Ofcom Content Board
The Content Board is a committee of the main Board and it sets and enforces quality and standards for television and radio. It has members representing each of the countries in the UK, and includes members with extensive broadcasting experience. It is charged with understanding, analysing and championing the voices and interest of the viewer, the listener and citizen.
The Content Board is a committee of the main Ofcom Board, with delegated and advisory responsibility for a wide range of content issues, predominantly dealing with broadcasting. It is set up under statute, specifically Section 12(1) of the Communications Act 2003.
The Ofcom Board will seek advice and recommendations from the Content Board on any content-related aspects of decisions it has reserved for itself. All other content-related decisions are delegated to the Content Board.
The Content Board serves as Ofcom's primary forum for the regulation of television and radio quality and standards. It is charged with understanding, analysing and championing the voices and interest of the viewer, the listener and citizen. It will examine issues where the citizen interest extends beyond the consumer interest, with focus on those aspects of the public interest which competition and market forces do not reach.
Content Board members will consider content issues in three categories:
Tier 1 concerns negative content regulation. It covers matters principally concerning harm and offence, accuracy and impartiality, fairness and privacy.
Tier 2 relates to quantitative matters, such as quotas for independent television production, regional production and original EU/UK production.
Tier 3 covers the public service broadcasters; and in this context Ofcom has particular responsibility for ITV, Channel 4 and Five.
Members will also consider format regulation for radio and will advise the Ofcom Board on other issues as required.
The majority of Content Board members are part-time and drawn from diverse backgrounds across the UK. Four are appointed to represent to Ofcom the interests and opinions of people living in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English Regions.
26 January 2021
30 March 2021
11 May 2021
6 July 2021
5 October 2021
30 November 2021
Bob Downes (interim Chair)
Bob Downes is the current chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and of CENSIS, an innovation centre for sensors and imaging systems. Bob is a trustee of the Mackintosh Campus Renewal Appeal for Glasgow School of Art, and an advisor to a number of small technology businesses. Formerly he was a senior executive with BT Group.
Bob joined the Ofcom Board on 1 February 2018. His appointment runs until 31 January 2022. He was appointed to the Content Board on 22 May 2018.
Dr Aled Eirug
Aled Eirug is a freelance strategic policy adviser and works for Swansea University and other clients. He was a member of the governing authority for the Welsh language broadcasting service, S4C (2012 -2015), chairman of the British Council’s advisory committee for Wales (2012-2015) and a member of the British Council’s Board of Trustees (2013-2015).
He is an experienced journalist and broadcaster with over 30 years experience at ITV and the BBC. He was BBC Wales’ Head of News and Current Affairs from 1992 to 2006 and a member of BBC Wales’ Board of Management from 2000 to 2006. He has extensive experience of radio, television and online production across news, current affairs and documentary making.
Aled Eirug is the Content Board member for Wales. He joined the Content Board on 1 December 2015 and his appointment runs until 30 November 2021.
Robin is an expert in media policy, regulation and strategy. He is a member of the Advertising Advisory Committee at the Advertising Standards Authority, and an independent Panel Member for the Competition and Markets Authority.
Previously, he held senior level strategy positions at the BBC from 1993 to 2000, the Independent Television Commission and then Ofcom.
Robin has written extensively on trends and changes in media markets, and the implication of digital and social media for the future shape and health of UK broadcasting. His publications include reports on the UK creative sector, the future of TV news, the future of PSB, and the impact of digital intermediaries on news plurality.
Robin joined the Content Board on 1 January 2016. His appointment runs until 31 December 2021.
Kevin Bakhurst joined Ofcom as Group Director for the Broadcasting and Online Content Group on 31 October 2016. Previously he was the Deputy Director General and Managing Director of News and Current Affairs at RTE, the Irish public service broadcaster. Kevin has also spent a significant period with the BBC, from January 1989 to September 2012, where his roles included Deputy Head of the BBC Newsroom and Controller of the BBC News Channel. He also held several key editorial positions with the BBC including as Editor of the Ten O’Clock News and as Assistant Editor of the Nine O’Clock News. He started his career with Price Waterhouse.
Monisha Shah has senior level experience of broadcast and digital media and has served on a diverse range of public and commercial Boards.
She is a Board member of the Office for Students, the independent regulator of Higher Education in England, and a member of the Queen’s Counsel Appointments Panel. She is also a Member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, appointed by the Prime Minister in 2015.
She also serves on several charities. She is Chair of the Board of Governors at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, Trustee of the ArtFund and Trustee of Caterham School.
In previous roles, Monisha served on the boards of Tate, the National Gallery and the Donmar Warehouse. She was Non-executive Director on the Board of Next Mediaworks Plc, a media company operating FM radio in India and Non-Executive Director of Imagen Limited, a digital media company specialising in media asset management and content distribution solutions.
