UK

First Day For Lord Hall, New BBC Director General

02/04/2013 07:40 BST | Updated 02/04/2013 13:57 BST

The new boss of the BBC has spoken of his pride on his first day in the job.

Lord Hall, who started out as a BBC trainee 40 years ago, spent part of his first day in the office speaking to staff at the corporation, which has been beset with problems since the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal came to light.

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Lord Hall's first day

Speaking outside the new Broadcasting House in central London, Birkenhead-born Hall said: "It's exciting for me to be coming back to where I started my career in the BBC.

"It's an enormous responsibility being the sixteenth director general of the BBC, but it's also something I am very excited about and feel very privileged about.

"I have spent a lot of time over the past weeks, especially over the last weekend, watching and listening to a huge number of programmes and services and content, and I take my hat off to the people working in this place.

"What we produce here is extraordinary and distinctive and very, very wonderful.

"I'm very, very proud indeed to be leading the BBC from this moment on."

The former BBC news executive has low staff morale to contend with, a fact highlighted by last week's strike in a row over jobs, workload and claims of bullying.

When previous director general George Entwistle stepped down in November after a Tory peer was mistakenly implicated in child abuse claims on BBC2's Newsnight, Hall was the only candidate contacted by the BBC Trust.

Before being offered the £450,000-a-year post, Hall had been chief executive of the Royal Opera House, a job he took up in 2001.

Birkenhead-born Hall, who was made a cross-bench peer in 2010, admitted there is "a lot of hard work ahead" when announcing his first appointments earlier this year, but said he was creating a team that would "define the BBC and public service broadcasting for the next decade".

He had previously spoken of building a "world-class team for this world-class organisation", saying he cared about it "passionately".

The new director general, who was head of BBC news and current affairs from 1996 to 2001, "has a honeymoon period - but it could be a short one", according to media commentator Raymond Snoddy.

The former presenter of BBC News Channel's NewsWatch, said: "Tony Hall arrives with a ocean of good will behind him as the 'right person' to sort out the mess the BBC is in following the Savile and Newsnight scandals.

"Reality starts tomorrow. He will soon be judged on how well he succeeds - or not - in improving trust in the BBC and restoring morale while coping with real falls in income."