BBC rules out commissioning portraits of stop-gap director generals

The BBC has ruled out commissioning artists to paint portraits of its blink and you’d miss him former director general George Entwistle, and his stop-gap replacement Tim Davie, in a break with tradition.

Since WWII all holders of the post have appeared in their own self-portraits but having been tainted by the Jimmy Savile scandal the corporation is seeking to distance itself from further controversies and put the whole episode behind it.

The move comes in the wake of growing political pressure on the broadcaster to cut costs after one MP, Rob Wilson, singled out the practice as an ‘anachronistic tradition’. He said: “Even when the BBC were finding money very tight they lavished thousands of ponds on these pictures.

“They need to stop this anachronistic tradition and they should not commission a portrait of new boss Tony Hall. I would have thought there are plenty of cheaper ways the BBC, as a broadcaster, could record Mr Hall for future generations.”

The BBC has thus far refused to confirm whether it will commission a portrait of its incumbent head, Tony Hall.

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