Monisha worked at BBC Worldwide from December 1999 to March 2010. As Director of Emerging Markets, she was responsible for initiating and delivering business strategy for the commercial exploitation of British intellectual property in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. She led several strategic initiatives including new business ventures in formats, local productions, and co-productions across EMEIA. Monisha represented BBC Worldwide on several internal and external boards, including joint ventures in India for FM radio and magazines, and BBC World India Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the television channel, BBC World News.
Monisha joined the Content Board on 1 October 2017. Her appointment runs until 30 September 2023.
Jonathan brings more than 40 years’ journalism experience.
He began his career as a reporter at the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, before joining the BBC in 1978, where he held several senior roles in radio and television news until 2014. He was Editor of the Nine O’Clock News bulletin when it moved to its current 10pm slot. The programme received a BAFTA and Royal Television Society Awards under his editorship.
Jonathan also spent five years as BBC World News Editor, later becoming Deputy Head, for six months Acting Head, of the wider News gathering department. He was also appointed Head of the College of Journalism, with responsibility for training 8,000 BBC journalists.
From 2014-2018 he was founding Professor of Journalism at the University of Essex. Jonathan joined the Content Board on 1 October 2017. His appointment runs until 30 September 2023.
Maggie Cunningham is the Content Board member representing the interests and opinions of people living in Scotland. Maggie has worked in the media sector for almost 40 years, 20 of which (1989 to 2009) were at a senior editorial level in the BBC. Her roles included Head of Radio, Scotland (2000 to 2004) and Joint Head of Programmes and Services, Scotland (2005 to 2009). Since 2009, she has worked as a leadership and executive coach. She chaired the Board of MG Alba for six years from July 2012. She is involved with the charity Sistema Scotland, having been a founding Board member until December 2019. She is an independent member of the Edinburgh Festivals’ Forum.
Maggie joined the Content Board on 1 October 2018. Her appointment runs until 30 September 2024.
David is currently a non-executive director of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and is Chair of the Information Governance Committee. David is also Non-Executive Director of the Welsh Revenue Authority and is a member of the Board of Qualifications Wales. In addition, he owns Public Services Digital.
David joined the Ofcom Board on 8 April 2019. His appointment runs until 7 April 2023. He was appointed to the Content Board on 26 May 2021.
Sophie is a Television Presenter, Inclusion Consultant and Disability Advocate. Sophie reports on current affairs programs such as Dispatches and Unreported World and presents Live Para Sport events on Channel 4. She presented The World’s Worst Place to be Disabled for BBC3 in 2015.
Sophie, who was paralysed from the chest down in a road traffic accident in 2003, has twice been voted in the Top 10 most influential disabled people in the UK. She is the Global Ambassador for ToyotaGB and Women’s Rights and Inclusive Education for Leonard Cheshire, on the Special Advisory Committee for Human Rights Watch and Patron of Scope and Back Up. Sophie’s debut book, a memoir will be published with Little Brown.
Sophie joined the Content Board on 1 November 2018. Her appointment runs until 31 October 2021.
Stephen Nuttall has more than thirty years’ experience working as a senior executive and a consultant in the sports, media and digital industries. Stephen’s previous positions include Senior Director at YouTube EMEA and Group Commercial Director at Sky.
Stephen has also been a board member of Team Sky (Sky’s professional cycling team), Freeview, and the National Geographic Channel.
Stephen has an MBA from SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, a degree in Applied Physics from the University of Nottingham and is the Vice President for Engagement at the British Science Association.
Stephen joined the Content Board on 10 December 2018. His appointment runs until 9 December 2024.
Alison joined Ofcom in 2007. She is currently Ofcom’s Director of Content Standards, Licensing & Enforcement. She leads a team with responsibility for setting and enforcing content standards for television, radio and on-demand services and for Ofcom’s broadcast licensing programme.
Alison joined Ofcom as a broadcasting standards specialist and in 2016 became Director of the Standards and Audience Protection team, responsible for setting and enforcing Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code. Before joining Ofcom, Alison worked in television production at the BBC from 1997 to 2003 producing and directing specialist factual and factual programmes, and later for various independent production companies.
Peter is an experienced leader in the fields of media, higher education and economic development. At the BBC he was Editor of Panorama, Newsnight and Elections from 1992 to 2001. His leadership roles included Head of Current Affairs, Head of TV News and Head of the Multimedia Newsroom. He was Director of the BBC World Service from 2009 to 2014.
He was a member of the BBC Commercial Board and of the BBC Direction Group from 2011 to 2014. He won BAFTA awards as editor of Newsnight and as executive producer of the documentary series The Power of Nightmares. Peter was Vice Chancellor of the Open University from 2015 to 2018 and is currently Chair of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. In 2015 he received a CBE for Services to Broadcasting. He is Chair of Learna Ltd, a medical education business.
