Director-General Tony Hall’s New Year message to BBC staff
Check against delivery
Good morning, and – if it’s not too late to say so – a very Happy New Year!
For me, and for the whole of the BBC, this new year is a particularly important one – because it’s year one of our 11-year charter. It’s a great moment: the beginning of a new chapter.
And that’s why this morning I want to start a conversation with you: about where the BBC is going, what we want it to be, and what we’re going to do – together – to get it there.
And what better place to talk about the future than in Birmingham?
I’m always pleased to come back here. I remember my first visit, a week into the job, and being shocked at how empty the place was. Sure, our news teams, the daytime drama village The Archers, and the Asian Network, were all doing great things… but I left determined that the BBC could do so much more for the midlands – and for you.
Three years on, and the Mailbox is now full – over 700 people. This building is now the centre for skills and development for the whole of the BBC, with HR and the Academy all based here.
And we’re preparing the place for BBC Three next year – working with our digital teams, universities and partners around the city to make the move a big success.
We’re making this building one of the vital hubs for innovation and, in doing so, we are drawing on Birmingham’s status as a diverse young city – one of the youngest in Europe, with nearly a third under 20, and home to some of the voices that most need to be heard around the UK. It’s an outstanding turnaround, and I’d like to thank every one of you here today who’s helped make it happen.
The BBC has a proud past in Birmingham, and what you’ve all been doing is making sure it’s there at the heart of our future too. And this is my starting point today: how we build on the very best of our past, to create the strongest possible BBC for the years ahead.
So, if our aim is to reinvent public service broadcasting for the next generation, I believe we need to concentrate on three priorities:
- Our creativity
- Our culture
- And our global ambition