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Tony Hall
Director of the Royal Opera House


  • King Edward’s School, Edgbaston, Birmingham; Birkenhead School, Merseyside
  • Keble College Oxford (Exhibitioner), PPE

BBC Career

  • 1973-1987: News Trainee ; Producer, Today, World Tonight, World at One, PM , Various Documentaries (Radio 4); Editor of the Day, Newsnight, Six o’clock News (BBC TV); Editor 9 o’clock News (aged 34); Editor News and Election Campaign Programme ’87.
  • 1987-1989: Editor Television News and Current Affairs; launched weekly Current Affairs programmes covering Politics and Foreign Affairs; launched BBC’s Televised Coverage of Parliament.
  • 1989-2001: Director then Chief Executive BBC News and Current Affairs responsible for the totality of the BBC’s network journalism on radio and television; launched Radio 5 Live, BBC News 24, BBC News Online, BBC Parliament.
  • Race ‘Champion’ for the BBC ; author Property Vision for the BBC

Royal Opera House 2001 –

  • Set up Department to support and develop new artists and new audiences.
  • Widened access through Big Screen relays across the country; special ‘Hamlyn’ performances; £10 Student standbys and other special low price ticket schemes.
  • Worked with Regional Development Agencies and Thurrock Council to build new Workshops in the Thames Gateway which will also provide education facilities and apprenticeships.
  • Led the purchase of a DVD company – Opus Arte – to distribute recordings of ROH work around the world.
  • Balanced the books for each of the last 7 years including increasing fundraising nearly three-fold.

External Posts

  • 2004 Founder Chair of the Sector Skills Council for the Creative and Cultural Industries.
  • Non-Executive Director, Channel 4 Television Corporation; Chair, Content Committee.
  • Chair of the Theatre Royal Stratford East (Joan Littlewood’s former Theatre).
  • Management Committee, Clore Leadership programme.
  • Member, Culture and Creative Advisory Forum DCMS.
  • Formerly, Member, Regeneration through Heritage Steering Group; Board Member, Race For Opportunity; Board Member, Learn Direct; Council Member, Brunel University; Non Executive Director, HM Customs and Excise; Chair, Royal Television Society; Chair, DCFS and DCMS Music & Dance Scheme.

External Reviews

  • 2006; Review of Dance Provision in Secondary Schools for DCMS and DCSF (published with Government response March 2008).
  • 2007; Review of the Media handling of the seizure of Royal Navy Personnel by the Iranians for the MOD (published July 2007).
  • 2007; Review for Channel 4 of the handling of the Celebrity Big Brother programme and the ensuing race row.


  • King Coal, The History of the Miners in Britain, (Penguin, 1981)
  • Nuclear Politics (Penguin, 1987).


  • Made a CBE in 2005

Tony joined the British Council Board in September 2008.

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