Director-General of the BBC

The Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation is chief executive and (from 1994) editor-in-chief of the BBC.

Director-General of the BBC
The Lord Hall of Birkenhead

since April 2013
Member ofBBC Board
Executive Committee
Reports toParliament of the United Kingdom
AppointerBBC Board
First holderSir John Reith

The position was formerly appointed by the Board of Governors of the BBC (for the period of 1927 to 2007) and then the BBC Trust (from 2007 to 2017). Since 2017 the Director-General is appointed by the BBC Board.

To date sixteen individuals, all of whom have been men, have been appointed Director-General, plus an additional two who were appointed in an acting capacity only. The current Director-General is Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead, who was appointed from the chief executiveship of the Royal Opera House, which position he had held from April 2001. He is the first peer to hold the position (Lords Reith and Birt having been raised to the peerage only after their tenures had ended).

List of incumbents

Director GeneralTenureTime in post
Sir John Reith1927–193811 years
Sir Frederick Ogilvie1938–19424 years
Sir Cecil Graves and Robert W. Foot1942–19431 year
Robert W. Foot1943–19441 year
Sir William Haley1944–19528 years
Sir Ian Jacob1952–19597 years
Sir Hugh Greene1960–19699 years
Sir Charles Curran1969–19778 years
Sir Ian Trethowan1977–19825 years
Alasdair Milne1982–19875 years
Sir Michael Checkland1987–19925 years
Sir John Birt1992–20008 years
Greg Dyke2000–20044 years
Mark Byford*January – June 20045 months
Mark Thompson2004–20128 years
George EntwistleSeptember – November 201254 days
Tim Davie*2012–2013141 days
Tony Hall, Baron Hall of BirkenheadApril 2013[1] – presentIncumbent

An asterisk indicates that the incumbent was temporarily appointed as Acting Director General.


  1. "BBC director general Lord Hall to take charge on 2 April". The Guardian. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
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