Helen is tipped for top BBC job

A SENIOR BBC journalist from Suffolk is reportedly in the running to become the new director general of the corporation.

Helen Boaden, who runs the corporation’s local, national and international news services, has been tipped by industry experts for the high-profile post.

The current favourite for the role remains George Entwistle, director of vision and a member of the BBC’s executive board, while also among the front runners is Caroline Thomson, the BBC’s chief operating officer.

Another name in the frame is Ed Richards, chief executive of media watchdog Ofcom.

The race for the top job was sparked when director general Mark Thompson, who took over from Greg Dyke in 2004, told staff this week he would be leaving the corporation in the autumn.

If successful, Ms Boaden would be the first woman to take up the role, which is appointed by the BBC Trust.

A former Northgate High School and Colchester County High School for Girls pupil, Ms Boaden grew up in Ipswich and returned to the town earlier this year to take part in the 2012 Lecture Series at University Campus Suffolk and welcome prospective students to the new MA Journalism course. She talked about the enduring need for journalism training when everyone has smartphones in their pockets.

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Among her other jobs, she was controller of Radio 4 for four years and regular presenter of Woman’s Hour. She won prestigious Sony Award for programmes on Aids in Africa and bullying at Feltham Young Offenders Institute.

She is now a fellow of The Radio Academy and on the committee of the Sony Radio Academy.

Ms Boaden took up her role as director, BBC News, in September 2004. In April last year she became the director of BBC News Group, taking on additional responsibility for the Global News division, and joined the BBC’s Executive Board.

During her speech at UCS in January, she said she was pleased to see the area still supported two daily newspapers – the East Anglian Daily Times and its sister paper, the Ipswich Star.