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Adam Smyth appointed as new BBC NI interim Director

Mr Smyth has risen through the ranks after starting out as a trainee


Adam Smyth.

Adam Smyth.

Adam Smyth.

Adam Smyth has been appointed as the director of BBC Northern Ireland on an interim basis having started out with the national broadcaster as a trainee 26 years ago.

It has been confirmed that the east Belfast man will take over in January from Peter Johnston, who will be leading the delivery of the BBC's impartiality plan.

The interim role is expected to run until the summer of 2022.

Mr Johnston, who has been director since 2006, was asked to lead the delivery of the impartiality plan by the BBC's Director-General Tim Davie.

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The plan followed an investigation led by Lord Dyson on November 18, 2020, which looked at the steps taken by the BBC and in particular Martin Bashir with a view to obtaining a Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, in November 1995.

Lord Dyson examined documents and records from the time and interviewed a wide range of people involved in the making of the programme.

The inquiry found the BBC fell short of "high standards of integrity and transparency" that audiences have a right to expect.

As a result, the BBC commissioned a review, led by Sir Nicholas Serota, into its editorial processes, governance and culture.

Mr Johnston wished Mr Smyth "every success" on his appointment and will "stay in touch with local BBC issues and developments" over the coming months.

BBC Northern Ireland announced Adam Smyth as new Head of BBC News NI in June 2018.

In that role, he was responsible for BBC Northern Ireland’s news output across television, radio and digital platforms, including BBC Newsline, BBC Radio Ulster news programmes and bulletins and BBC News NI Online.

Previously, he had been Editor of Radio Current Affairs and Digital News for BBC Northern Ireland since 2011.

There, he was overall editor for BBC Radio Ulster’s award-winning news programming, including Good Morning Ulster, Talkback, Evening Extra and Sunday News as well as radio news bulletins, traffic and travel, news documentaries and BBC Northern Ireland’s digital news output.

Prior to this, he worked as an Assistant Editor in radio and television news before taking on the role of Managing Editor for Multiplatform, where he was responsible for BBC NI’s digital and social media output.

Adam has been with the BBC for 26 years, after being appointed as a regional news trainee for BBC Northern Ireland in 1995.

Since then he has worked behind and in front of the camera, producing and reporting for network and local news.

A former network reporter for BBC Newsround and BBC Radio Five Live, he also reported for BBC Newsline from New York in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Centre.

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