THE Government’s candidate for chairman of the BBC has been approved by MPs despite “serious reservations” about some aspects of the appointment of Samir Shah.

The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee said on Friday that it had “serious reservations about his willingness to offer his opinions and insight on some of the most fundamental issues facing the Corporation”, following a pre-appointment hearing this week.

While MPs said Shah (below) was “appointable”, the committee expressed doubts about “his ability to provide the robust challenge that the BBC leadership requires at this time”.

The National: Dr Samir Shah is a veteran TV executive (DCMS/PA)

“If the Government chooses to proceed with the appointment of Dr Shah as Chair of the BBC Board, we expect him to appear before the Committee within the first three months of appointment to demonstrate that he has sufficiently considered and addressed our concerns,” MPs said in short report following Wednesday’s hearing.

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The veteran TV executive was named earlier this month as the Government’s preferred candidate to become BBC chairman.

But he had to face a grilling by MPs before taking up the role. 

SNP MP John Nicolson (below) said he was "booked and then cancelled" for a BBC radio programme after he grilled Shah during his hearing.

The National: John Nicolson

The committee, chaired by Dame Caroline Dinenage, said Shah in his evidence “did not sufficiently demonstrate the strength and character that is needed to challenge the executive leadership of the BBC”.

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The role was vacated earlier this year by former Goldman Sachs banker Richard Sharp, who resigned after failing to declare his connection to an £800,000 loan made to Boris Johnson.

Shah is currently chief executive of award-winning production company Juniper TV, which makes a number of political and current affairs programmes.

He was previously the BBC’s head of television current affairs, and later ran the BBC’s political journalism department at Millbank.

At his hearing, he made headlines after suggesting that Gary Lineker’s recent tweets about politicians appeared to breach the BBC’s social media guidelines.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said: “We thank the committee for their report, which confirms the committee’s view that Dr Shah is appointable for the role of BBC chair. Dr Shah’s over 40-year career in TV production and journalism coupled with his ambition to see the BBC succeed make him well equipped to take on the job.

"We will review the committee’s recommendations in greater detail and respond in due course.”