A BBC logo at Broadcasting House in London
Samir Shah will take over from Richard Sharp, who resigned after an official inquiry found Sharp breached rules by failing to fully disclose ties to the UK's Conservative Party leadership Image Credit: Reuters

London: Britain's government on Wednesday chose a new BBC chairman after the previous incumbent was forced to quit earlier this year over a loan to then-prime minister Boris Johnson.

His appointment will almost certainly be ratified by a parliament committee and comes at a crucial time for the BBC, which is facing increased funding pressures.

The Conservative government named veteran TV executive Samir Shah as its choice to replace Richard Sharp, who stood down in April, as head of the publicly funded broadcaster.

The corporation is currently looking to make #500 million in savings and recently announced cutbacks to its flagship "Newsnight" programme.

Shah, 71, will be tasked with negotiating with the government an increase to the licence fee, which is where the BBC gets most of its funding.

UK media reported recently that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to block a nine percent increase in the annual fee, which is currently #159 ($200) per household.

Shah has worked in television for more than 40 years and has held a number of roles at the BBC, including as head of current affairs.

"We welcome the announcement that Samir Shah has been selected as the Government's preferred candidate to take up the role of BBC chair and look forward to him joining the board once the formal process has been complete," said a BBC spokesperson.

He said in a statement that he was "delighted" to have been named the government's preferred candidate.

Sharp, a former executive at investment bank Goldman Sachs, quit after it emerged he acted as a go-between to facilitate an #800,000 ($1 million) loan for Johnson.