June Sarpong to step down from BBC diversity role

The BBC’s inaugural director of creative diversity, June Sarpong, is to step down from the role later this year, following the conclusion of her two-year contract.

Sarpong was appointed in the three-day-a-week role in November 2019 on a two-year contract, which was extended in November.

She will continue in the post for an unspecified period of time, with the BBC seeking applications for a director of diversity and inclusion by 29 April.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “As the BBC’s director of creative diversity June Sarpong is continuing to deliver on her commitments to ensure audiences across the UK, from all backgrounds and communities, can feel that the BBC is for them. We intend to continue to have strong leadership in the diversity and inclusion space.”

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Channel 4 privatisation to go ahead

The government has decided to go ahead with plans to privatise Channel 4.

A source said ministers believed public ownership was holding the broadcaster back “in the face of a rapidly changing media landscape”.

Plans for the sale, on which there has been a public consultation, will be included in May’s Queen’s Speech.

But Channel 4 called it “disappointing” that ministers had made their decision despite “significant public interest concerns” over privatisation.

Money made from the sale will be reinvested in a “creative dividend” to be shared among the TV industry, with some of it earmarked for independent production companies.

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Inside the BBC Staff Exodus: Women of Color Are ‘Exhausted’ from Fighting a Broken System

At least 15 women of color have left the BBC in the last year saying they are “exhausted” from fighting a system that “is not systemically built to support anyone who is different,” a Variety investigation has uncovered.

“There has been an exodus,” says Simone Byrne, a Black Scottish journalist who spent 16 years at the BBC, first in news and then in diversity and inclusion (D&I), a unit that recruits diverse talent and ensures compliance with in-house D&I policies.

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Stormzy opens Louis Theroux interview series

Louis Theroux is to interview Stormzy as part of a six-part BBC2 series from Mindhouse Productions.

The first episode of the 6 x 45-minute The Louis Theroux Interview (w/t) will follow the documentarian as he visits rapper Stormzy on tour and at home, with other yet-to-be-named celebrities appearing in later outings.

It builds on Mindhouse’s BBC Sounds podcast Grounded, an interview format which has run for two series, with an Amazon Prime Video feature with gamer KSI also in the works.

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Congratulations to our breakthrough Leaders who won RTS’s and were nominated for Bafta’s last week!


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