr. Thompson's appointment, if for no other reason than that I hope he will do away with that horrible and quite deliberate debasement of the English language by "announcers/readers" with no knowlege of standard English.
C. Short, London

Another black day for the BBC. This man has presided over the further decline of Channel 4
Daniel Meldrum, Herts, UK

Hopefully he will succeed to keep at least the World Service as serious as it is today. Also, hopefully he can keep the government from telling the BBC what to publish.
Mikko Toivonen, Helsinki, Finland

He got rid of Brookie - could he do the same with Eastenders, please ?
Ken, Scotland

A great choice. Channel 4 has consistently put out some great programmes in the last few years. Here's hoping that he works well with the current controllers of BBC1 and 2 and the radio stations to help stop the criticism that is being levelled at the BBC in some corners.
Richard Beeby, Colchester, Essex

Another black day for the BBC. This man has presided over the further decline of Channel 4, stripping it of any originality and appreciation of culture, as well as the death of FilmFour, and now he's being given the chance to do the same at the BBC. I am very depressed.
Daniel Meldrum, Herts, UK

We should expect more dumbing down, then. But on the plus side, Radio Four's ratings should go even higher as a result.
Shalim, London, UK

The future for the BBC is looking immeasurably brighter than one could have imagined earlier this year
Andrew Loos, Rainham
An inspired choice! Someone of Mark's calibre is just what the corporation needs to lead it through the review of its current Royal Charter and just what staff at the BBC need to bolster their confidence in their organisation. Under his leadership, with Michael Grade as Chairman, the future for the BBC is looking immeasurably brighter than one could have imagined earlier this year. Incidentally, I wish the excellent Channel 4 well in their quest for Mark's replacement!
Andrew Loos, Rainham

A real shame for C4 - a very enthusiastic and charismatic man. Having lived through both Thompson and Grade at C4, I think that the BBC now has the dream team in place. Good luck to them. P.S. If you work at the BBC and have an office, watch out! Mark has been knocking all ours down in favour of open plan - even his own!
A C4 Employee, London

I think Mark Thompson should bring some new life and vigour to the BBC as it appears to be struggling in an ever expanding climate of new technology. Also Graham Norton won't be losing his boss!
Tom, Stourbridge, West Midlands

Pity he doesn't shave and wear a tie.
William M, Gateshead

Great news! The BBC has made a fantastic decision.
Mark Sedgwick, Liverpool, Merseyside

Though Michael Jackson had begun the destruction of Channel 4 with the introduction of Big Brother and So Graham Norton, under Mark Thompson Channel 4 went further downhill. Significant prizes such as The Sopranos, The West Wing and Six Feet Under were wasted by relegation to graveyard slots in favour of reality shows and mindless trivia. So I don't expect him to arrest the continuing drift to banality by BBC TV, whether terrestrial or digital.
John Howard, Leeds, UK

I personally doubt he will make that much difference
David Green, Weston-super-Mare
I have to say that I personally doubt he will make that much difference. I have become cynical about the good old BBC in recent months and feel the corporation needs more than just a new DG.
David Green, Weston-super-Mare

As well as presiding over the closure of the Film Four production company, this man's "achievements" have been; Animal Hospital, Ready, Steady, Cook, Ground Force, RI:SE and Boys & Girls. Not exactly a great creative portfolio is it? Ahead of us dark days indeed!
Simon Watkins, Newport, Wales, UK

Excellent! This will bring a new flavour to BBC programming. Well done.
Craig Worcester, Alston, UK

Given that the BBC is supposedly a public institution, why not appoint, on a yearly basis, a body of say 10 enthusiasts from the public without any substantial career track record? Such a move would be radical and inspirational, both of which are badly needed in mainstream public programming by the BBC.
Ash, Cornwall

For some three years now, I have remarked at how I tend to watch little beside C4. It speaks to the quality that Mark Thompson has brought to the channel. I have high hopes I'll soon be hopping between C4 and the BBC terrestrial channels under Mark's leadership. Great news!
Brett Dorney, Old Basing, Hampshire

The media world is changing and will develop even further over the next few years
Simon Lamb, Hitchin, UK
I find it strange that the BBC continues to turn to insiders to lead it. The media world is changing and will develop even further over the next few years. Appointing a talented individual with a perspective biased by his time with the corporation may not be up to the challenges he faces. But at least he had Michael Grade to challenge him. I wish them both good luck.
Simon Lamb, Hitchin, UK

Yawn. I'm afraid the BBC has by and large lost my respect with an ever-growing quantity of tacky programming. This chap might deserve his 6-figure pay cheque if he makes some radical changes, but somehow I doubt that we'll be seeing an improvement any time soon.
John, Plymouth

Great news! Perhaps Mark will be able to bring some of Channel 4's fun side to the BBC.
Roberta, Wolverhampton, UK

Looks like it could be a very good move. Maybe now we'll see more innovative, risk-taking TV; possibly even some decent comedy for a change. Hopefully we'll see the end of drip-feed TV shows with titles like Reality DIY House-swap or Celebrity Garden Makeover (on the BBC at least).
Ben W, Norwich, UK

Having worked with him at Regional Broadcasting while he was there I can honestly say that I can't think of anyone more appropriate. His intelligence, vision and people skills make him the best candidate by far.
Mark Pohl, London

A change for the best
Paul Aberson
I've always considered the BBC to be the conservative choice for viewers (generally) whilst Channel 4 was always almost a radical, fresh voice. A combination of the two I'm looking forward to it. I feel a change for the best.
Paul Aberson

Mark Thompson has rendered Channel 4 unwatchable. Once it was a serious channel showing high quality broadcasts. Now it's just a repository for Friends and Big Brother, low imagination programming of the worst kind. I feel sorry for the BBC.
Nick Eden, York

Certainly the best man for the job, but now he's back with Auntie, will he be loosing the beard???
Mat Overton, Bradford, UK

He's just landed the best job in broadcasting - so good luck to him. He sounds like he knows the Beeb inside out, but he's got outside experience too. So probably a strong candidate to take the reins of the world's best broadcaster. Dyke and Davies should never have gone but Thompson is a good replacements. His legacy is his to forge.
Mark, Cardiff, UK

If he makes BBC News as good and as hard hitting as C4 News he'll be a big plus!
Sukh, UK

"He will be responsible for leading the corporation through the review of its current Royal Charter, which expires in 2006". The words "scapegoat to be" come to mind.
R. Mckellar, Manchester

I have great respect for the BBC, especially its programme contents. I cannot say the same for C4. Let us hope that current BBC standards of good taste remain under the new DG.
Nick Beer, Somersham, Cambs





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