30 Jun 2015

BBC is my priority, says trust chair Rona Fairhead

BBC Trust Chair and HSBC Director Rona Fairhead tells Cathy Newman the corporation is her priority “and that has been clear from the beginning”.

Ms Fairhead, who became chair of the BBC Trust in 2014, said “I am spending significant time with the BBC, helping get the BBC into this charter discussion, and absolutely at the heart of what I’m doing is focusing on the BBC as my primary focus.”

The BBC charter is up for renewal at the end of 2016.

The HSBC director told Cathy Newman she thought it was right and appropriate that people have other areas of interest “because it keeps that sense of independence, otherwise you get into a little bit of ‘group think’. But she stressed again that her focus was the BBC.

On her relationship with the HSBC bank, Ms Fairhead said she had extended her term there for one more year, until next April. “I’ve said I’m progressively stepping down.”

And on the corporation’s position, she thought the BBC enjoyed enormous support. “I don’t think the public would be happy if the BBC were taken away from it,” she said.