25th Aug 2014

In Memoriam: Lord Richard Attenborough (1923-2014)

BSAC are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Lord Richard Attenborough.

Richard Attenborough served as Chairman of BSAC between 1987 and 1996, and remained as Honorary President thereafter.

Fiona Clarke-Hackston, Chief Executive, BSAC, said,

“I have nothing but admiration for Richard and was fortunate to work with him for 10 years. He was a very principled man with a strong social conscience who believed that an individual could make a huge difference. Whilst Chairman of BSAC, Richard also Chaired a host of other institutions, including Channel 4, the BFI and RADA. His contribution was without parallel.”



Lord Richard Attenborough was one of the original members of BSAC’S forerunner, the ‘Prime Minister’s Working Party on the future of the British Film Industry’, which was created by Harold Wilson in 1974.

BSAC was created as an independent industry body in 1985 and, since then, the Council’s remit has steadily been expanded so that it now encompasses the broadest range of audiovisual interests.

Richard Attenborough took over from Lord Wilson as Chairman in 1987. Under his leadership, BSAC provided considerable input into the development of UK audiovisual policy and became the lead independent association on international trade issues in relation to the UK audiovisual sector. During this time, BSAC:

  • provided input into consultations around the Broadcasting Bill (1990)
  • lobbied for the formation of the British Film Commission (1991)
  • led the UK industry response on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
  • advised the European Commission on the MEDIA 1 and MEDIA 2 Programmes, from 1991 onwards
  • set up a panel to advise the Arts Council of England on film matters and provided advice on applications for Lottery funds, following the formation of the National Lottery (1995)
  • played a leading role in the planning process for the establishment of a fifth UK terrestrial TV channel.
  • provided input into numerous other pieces of UK and EC Legislation.

Richard Attenborough retired as Chairman of BSAC in 1996, and continued as Honorary President until his recent death.

Back to News