Lord Hall is to step down as head of the BBC in the summer. The 69-year-old said that the person who leads the BBC through the mid-term licence fee negotiations in 2022 should be the same person who is with the BBC at the time of the 2027 charter renewal. The search for the next director general is under way.

In a message to staff, just a week after his New Year address, Tony Hall said: “I will give my all to this organisation for the next six months, as I have done these last seven years. But in the summer I’ll step down as your Director-General.”

“I believe that an important part of leadership is putting the interests of the organisation first. The BBC has an eleven-year Charter – our mission is secure until 2027. But we also have a mid-term review process for the spring of 2022. As I said last week, we have to develop our ideas for both. And it must be right that the BBC has one person to lead it through both stages.”

“Over the next six months my priority, as always, will be to champion this great organisation and continue to direct our re-invention. There’s so much we can do to transform the creative industries around the UK still further and to project this country’s talent and ideas to the world.”

He repeated the message of his New Year address, that “public service broadcasting — with the BBC at its heart — is an eternal idea.”

It seems that it will fall to someone else to demonstrate whether that idea will persist at a time of great change in the broadcast environment.

The BBC Chairman, David Clementi, will lead the search for a successor to Lord Hall, who became director general in April 2013. He replacing Tim Davie, who acted in the role following the resignation of George Entwistle.