Just in: Rupert Murdoch’ daughter joins Arts Council England

Just in: Rupert Murdoch’ daughter joins Arts Council England


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2017

Elizabeth Murdoch is among seven new members of the ACE’s National Council. The former head of Sky Networks last week established a £1.5 million fund for young visual artists. She is a former trustee of the Tate, where the ACE chair Sir Nicholas Serota was chief exec.

Other new members of the National Council are:

Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of Royal Liverpool Philharmonic;

Catherine Mallyon, a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company;

Paul Roberts, of Nottingham Contemporary;

Tessa Ross, head of TV indy producer House Productions;

Andrew Miller, of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama;

and George Mpanga, 26, known as George the Poet.

The Universal Music chair David Joseph retains his seat on the Council.

The ACE chair Sir Nicholas Serota said: ‘It is so important that boards address diversity in the process of recruiting new members. I am particularly pleased to welcome not only our youngest member to date, but also a National Council that has an equal number of men and women. This is work in progress.’

Ms Murdoch is the least beholden scion of her father’s media empire, which includes Fox News and The Sun.

The appointment is, nonetheless, counter-intuitive.



  • Cynical Bystander. says:

    Despite so much diversity ACE funding will still be dominated by one part of the country. For fear of being called provincial I’ll not name where.

    • Allen says:

      It will be “dominated” by the part of the country where the audiences are, partly by virtue of commuting and tourism. As a result, subsidy per attendance will be entirely reasonable.

      And this is from a Northerner.

      • Paul Kelly says:

        Actually, Allen that is not the case. Extensive research in 2012-13 by respected industry professionals showed that London and the South East received far higher subsidy per head than those living in further-flung parts. The case is very well-made here – http://www.gpsculture.co.uk/rocc.php and it’s an easy and compelling read. To their credit I think Arts Council England have started to respond and have made conscious efforts to invest more outside of London. You say London is where the audiences are. It’s also where the wealth is and why shouldn’t there be audiences in Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle and everywhere else?

  • Anonymous says:

    So she basically bought her place by establishing a fund for visual arts? What’s her credentials for the British arts scene encompassing music, theatre, art et al?

    • FS60103 says:

      Might as well ask what the manager of a symphony orchestra knows about poetry or sculpture. The point of a board is to assemble a team of people who collectively have expertise in a wide range of different areas.

      • Steve P says:

        Reading the article, it seems expertise is just as important as having the appropriate sex organs (which doesn’t even equate to gender in some circles).

  • Aslanis says:

    money can’t buy love