Michael Checkland

Director-General 1987-1992

Sir Michael Checkland (b.1936) was Director-General from 1987 to 1992.

Checkland was a Chartered Accountant and joined the BBC Finance Department in 1964. He was Director of Television Resources and Chairman of BBC Enterprises before becoming Director-General.

The Board of Governors thought he would counter the Peacock Report's criticism and restrict BBC spending. Checkland described his objectives as introducing efficiency measures, diverting money towards programmes and accommodating new independent production quotas.

He was committed to saving money but vocal about the BBC's independence. He had hoped to stay until 1995 to see out a new 5-year plan. Instead his term was extended until 1993 and Deputy Director-General John Birt was announced as his replacement 21 months in advance. Checkland eventually resigned in 1992 after he made critical comments about Marmaduke Hussey in public.

Since resigning he has been director of organisations including Visnews and the NCH - Action for Children.