Academy Award-winning The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper has been blocked by the UK government from re-appointment to the Channel 4 board, along with Althea Efunshile, the board’s only person from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background.
According to the Financial Times, culture secretary Nadine Dorries has decided against signing off on the re-appointments after outgoing Channel 4 Chair Charles Gurassa recommended they both serve another term. Regulator Ofcom therefore told the FT it will start a process to find the duo’s replacements in the New Year, the FT added.
These re-appointments were traditionally passed by ministers without incident but Boris Johnson’s Conservative government has shown a propensity to push back. Against the advice of both Channel 4 and Ofcom, the UK government controversially vetoed the reappointment of two other female directors – Uzma Hasan and Fru Hazlitt – to the Channel 4 board over the summer.
Hooper, who also directed Les Misérables, Cats and The Danish Girl, has served on the board since 2017. Efunshile, a former Deputy Chief Executive of Arts Council England, has also served one term and the board will become all white once she departs. Her first-term appointment was also rejected by the UK government in 2016 before being overturned.
Former ITV Director of Global Content Dawn Airey recently signed for the board alongside former Today program editor Sarah Sands, former advertising body Thinkbox CEO Tess Alps and Reuters’ ex-Managing Director Global David Kogan.
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