Professor Dame Elan Closs Stephens has been officially appointed as the Acting Chair of the BBC by the UK Government. The decision was made by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer in consultation with the BBC Board, in accordance with the provisions outlined in the BBC’s Royal Charter.

Professor Dame Elan will assume the position on 27 June, succeeding Richard Sharp, who will be stepping down. She has been serving as a non-executive director on the BBC Board since July 2017 and previously held the position of Trustee for Wales on the BBC Trust from 2010 to 2017. From 2019 to 2022, she chaired the Commercial Holdings Board for BBC Studios. As per the BBC’s Charter, an Acting Chair must be a current non-executive director on the BBC Board.

Expressing her gratitude for the appointment, Professor Dame Elan stated, “It is a tremendous honour to be appointed as the Acting Chair by the Secretary of State, and I am grateful to my fellow Board Members for their trust in me. As a collective, we will advocate for the interests of license fee payers throughout the UK, strengthen the BBC’s collaboration with the creative industries, maintain public trust, and drive necessary changes to adapt to the rapidly evolving media landscape. There is much work to be done.”

Professor Dame Elan brings with her a wealth of experience in chairing and non-executive roles, along with an illustrious career in broadcasting, the creative industries, and academia. She previously served as the Chair of the Welsh-language broadcaster S4C and currently holds the positions of Pro-Chancellor and Professor Emerita in Communications and Creative Industries at Aberystwyth University. Additionally, she serves as the Electoral Commissioner for Wales.

While the UK Government initiates the process to appoint a new permanent BBC Chair, Professor Dame Elan will continue to serve as the Acting Chair. The appointment of a permanent Chair is anticipated to take several months. The BBC Board expressed their delight with Professor Dame Elan’s appointment, highlighting her active and distinguished contributions as a member representing Wales. They believe she is the ideal choice for the role.