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Sir Peter Bazalgette becomes Arts Council chair

6th September 2012

TV boss Sir Peter Bazalgette, current chair of English National Opera, has been appointed the new chair of the Arts Council by the outgoing culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Bazalgette, who founded TV production company Endemol and is also president of the Royal Television Society, is set to take over from Dame Liz Forgan when her term ends in early 2013.

According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Bazalgette will 'provide strategic leadership and act as an ambassador for the arts' during his four-year term as Arts Council chair.

Alan Davey, chief executive of the organisation, said Bazalgette's appointment is an 'excellent' one and will help to promote culture and the arts across the UK and the rest of the world

'Peter is a great philanthropic contributor to the arts; an enthusiast who has done amazing work with English National Opera and has helped the Arts Council over the years to develop our digital thinking. We look forward to working with him,' he added.

Bazalgette's appointment has not pleased everybody, however, with the author Jeanette Winterson claiming that the man who brought the world Big Brother is not the person to move the UK's arts scene forward.

Following the announcement, she tweeted: 'Has anyone done less for culture?'

Hunt, who was replaced by Maria Miller in this week's cabinet reshuffle, was the driving force behind Bazalgette's appointment, though the move was approved by prime minister David Cameron.

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