Peter joined the Content Board on 1 November 2020. His appointment runs until 31 October 2023.
Dekan graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering yet decided to follow his passion for journalism and joined the BBC in 2002. He worked his way up through the BBC, starting as a researcher and progressing to a broadcast journalist and producer working for several departments including BBC London, BBC News Channel and BBC Comedy. He produced a variety of unique community focused digital content ahead of the London 2012 Games before leaving the corporation in 2012 and starting his own training and production company.
Combining his passion for community engagement and the arts Dekan founded Allsortz Open Mic (2011-2017), which he set up as a Community Interest Company; its aim was to provide emerging artists with the opportunity to perform in professional venues while developing their confidence and experience. Dekan sat on the board of the Youth Media Agency (2012-2015), providing support and guidance to small startup media platforms. He also sat on the programming committee for the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation (2012-2016). Dekan is currently a Senior Lecturer and Joint Course Leader at the University of East London where he specialises in sports journalism, broadcast and digital media.
Dekan joined the Content Board on 1 November 2020. His appointment runs until 31 October 2023.
Anna-Sophie Harling is Managing Director for Europe at NewsGuard, based in London. Prior to joining NewsGuard, Harling worked at a technology startup in London, and at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, an international law firm. She has previously worked at two German newspapers, Der Tagesspiegel and the Märkische Allgemeine.
She graduated from Yale University, where she was a Yale Journalism Scholar.
Anna-Sophie joined the Content Board on 1 November 2020. Her appointment runs until 31 October 2023.
Kim Shillinglaw has 30 years experience in Media Industry, as Director of Factual for one of the UK’s largest production entities EndemolShine, Controller of BBC2 and BBC4 (2014 to 2016) and BBC’s Head of Commissioning for Science and Natural History (2009 to 2013) among other roles. She is a Non-Exec Director of Natural England, a Trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and an independent member for BEIS.
At EndemolShine, Kim led commercial production companies, substantially expanding the business and growing turnover and ebitda ahead of a successful trade sale. At the BBC she contemporised Channels, commissioning multi-award winning shows from Muslims Like Us to Marigold Hotel, introduced Women’s Football and the first female presenter of QI. At Science and Natural History she brought new scale with programmes such as Frozen Planet, Africa, Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II and domestic brands like Stargazing Live and Springwatch. She led the BBC’s acclaimed Year of Science, brought the Christmas Lectures back to the BBC, and instigated the corporations largest outreach campaign, Make It Digital in partnership with commercial and public organisations. Previously she worked in Children’s TV, and created the multi-award winning Horrible Histories series.
Kim chaired the BBC’s Commercial Income Taskforce during 2011, its Factual Genre Board (circa 2010-13) and NESTA’s Creative Economy Board (2012-18), has advised organisations from the Science Museum to the AHRC’s Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, government panels for DCMS and BEIS, and committees for the Royal Society, Edinburgh TV Festival and others.
Kim joined the Content Board on 1 November 2020. Her appointment runs until 31 October 2023.
Rachel Coldicutt is an expert on the social impact of new and emerging technologies, and director of research consultancy Careful Industries.
She was previously founding CEO of responsible technology think tank Doteveryone where she led influential and ground-breaking research into how technology is changing society and developed practical tools for responsible innovation. Prior to that, she spent almost 20 years working at the cutting edge of new technology for companies including the BBC (2001 to 2003), Microsoft, BT, and Channel 4, and was a pioneer in the digital art world. Rachel is an influential voice on the UK technology scene, and is an advisor, board member and trustee for a number of companies and charities. In 2019, Rachel was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours for services for the digital society. She is currently writing a book about careful innovation.
Rachel joined the Content Board on 1 November 2020. Her appointment runs until 31 October 2023.
Tobin has 25 years experience working as a senior executive in the digital media industry. He started his career at McKinsey & Company and has served as the Commercial Director of BSkyB, Chief Marketing Officer of AOL Europe, and Global Director of Strategy and Business Development at Vodafone.
While at Vodafone, Tobin led the GSMA global initiatives on mobile advertising and consumer privacy, and subsequently has become an active investor and advisor in the digital media and data sectors. He is Special Industry Advisor to the World Health Organisation and the Mobile Marketing Association – both focused on the future of the mobile data ecosystem. He is an angel investor in European mobile, data, AI and D2C start-ups and a non-executive/chairman on a range of technology and online companies, including Cyan Forensics.
Tobin has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, an MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the LSE, and a BSc in Pure Mathematics and Economics from the University of Bristol.
Tobin joined the Content Board on 1 November 2020. His appointment runs until 31 October 2023.
It is our policy to keep board and committee minutes on our site for two years only. Older minutes can be accessed via the National Archives.