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BBC Director-General gives evidence on public purposes

10 November 2015

The House of Lords Communications Committee questions Lord Hall, Director-General of the BBC, in the latest evidence session in its ongoing inquiry into the public purposes of the BBC. He is joined in the session by James Purnell, Director of Strategy and Digital at the BBC, and former Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport.

The session is followed by one with representatives from two commercial Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) and the regulatory body for S4C.


The evidence sessions take place on Tuesday 10 November in Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster.

First panel

At 3.30pm

  • Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE, Director-General, BBC
  • James Purnell, Director of Strategy and Digital, BBC

Second panel

At 4.30pm

  • Dan Brooke, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Channel 4
  • Magnus Brooke, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, ITV
  • Huw Jones, Chair, S4C Authority

Possible questions

In the first session, the Committee explores a number of areas including:

  • How do the six Public Purposes of the BBC translate into action on a day to day basis, and how effective are the BBC at putting the BBC Trust's verdicts on performance into action?
  • How do they react to accusations that the BBC is failing to represent some groups in society?
  • How do they define universality in relation to the BBC, and what possible changes do they think undermine the BBC's universality and ability to serve everyone?
  • What is the BBC's role in communications technologies and services as they relate to the sixth public purpose?

In the second session, the Committee questions the witnesses on a variety of issues including:

  • How well they feel the BBC has delivered on its Public Purpose obligations, and if they feel it is appropriate that they differ from the purposes set out for other PSBs
  • whether the BBC's acquisition of programmes presents a problem for commercial PSBs and/or the wider industry
  • following calls for the BBC to be more "distinctive", how they define or measure distinctiveness, and how they believe it should apply to the BBC.

Further information

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