Mag logo.png

Posted on 17th SEPTEMBER 2018 by MIREILLE HARPER

According to his twitter bio, he’s a ‘media/arts guy’, but Sir Peter Bazalgette is so much more. Despite being somewhat clued-up on the creative industries and who’s who in the creative world, I had no idea who Sit Peter Bazalgette was before today. You may recognise him, but here’s who he is, what he does, and why you need to know all about him.



It’s impossible to put Sir Peter Bazalgette’s roles into one sentence, so here’s an in-depth lowdown on everything he does. Currently, he’s President of the Royal Television Society, Deputy Chairman of the National Film School, and Executive Chairman of ITV. Phew! But wait - we’re not done yet. Formerly, he was also the Chair of Arts Council England and English National Opera. He’s also raised funds for arts and media organisations, through his roles as Chair of The Crossness Engines Trust and as deputy chair of The National Film and Television School.

He also has a number of media interests, serving on the boards of market researcher YouGov and digital advertiser MirriAd as well as being on the Advisory Board of BBH. He previously served as the Chief Creative Officer of Endemol where he devised several internationally successful television formats. He was also a non-executive director of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Sir Peter also writes a regular food column for the Financial Times. It’s enough to make your head spin!


The grandson of Victorian civil engineer, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, Sir Peter’s family are well-connected and influential. After attending Dulwich College, and Cambridge University to study Law (whilst also acting as President of the Cambridge Union Society), he joined the BBC News graduate training scheme.


Not one to stay in the same position, Sir Peter quickly moved up the ranks. He was picked up by Esther Rantzen to become a researcher on That’s Life!, and then became a reporter at BBC for Man Alive. Following this, he joined video production company Epic, and the BBC put him in charge of producing the TV show, Food and Drink. After this, he formed his own production company Bazal which created British TV favourites like Ready Steady Cook. In 1990, his company was acquired by the company which then became Endemol. 15 years later, he became Chairman of Endemol UK and Creative Director, earning fame for shows such as Big Brother and Deal or No Deal.


Well, having trebled the value of Endemol since his time there, he’s since stood down as Chairman and now acts as an advisor. He continues to champion the value of the BBC for its original programming and investment in creative talent. Having been awarded fellowships by BAFTA and The Royal Television Society, as well as his Chair/Director/President roles (we gather his diary is pretty full), he’s been named as the “most influential man in British television”. He writes widely on privacy, the internet, young people and voting, arts and philanthropy, public service broadcasting and student volunteering. Oh, and he’s a speaker at global media events and lectures on media convergence and creativity.

When it comes to those in positions such as Chair, President or Director, it’s easy to pay little attention and to think their influence is small. Sir Peter Bazalgette proves otherwise! From now on, I’ll be keeping an eye out on what the likes of Sir Nicolas Serota, Arts Council Chairman, are saying and doing - it’s key to understanding how the creative industries will function and flourish in the future. Well, if this bio isn’t an inspiration to everyone who didn’t follow their subject after graduating and those on graduate schemes, what is?


We want to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts below, tweet us at @eric_festival or instagram us at @ericfestival!