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Friday, November 5, 1999 Published at 14:30 GMT

UK: Wales

New BBC Wales controller is announced

Menna Richards will become BBC Wales Controller in the New Year

The BBC has announced the appointment of Menna Richards as Controller, BBC Wales.

She will be the first woman to hold the post of a BBC National Controller.

Ms Richards will succeed Geraint Talfan Davies, who is retiring after nine years in the post, at a date to be agreed in the New Year.
BBC Wales's Adrian Masters: "She is the first woman controller in the BBC"

She is currently managing director of HTV Wales and a director of the HTV Group.

After working for seven years as a radio and television news journalist at BBC Wales - in both English and Welsh language services - she joined HTV Wales in 1983 as a current affairs reporter and producer, reporting on politics in Wales, at Westminster and abroad.

In successive promotions she then became head of factual programmes (1991), controller of factual and general programmes (1992), director of programmes (1993) and director of broadcasting for the HTV Group in 1997, prior to its acquisition by United News and Media.

"It is a great time to be joining the BBC and I am looking forward to it," she said.

"I am going to be at HTV until we agree a date for me to start, then I will be spending my time getting to know people, walking around the building and understanding as much as possible about the output."

'Vision and energy'

Roger Jones, the BBC's National Governor for Wales, said: "Following the enormous contribution that Geraint Talfan Davies has made to the development of BBC Wales over the past decade, we are very fortunate to be able to continue this tradition by bringing in the talents of one of Wales's leading broadcasting figures.

"I am delighted that we will have Menna Richards to lead BBC Wales into the new Millennium."

Mark Thompson, Director of BBC National and Regional Broadcasting, to whom Menna Richards will report, said: "As Wales moves into a new era, and broadcasting enters the digital age, it's vital that BBC Wales strengthens its role both at the heart of Welsh life and as a provider of outstanding programmes for the whole UK.

"I believe Menna has the vision and energy to lead BBC Wales into that dynamic future."

Geraint Talfan Davies said: "It will be a great pleasure to welcome Menna Richards back to BBC Wales.

"I know she will receive a warm welcome from a host of colleagues and friends who are looking forward to working with her."

Born in Maesteg, she now lives in Cardiff with her husband, writer and broadcaster, Patrick Hannan.

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