The Royal Albert Hall is pleased to announce that Ralph Bernard will be succeeding David Elliott as Chief Executive when David retires at the end of May after eleven years in the post.
Over the past 25 years Ralph Bernard has played a leading role in the development of UK commercial radio. He was responsible for the creation of Classic FM, the UK's most successful commercial radio station with a weekly audience of almost six million, and remains its Non-Executive Chairman. He was Chief Executive of the GWR Group from 1982 becoming Chairman in 2001. Following GWR's merger with Capital Radio to form GCap Media in 2005, Ralph served as the Chairman and then Chief Executive, a position from which he stepped down last year.
He has played a leading role in the development of digital radio in the UK and for eight years was Chairman of the Digital Radio Development Bureau. He is also Chairman of the UK's only national commercial digital carrier, Digital One.
Ralph was appointed a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2002 for his services to broadcasting. His other interests include serving as Chairman of the Central School of Ballet, as Chairman of the British Lung Foundation and as a Director of the Watermill Theatre, Newbury.
Announcing the appointment, John Antcliffe President of the Governing Council of the Royal Albert Hall, said:
"This is great news for the Hall. Ralph's deep understanding of media and entertainment and wide business experience will be of immense value in the years ahead. The Hall has never been in better shape - we have an exciting programme for the rest of 2009 and have every reason to look to the future with confidence."
Commenting on his appointment, Ralph Bernard said:
"I am enormously excited to be joining one of the world's leading entertainment venues. The Hall has made significant strides in its programming content over the past 10 years and I am determined to ensure that it continues to play a central role in our cultural life."