BBC presenter scandal: Who is Tim Davie the Director general of the channel?

The BBC is going through a massive scandal over one unnamed presenter. While the channel is being criticised over its handling of the crisis, here's a look into who the BBC boss Tim Davie is.

BBC boss Tim Davie's salary revealed as pressure mounts to disclose identity of unnamed presenter
© Karwai Tang / GETTY IMAGES
BBC boss Tim Davie's salary revealed as pressure mounts to disclose identity of unnamed presenter

On 7 July 2023, The Sun published an article bringing forward accusations concerning a star BBC presenter. This person, confirmed male, allegedly paid a teenager £35Kfor explicit pictures. At the time of the affair, the young person was 17 and he allegedly continued receiving payment until the age of 20.

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The scandal continues to unfold with new revelations coming out each day. These could not come at a worse time for the BBC, as its boss Tim Davie, had a scheduled press conference about the channel’s financial report. The press conference took place on 11 July and was overshadowed by the current scandal.

The press and the public are questioning the channel’s ability to deal with the scandal as it has been revealed that those accusations didn’t just appear when The Sun published them. Instead, the family of the alleged victim, contacted the BBC in May 2023 but to no avail and that is why they went to the tabloid.

The question on everyone’s lips is of course about who the TV presenter, suspended by the BBC, is but another one needs to be asked. Who is Tim Davie, the General Director of BBC?

Who is Tim Davie?

The face of the scandal while the BBC presenter remains unnamed is now the one of Tim Davie. As the boss of BBC he is the person people wait for to give out statements. People are also waiting for him to give good reasons as to why the allegations weren’t dealt with sooner.

Tim Davie became the 7th Director General of the BBCin June 2020. Before that, The Sun reports that he used to have ‘a career in marketing at Procter and Gamble, and at PepsiCo Europe.’

According to Robert Dex, an Arts Correspondent for the Evening Standard, Tim Davie is ‘clearly committed to the corporation’. He claims that:

You don’t leave a well-paid career for a BBC job if you are not.

His previous career is something that makes Dex and others believe that ‘the DG’ is ‘not expected to give in easily.

Indeed, Dex argues that the fact that Davie worked outside of the media before gives him a perspective of what the corporation is seen as from the outside.

However, that previous career, outside of the broadcast world, has been over since 2005 when he joining the BBC as Director of Marketing and Audiences.

How much does Tim Davie earn?

The Sun reports that Tim Davie now makes £525K per year, which was a raise from the £494K he earned in the year of 2021 and 2022.

According to Daily Mail, the boss was supposed to was always supposed to earn £525K but had to take a lower pay because of a salary freeze that senior managers were on.

His salary is of course significantly less compared to those of BBC presenters, however he does earn the highest of all BBC executives.

While the whole company and all the executives are under pressure due to the scandal, Tim Davie in specific is being urged to take action.

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Tim Davie defends BBC's strategy

New allegations concerning the unnamed male TV presenter arose mere hours after Tim Davie, the channel’s boss spoke at the press conference. The conference was scheduled before the scandal and was meant to focus on the channel’s finance.

However, as predicted, the scandal the BBC is currently facing took precedence over money.

Tim Davie had to give an update on their internal investigation as well as explain their proceedings in dealing with the scandal.

During the conference, Davie justified the fact that the allegations did not have an impact sooner on the presenter. According to him, when claims are made they cannot be brought directly to the presenter in question. Consequently, the delay between accusations and actions was high.

The accusations were made to the BBC in May 2023 but the presenter was only suspended in July 2023. Tim Davie also defended the fact that he himself personally hasn’t spoken with the accused presenter saying that ‘it is critical they are spoken to by a very senior manager.’

In the conference, Davie announced that the channel has stopped their internal investigation ‘while the police consider if any crimes have been committed.’

Tim Davie hadn't been told about the scandal for seven weeks

Tim Davie also admitted that the way the case has been dealt with internally had not been the best. He said that he hadn’t been told of the affair for seven weeks and that only when The Sun got in touch with the channel he leads, was the presenter spoken to.

The way the BBC have handled the case is wildly criticised by member of the press and the public. During an interview with BBC Radio 4, Tim Davie was confronted with the fact that other presenters on the channel had to mend for themselves as they had been named online as the person guilty of the accusations.

The host of the show says:

Male presenters who are having to go on air to say that they, that it’s not them. It’s not a sustainable situation, is it?

Tim Davie answers:

It is a very difficult and complex situation and we’re trying to calmly and judiciously navigate our way through quite difficult circumstances

Regarding the fact that the identity of the presenter is kept a secret was addressed during the press conferences and the Daily Mail reports that 'the privacy of the star was a consideration.’

That begs the question, are they also withholding the name for the presenter’s privacy?

Read more: Holly Willoughby could be the new host of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing according to insider


BBC news on Twitter

The Sun: BBC presenter suspended over sex claims ‘broke Covid lockdown laws’ to meet young stranger from a dating site

The Guardian on Youtube

Daily Mail: Tim Davie defends delay in speaking to BBC presenter 'who paid teen £35k for explicit photos': Director-general says it isn't 'odd' that it took bosses SEVEN WEEKS after complaint to first quiz star - as he reveals he's still had no contact with him

The Sun: What is Tim Davie’s salary?

Evening Standard: Media Watch: One scandal after another but don’t write off BBC boss Tim Davie just yet

BBC presenter scandal: The channel's reputation at stake as new details are being revealed BBC presenter scandal: The channel's reputation at stake as new details are being revealed