Liz Forgan

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Dame Elizabeth Anne Lucy Forgan, DBE (born 31 August 1944) is an English journalist, and radio and television executive.

Early life[edit]

Forgan was educated at Benenden School, Kent, and St Hugh's College, Oxford, then an all-female college.

She initially worked on newspapers starting with the Teheran Journal as Arts Editor 1967–68, at the Hampstead and Highgate Express (1969–74), and on London's Evening Standard (1974–78, and later as a columnist 1997–98).

She was editor of The Guardian's women's pages from 1978 to 1982, a Guardian columnist during 1997 and 1998, becoming a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group[1] from 1998.

Media management[edit]

Forgan was a founding commissioning editor and then Director of Programmes at the UK's Channel 4 from 1981 to 1990.[2]

She joined the BBC in 1993 to become Managing Director, BBC Network Radio where she developed the format for BBC Radio Five Live and launched the DAB digital radio service.

She left the BBC in February 1996 over a disagreement with John Birt, then BBC Director General, over the decision to move BBC Radio News from Broadcasting House to Television Centre.[3]

Forgan was appointed the sixth chairman of The Scott Trust in 2003,[4] the owner of the Guardian newspapers.

Public organisations[edit]

Between 2001 and 2008 Forgan was the Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund.[5]

She is also board member of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama,[6] Trustee of the Royal Anniversary Trust, a former Board Member of the British Film Institute, a Trustee of the Media Trust and of the Phoenix Trust, and Chair of the Churches Conservation Trust.

In February 2009 Forgan became Chair of Arts Council England, the first woman to head the British arts funding organisation. Appointed in the last year of a Labour Government, she was viewed with suspicion by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. In the October 2010 Government spending review, the Arts Council suffered a 29.6% funding cut, and was also ordered to halve its administrative costs.[7]


Liz Forgan was promoted Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Radio Broadcasting in 2006 having previously been appointed OBE in 1998.

In 2014 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Scott Trust Appoints New Chair". Archived from the original on 26 April 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2007.
  2. ^ "Liz Forgan - Heritage Lottery Fund". Archived from the original on 24 June 2006. Retrieved 28 January 2007.
  3. ^ "News move was last straw for Liz Forgan" by Michael Leapman, The Independent, 25 February 1996. Retrieved on 14 January 2022.
  4. ^ History of the Scott Trust Archived 6 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Dame Liz re-appointed to the National Heritage Memorial Fund". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2007.
  6. ^ "Hidden Treasures Speakers". Archived from the original on 28 May 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2007.
  7. ^ Arts council budget slashed
  8. ^ "British Academy announces 42 new fellows". Times Higher Education. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.

External links[edit]