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Outgoing Channel 4 Chairman gives evidence to committee

2 February 2016

In a one-off evidence session, the Communications Committee questions Lord Burns GCB, the former Chairman of Channel 4 Television.


Tuesday 2 February in Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster

At 3.30pm

  • Lord Burns GCB, former Chairman, Channel 4 Television


Lord Burns was appointed Chairman in January 2010, with his six-year term at the helm coming to an end on 26 January this year.  During his Chairmanship, Channel 4 recorded an increase in its all-time viewing share of 5.92%, the first increase in viewing share since 2006. The broadcaster has also seen a return to financial surplus, with revenues up year-on-year.

He began his career in 1965 at the London Business School, becoming Professor of Economics in 1979. In 1980, he was appointed Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury and Head of the Government Economic Service. In 1991 he became Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, a post he held until 1998, when he was appointed a life peer.

Issues the Committee is likely to explore with Lord Burns

  • what he identifies as his key achievements during his six-year tenure, and what he would like to see Channel 4 achieve in future;
  • his views on the possible privatisation of Channel 4 and what effect this could have on the UK's wider broadcasting industry;
  • what he identifies as the key elements which have led to the creative and financial success that Channel 4 enjoyed in 2015;
  • whether the Government's strategy for public service broadcasting is sufficiently focussed, or whether there are areas that should be prioritised; and
  • his hopes for the BBC following the outcome of this year's Charter Renewal.

Further information

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