Lord Hall will claim he has made the BBC 'more efficient than ever'

Lord Hall will claim he has made the BBC ‘leaner’ and ‘more efficient than ever’ when he makes his final speech as the corporation’s boss today

  • Tony Hall claims the BBC is now an ‘organisation transformed’ since he took over
  • He will reveal BBC is to ask for more money so it can reach audience of 1 billion
  • The BBC is going through severe cuts expected to result in thousands losing jobs

Tony Hall will claim he has made the BBC ‘leaner’ and ‘more efficient than ever’ in his final speech as director-general today.

His remarks will raise eyebrows among critics who claim the corporation has been wasteful with licence-fee payers’ cash.

Lord Hall took up the role in 2013 amid the fall-out from Jimmy Savile scandal.

Tony Hall will claim he has made the BBC ‘leaner’ and ‘more efficient than ever’ in his final speech as director-general today

He is set to say at the opening session of this year’s Edinburgh TV Festival: ‘I don’t need to remind you, seven years ago we were an organisation in crisis.

‘There were failings over executive pay-offs. There were fundamental questions hanging over our future.

‘Today we’re an organisation transformed, inside and out. We’re leaner and more efficient than ever.’

Despite Lord Hall’s claims, the annual report for 2018-19 showed that the staff headcount at the BBC’s public service arm had actually gone up from the year before from 18,210 to 19,231 people. 

It also showed that the number of on-air talent paid more than £150,000 had gone up from 64 to 75 individuals, although a ‘snapshot’ for 2019-20 showed it was about the same at 74. The report also showed that overall spending on on-air roles had increased.

Disclosures about on-screen salaries revealed that Gary Lineker was the highest paid star, earning up to nearly £1.75million. But the same report showed the headcount of senior leaders had been slashed, as had other costs.

The BBC is going through a process of severe cuts which is expected to result in thousands of job losses. 

In his speech Lord Hall is set to reveal that the corporation has asked for more money from government to help it try to reach a global audience of one billion by the end of the decade. 

Despite Lord Hall’s claims, the annual report for 2018-19 showed that the staff headcount at the BBC’s public service arm had actually gone up from the year before from 18,210 to 19,231 people

The BBC currently reaches 468million people each week.

He is expected to say: ‘The forces of disinformation and social media tend to feed on fracture and drive polarisation… What we do, as a public service broadcaster, is a force in the opposite direction.’

It is understood he will say the BBC’s role is to help protect the country’s ‘democratic integrity’.

Lord Hall will be replaced by Tim Davie on September 1.

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