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Marcus Ryder, Claire Tavernier to Lead U.K. Film and TV Charity - Variety

Inclusion campaigner Marcus Ryder and former Fremantle exec Claire Tavernier are to steer the Fim and TV Charity into its centenary year.

Ryder has been appointed the charity's chief executive, and moves on from his role as head of external consultancies at the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, which he set up with the actor and comedian. He will spearhead the charity’s efforts to support TV professionals through challenges including the cost-of-living crisis.

Ryder co-authored the Access All Areas: The Diversity Manifesto for TV and Beyond with Henry, and is a former chair of the RTS Diversity Committee.

He was awarded an MBE for his services to diversity in the media in 2020, and is a visiting professor of media diversity at Birmingham City University.

He recently outlined his concerns that “ethnic diversity at the BBC has gone backwards” with the departure of at least seven diversity and inclusion executives in four years.

Ryder takes up the Film & TV Charity post in the autumn, succeeding Alex Pumfrey, who stepped down earlier this year.

A former senior executive at the BBC, with roles including head of current affairs at BBC Scotland, he also chairs the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and is a trustee of the Press Pad Charitable Foundation.

Ryder described the Film & TV Charity as “an incredible source of support for people working behind the scenes across the film, TV, and cinema industry, acting as a vital enabler for those facing disadvantage, financial hardship and poor mental health”.

He added: “Through its research work, it has done much to shape the debate about how we treat the brilliant people who form the bedrock of the UK’s creative sector. The organisation and I also share a deep-seated understanding that the Charity will only be able to fulfil its core aims if it helps the industry address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.

“I cannot wait to get to work to shape and implement a shared, ambitious strategy to make further strides across all of these priorities.”

Meanwhile, former Fremantle global head of digital Claire Tavernier has become the Film & TV Charity’s chair of trustees.

She said: “I have watched with admiration as the organisation has tackled some of the industry’s most complex issues and constantly learnt and adapted in an ever-changing environment. There is still much more to be done, and the Charity has an ambitious strategy to further the support it offers the industry.”

Tavernier is also chair of trustees at Charity Digital, which has helped more than 400,000 charity workers embrace a digital-first approach, and is a non-executive director of the BBFC and a trustee of the Institute of Imagination.

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