A stalking horse for the BBC

A stalking horse for the BBC


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2014

After we had remarked on the paucity of qualified candidates to head the BBC Proms and Radio 3, a kind spirit sent us the cv of the current head of Welsh Rugby:

(Our man) was appointed Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union and the Millennium Stadium in 2006. He returned home to Wales from London in 2004 to take up the position of Managing Director of ITV Wales.

Immediately prior to this, between 1998 and 2004, he was the Managing Director and Programme Controller of Classic FM and a Board Director of its parent company GWR plc. Between 1990 and 1998, he worked in the record industry as a Managing Director at EMI Records and as the world wide President of the Decca Record Company.

He spent the 1980’s in radio. Between 1985 and 1990 he was a producer at BBC Radio 1 and then Head of the BBC Radio 1 Music Department. Between 1981 and 1985, he worked in commercial radio at Capital Radio, London, as a producer, and at Radio Tees, in the North East. He studied music at the University of Nottingham, graduating in 1976 with a B.Mus (Hons). He worked as a musician between 1976 and 1980.

Should go straight to the head of the shortlist if he cares to apply.



  • Will says:

    well you could at least tell us the NAME of this Paragon of virtue, Norman….!

  • Hmmm, April 1st is still a few days away!

  • Anonymous interviewer says:

    Heard a lot of good comments about Roger Lewis in the olden days.

  • Christos Vasilios says:

    Not Roger Lewis, please no!

  • Oswald says:

    This must be some sort of a joke. I remember this guy when he was at EMI and then at Decca and I worked at one of London’s orchestras. I remember so many of my EMI and Decca contacts telling me the most incredible stories about this guy. Some were so outlandish, that they were hard to believe, but they were all told BEFORE the third our fourth pint! He was the topic of many Friday evenings at the pub! They all said, more or less, the same thing, that he had absolutely no control of his temper and used to fly into an uncontrollable rage and start screaming and shouting at people and making dire threats against them nearly everyday. He only worked by intimidation, not by motivation. He jumped from job to job after his departure and ended up in the rugby business. His departure from Decca was not of his choice and that can be verified I have been told. So please, if there is a God, spare us music loving mortals from the these types of alien invaders!

    • Justice for Roger says:

      You are mixing Roger up with someone else. I worked for him for years, and never once did I see him lose his temper, let alone fly into rages, scream or shout.

      “From job to job…”. 1990 EMI – 1995 Decca – 1998 Classic FM – 2004 WRU: four jobs in 24 years doesn’t seem excessive to me.

      You imply that you are very well informed, but I’m afraid you’re inaccurate throughout.

      • Former Decca Employee says:

        I must comment here. I concur with everything that Oswald has written about former Decca boss Roger Lewis. I worked at Decca during part of his tenure there and was a witness and also a victim of his verbal and psychological abuse. I don’t like to speak about others in this way, but as I see that a defence has been posted above, claiming Oswald’s comments to be “inaccurate”, my conscience tells me to speak up and I am.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Norman-Whats this with PR men as potential supremos at Radio 3?

    It should be someone with a profound understanding of Classical Music. Past controllers have mostly been music scholars- one thinks of Nicholas Kenyon, Ponsonby and Glock (who was a brilliant pianist and pupil of Schnabel). Humphrey Burton was equally qualified to do his spectacular work for classical music on the TV side.

    PR men occupying the top jobs Classical Music spells one thing- dumbing down. And we have seen it illustrated for all to see on,sadly, so many occasions.

  • Mortimer says:

    If Roger Lewis was a successful and passionately committed music manager, why in the world would he ever have to take up a job working for the Welsh Rugby Union and a sports stadium on Westgate Street in Cardiff?

    • Halldor says:

      People who have become used to holding senior roles start to imagine that they possess unique personal abilities – effective in any role or sphere. Some do. Some really, really don’t.

  • david says:

    my money would be on a certain Mr Fogg in Boston….a practiced musician, tons of experience running orchestras for the ABC in Oz and an enviable reputaion in his present job for calmness, administrative acumen, diplomacy under attack and still keen and able to do the job…and he’s probably even too modest to apply……

  • Julian says:

    Norman, did you see the laser lights and disco before the Wales-England rugby match at the Millennium stadium a few weeks ago? Is that what you want at the Proms (and god help Radio 3) – a dumbed-down spectacle full of drunk people in pink sparkly cowboy hats shouting “give it to Shane” (or Bryn (for the Proms) or whoever)? Because that’s what Roger Lewis has done to Welsh Rugby.