Tony Hall CBE (Lord Hall of Birkenhead) is Director General of the BBC, a post he took up in April 2013. He was previously Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House for 12 years, and is widely credited with building that organisation into a global centre of excellence for opera and ballet, and a beacon of creativity and best practice within the arts sector. In addition to his leadership of the Royal Opera House, Hall was appointed Chair of the Cultural Olympiad board in July 2009 with responsibility for delivering a series of cultural events in the run up to the London 2012 Games. He has served as a non-executive director of Channel 4 Television, a Trustee of the British Council, chair of Stratford East Theatre, an Honorary Visiting Fellow of Journalism at City University, a member of the Regeneration Through Heritage Steering Group, a board member for Race for Opportunity, former non-executive director of HM Customs and Excise, and was a member of the Council for Brunel University. In 2007, he conducted a media review for the Ministry of Defence on the HMS Cornwall affair. Until 2001, Tony Hall was Chief Executive BBC News and launched Radio 5 Live, Britain's first 24-hour News and Sport Radio channel, BBC News 24, BBC News Online and BBC Parliament. He built the BBC news gathering network to be a world beater. Tony is the author of King Coal (1981) - a history of the Miners Union, and Nuclear Power (1984). He became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005 and was ennobled in 2010 as Lord Hall of Birkenhead.