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BBC chief to be quizzed hours after deadline for successor’s role closes

The BBC director general is preparing to step down after seven years in the role.

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BBC boss Lord Hall (Ben Stansall)

BBC boss Lord Hall (Ben Stansall)

BBC boss Lord Hall (Ben Stansall)

BBC chief Lord Hall will be quizzed by MPs hours after the deadline to apply for the role of his successor closed.

The BBC director general, who is appearing in front of MPs at the DCMS Committee, is preparing to step down after seven years in the role.

But the end of his tenure comes at an uncertain time for the broadcaster.

The Government has mooted the possible end of the licence fee, with a threat to turn the BBC into a subscription service.

Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content, has been tipped to succeed Lord Hall
Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content, has been tipped to succeed Lord Hall (Chris Jackson/PA)

It is also consulting on proposals to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee.

And the current scheme in which all over-75s receive free TV licences will be restricted to those who claim pension credit from June this year.

The deadline for applications applying to succeed Lord Hall closed on Wednesday.

MPs will ask Lord Hall about his decision to stand down this year, instead of waiting until the BBC’s centenary in 2022.

Dame Carolyn McCall has ruled herself out of the BBC job
Dame Carolyn McCall has ruled herself out of the BBC job (Chris Radburn/PA)

They will also ask about the BBC’s plans to cut around 450 jobs, including in Newsnight, 5Live and other news output.

Questions on changes to the licence fee for over-75s and issues of equal pay are also expected at the hearing, which will be attended by BBC chairman Sir David Clementi.

Several names have been linked to succeed Lord Hall.

Internally they include Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content.

Externally, ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall has publicly ruled herself out of the race.

It is also understood that James Purnell, BBC director of radio and education, and a former Labour culture secretary, has not applied.

Apple’s creative director in Europe Jay Hunt and former Ofcom boss turned John Lewis chairwoman Sharon White have also been linked to the role.

PA