Government lines up panel to probe BBC Charter Review

Senior figures from Johnston Press, Yahoo, Shine Group and Shazam have been confirmed among the eight-strong panel of experts appointed to advise on the BBC Charter Review process.

The remit of the advisory group is to provide "strategic independent oversight and challenge to the Charter Review programme of work" and bring to bear "their own personal experience and expertise on the policy debates".

The group includes:

•    Dawn Airey, senior VP of Yahoo’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and formerly chairman and CEO of Channel 5

•    Dame Colette Bowe, chairman of the Banking Standards Board, president of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer, and former chair of Ofcom

•    Andrew Fisher, executive chairman at Shazam

•    Darren Henley OBE, CEO of Arts Council England and former MD of Classic FM

•    Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press and former director at the BBC

•    Alex Mahon, former CEO of Shine Group, the global television content production company

•    Lopa Patel MBE, digital entrepreneur and founder/CEO of NewAsianPost.com and Diversity UK

•    Stewart Purvis CBE, British broadcaster and academic, and former editor-in-chief and CEO of ITN.

The group will meet up to six times a year as and when required by Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, who said: "Each member of the independent advisory group brings individual skills, experience and expertise.

"Together they will contribute to the oversight of the Government’s review of the BBC Royal Charter. I look forward to working with them on this important issue."

The current BBC charter is set to expire at the end of next year.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Business Secretary Sajid Javid said the review should look at what the BBC broadcasts and its "internet capabilities".

Whittingdale has famously said the BBC licence fee was "worse than the poll tax".

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