Former BBC Director General Greg Dyke has been awarded the BFI Fellowship, the organisation’s highest honour. The prize – which recognises an outstanding contribution to TV and film – was sprung on Dyke as a surprise at a screening of the film Cabaret, which Dyke was introducing as his personal ‘screen epiphany’.
Dyke started his media career at London Weekend Television (LWT) where he had his first major success: turning around the failing morning show TV-am. He held various executive positions throughout the industry, including at LWT and Channel 5, before becoming DG in January 2000. A far cry from his bureaucratic predecessor John Birt, he helped bring the corporation into the 21st century with the rallying cry “Cut the crap”. As a football fanatic, he even had special ‘yellow cards’ made.
However, Dyke quit the Corporation in the aftermath of the Hutton Report . As well as his BFI role, he is the current chairman of the Football Association.
Created in 1983, others to have had the award bestowed upon them include Alec Guinness, Laurence Oilvier and Helena Bonham Carter.
“Thank you to my friends at the BFI, we’ve had a great eight years together,” said Dyke, the current chairman of the British Film Institute said. “We’ve faced lots of challenges but we’re better now than ever and doing more than ever. It’s a brilliant organisation and I’m overwhelmed by this BFI Fellowship award.”