Majority of UK public call for external appointment as new BBC DG

Editor | 21-11-2012

As the BBC struggles to gain an even keel following the resignation of George Entwistle as Director General, a new survey has revealed that the majority of the British public would like to see the corporation led by an external candidate.

Specifically, according to a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, 52% of the British public believe the next director general of the BBC should be appointed from outside the corporation, while only 20% say someone should be promoted from within the BBC and 28% say they don't know.

One of the major criticisms of Entwistle was that his 23 years at the BBC left him out of his depth as leader of the corporation. His predecessor Mark Thompson had been at the helm of the UK's fourth national broadcaster Channel 4 before his accession to Director General. And underlining the depth of public antagonism to Entwistle, the survey showed that four-fifths of the public believe the £450,000 pay-out that Entwistle received following his resignation after only 54 days as DG was "unacceptable".

In addition to wanting an external appointment, a similar percentage, 52%, also believe that the role of Director General should be split in two, with one person charged with running the corporation, and another person responsible for the editor-in-chief role of overseeing journalism at the BBC.

The survey also showed nearly half (47%) of people think that BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten, who appointed the hapless Entwistle and signed off on his pay-off, should resign.