Radio 4 boss quits BBC to run Oxford University college

Mark damazer

New role: Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer is leaving the BBC to take over as the head of an Oxford college

The controller of BBC Radio 4 is leaving the corporation to take up a position as the head of St Peter's College at Oxford University.

Mark Damazer was appointed controller of BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 7 in October 2004.

One of the corporation's most senior executives, Damazer had been with the BBC for 28 years.

The married father of two said: 'I will be leaving a job I have loved.

'I'm leaving behind a network which is passionately sustained and supported by its audience and by programme makers, commissioners, schedulers and support teams at Radio 4 who are devoted to their work.

'I am more grateful than I can say for the opportunity to have been in charge of Radio 4 for what will be six years and I leave with the hope that Radio 4 - and the BBC - will continue to be strong and resolute in serving the public who put so much faith and trust in it.'

Amongst Damazer's more controversial moves while at Radio 4 was the decision to ditch the five-minute UK Theme which started the day.

BBC director-general Mark Thompson said: 'Mark's distinguished career at the BBC has spanned many areas - from the BBC World Service and BBC News & Current Affairs to Radio 4.

'His work has been characterised by integrity, total commitment to depth and quality, and a dedication to serving audiences.

'He has been an outstanding controller of BBC Radio 4 and I wish him well in his move to academic life at Oxford.'

Damazer, 54, first joined the BBC with the World Service in 1981.

After a spell at TV-AM from 1983, he took various roles on the Six O'Clock News, Newsnight, and political programming.

He then became deputy director of BBC News in April 2001.

In an interview with Ariel, the BBC in-house magazine, Damazer said he would be leaving the BBC in October.

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