Entertainment & Arts

Bazalgette joins the Arts Council

Peter Bazalgette will take up his role as Chair of Arts Council England in February next year.

His appointment was one of the last decisions made by Jeremy Hunt as culture secretary before his move to health in the cabinet reshuffle.

Sir Peter has a varied portfolio. His TV company Endemol brought Big Brother to British screens, but he is also chairman of English National Opera.

His passion for new media, entrepreneurial spirit and infectious, can-do enthusiasm are the attributes the government hopes he will bring to the role.

He joins the organisation - and arts in general - at a time of flux, trepidation and uncertainty as the budget cuts that were announced last year start to be implemented.

Sir Peter's relationship with the new Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, and a need to give greater support to the regions, are likely to be somewhere near the top of his in-tray.

But the role will also act as the last stage of his "reputational rehabilitation" - gaining him respect amongst those in the media industry who did not rate Big Brother highly.

Here is my report from the Today programme.

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