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Honour for BBC supremo Tony Hall who cut teeth in Belfast

By Staff Reporter

BBC director-general Tony Hall is to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) for his civic contribution in transforming the corporation, along with the promotion of skills, employability and the regeneration of local communities.

Born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, in 1951, he was educated at King Edward's School Birmingham and Birkenhead School, before going to Keble College, Oxford.

In 1973 he joined the BBC as a trainee, initially working in its Belfast newsroom.

In a career spanning 45 years his achievements include the launch of BBC Parliament, Radio 5 Live, BBC News 24 and BBC News Online.

Lord Hall was appointed chief executive of the Royal Opera House in April 2001 and developed initiatives to widen access, including big screen relays to locations across the UK, special matinees and other low-price ticket schemes.

In 2004 he was appointed inaugural chair of the industry-led Creative & Cultural Skills (Sector Skills Councils), a post he held for five years.

At the the request of the Mayor of London and the Government, in 2009 he set up and chaired a board directing the Cultural Olympiad.

He also joined the London organising committee for the Olympic Games Board.

Lord Hall was awarded a CBE in 2006 and created a life peer in 2010. He took his seat in the House of Lords as a crossbench member.

He said: "I'm extremely proud to be awarded this honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from Ulster University. I'm particularly proud because Northern Ireland is where I first started out in journalism as a BBC news trainee, and where I learnt so much that has helped guide me throughout my career. It's a great honour to be able to share this ceremony with the latest generation of talented young graduates as they embark on exciting career journeys of their own."

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