UK names Elan Closs Stephens acting chair of BBC after Richard Sharp's resignation

Dame Elan Closs Stephens was named acting chair of Britain's BBC, the government said Friday. 

The appointment of Stephens, who has been a member of the broadcasting company's governing body since 2010, came after BBC chairman Richard Sharp's resignation in April following a report that found he breached the government's code for public appointments regarding a loan.

"Professor Dame Elan Closs Stephens is an experienced chair and non-executive director who has spent a career in broadcasting, the creative industries and academia," the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement.

Stephens, 74, will take over as acting chair of the BBC Board on June 27, said the statement.

"I am pleased that Dame Elan will take up the position of Acting Chair of the BBC and has the unanimous support of the Board. When she takes over, Dame Elan will provide stability in the leadership of the BBC while a process to appoint a new permanent Chair is run," Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said in the statement.

Stephens, a mother of two, is currently Pro Chancellor and professor emerita in Communications and Creative Industries at Aberystwyth University, Wales.

"As a board, we will champion the licence fee payer across all of the UK; ensure the BBC is a vital partner for the UK creative industries; maintain trust and drive change to make the BBC fit for a fast changing media landscape. There is much work to be done," she said in the statement.

Sharp resigned April 28 as the report by barrister Adam Heppinstall showed he was recommended for the job in the fall of 2020 because he assisted -- to a "very limited extent" -- then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson secure a loan.

Sharp was investigated for his appointment to the iconic broadcaster's helm, when he was reported to have helped facilitate a £800,000 ($995,000) loan guarantee for Johnson, weeks before he was appointed BBC chair by Johnson.

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