Richard Ayre, Trustee

In journalism, nothing matters more than integrity in the way you do your work, and open-mindedness about where it may take you

About Richard

Despite an administrative hiccup which saw him receive a rejection slip and a congratulatory phone call on the same day, Richard joined the BBC from university as a News Trainee. He stayed for almost 30 years, as a reporter in Belfast, an editor in London, the founding head of BBC Westminster, Controller of Editorial Policy, and Deputy Chief Executive of BBC News.

At 50, he took early retirement and became a founder board member of the Foods Standards Agency, where he promoted the policy of openness which led to the Agency taking all its policy decisions in public session, broadcast live over the internet. He became a Governor of Teachers’ TV, and in 2006 joined the Content Board of Ofcom, where he was Chair of the Broadcast Review Committee.

Richard cherishes freedom of speech. He is a former Chair of Article 19, the international freedom of expression charity, and for fourteen years was the Law Society’s freedom of information adjudicator.

After 10 years in Norfolk, Richard returned to London in 2010. He is married to the artist Guy Burch.

Richard says:

"The BBC is a national institution of enormous significance to this country and to millions around the world and with a track record of public service broadcasting second to none. This is one of the most challenging times in the BBC's history, with public finances under the greatest pressure in decades. The BBC will have to make some tough decisions if audiences are to continue to get great content in return for paying the licence fee."