BBC boss 'unaware' over Savile

On the first day in his new job the BBC's new boss, Tony Hall, told ITV News he never heard rumours about disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile during his previous stint at the corporation.

BBC boss criticises big pay-offs

The new director-general of the BBC, Tony Hall. Credit: PA Wire

The new director-general of the BBC has criticised the large pay-offs given to senior staff in the past when they left the corporation.

Tony Hall, who took over the reins yesterday, said the large sums paid out had "not been right".

His immediate predecessor George Entwistle, who stood down over the Jimmy Savile scandal, walked away with a £450,000 pay-off - double the amount he was entitled to.

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Tony Hall tells staff he is confident of BBC's future

The BBC's new Director-General Tony Hall began his first day on the job with an email to all staff declaring his confidence in the corporation's future, the BBC website reported.

He said the corporation is learning the lessons from recent "difficult times".

We are now winning back trust, something which will always be the most precious commodity for our organisation. We must never take it for granted.

– Tony Hall

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Optimism as Tony Hall starts as BBC director-general

Commenting on the start of Tony Hall's tenure broadcaster and media consultant Steve Hewlett said: "In a sense, he couldn't have a better start - arriving when it's all gone wrong, and it's not your fault.

Tony Hall was announced as the new BBC director-general in November, pictured here with Lord Patten. Credit: Press Association

"If you've got an idea of what to do about it, it's not a bad position to be in. "There's the sense things can only improve. He knows the organisation. He's no fool. He'll get the right people around him. If anyone can do this, he's the top of the list. I've some confidence it will go well."

Hewlett said Lord Hall's first challenge was to build an executive team which could command staff's respect, something the new director general has already started doing.

He praised the appointment of former Labour cabinet minister James Purnell as the BBC's new director of strategy and digital, saying Lord Hall had chosen a "smart operator" who is a "very capable thinker, with a genuine long-term view".

New director general Tony Hall takes helm at BBC

Tony Hall will begin the job of repairing the BBC's battered reputation when he takes up the role of director general today.

Lord Hall, who started out as a BBC trainee 40 years ago, will spend 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.

New BBC Director General Tony Hall. Credit: Press Association

In addition, the former BBC news executive also 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, Lord Hall was the only candidate contacted by the BBC Trust.

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

Read: Tony Hall profile