Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Samir Shah


IT IS NO SECRET that, with unceasing regularity, one government or another will ask for the destruction of the BBC. This august British institution is fair game to any politician whom it angers because it is funded by a public tax. Enter its first chairman of colour in the corporation’s 100-year history. In Dr Samir Shah’s in-tray is a plethora of challenges. Charter renewal – the way the BBC functions and its mission – in 2027, is probably his biggest headache. As part of negotiations with whichever government will be how the corporation will be funded. But there are other matters which could create challenges for the man tasked with holding the executive to account. “Well, impartiality is part of it,” Sir Trevor Phillips, Shah’s friend of 45 years told the GG2 Power List. “Let me put it this way, impartiality isn’t just a matter of left and right. Journalists have to be dispassionate – they have to take themselves out of the story. We shouldn’t be able to hear or see a journalist report and divine from that what their own worldview is.” Shah’s own measured response when asked by the culture select committee about impartiality – especially in the case of the BBC sport presenter, Gary Lineker, and his social media posts – exemplifies the immense emotional and political intellect of the man. “I share your frustration,” he told MPs. “I would invite the director general to find a solution because we really need to find a solution. It’s a perfectly proper thing for the board to ask the executive whether the new guidelines have achieved their intention. It may well be that they may need to review it again.” The new chair was born in January 1952 in Aurangabad, India. He came to the UK with his

To continue reading, please register

Already register? Login