New BBC Boss: We Can Overcome Recent Crisis

The new director-general of the BBC has said he is sure that the corporation can overcome the recent crisis.

Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead, said that it had been a "really tough few weeks" but that he was sure that the BBC could "get through it".

Speaking at a press conference at the BBC, he said that the corporation was "an essential part of the UK" and that he was "looking forward to the task ahead immensely". However, he asked to be given space to settle in.

Lord Hall, currently chief executive of the Royal Opera House, will take over the £450,000 post next year.

He replaces George Entwistle, who was forced to resign after just 54 days in the job in the wake of the Jimmy Savile and Lord McAlpine scandals.

The new BBC chief, who is expected to start in early March, is a former trainee at the corporation where he worked for 28 years.

He was head of news and current affairs from 1996 to 2001 but left after he was beaten to the top job by Greg Dyke.

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said his background in news "will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences".

He added: "Tony Hall has been an insider and is a currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man, he understands how the Corporation's culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world."

Lord Patten issued a letter to all BBC staff saying that it was a significant day for the broadcaster and marked a new chapter.

He made clear there were still "very serious questions" to answer about the dropped Newsnight investigation into the Savile abuse claims and BBC culture at the time the star worked there.

Lord Hall, 61, did not apply for the director-general position when Mark Thompson quit but he was the only candidate approached by the Trust following Mr Entwistle's resignation earlier this month.

The peer, who became a cross bencher in the House of Lords in 2010, has been successful at the helm of the Royal Opera House and praised for initiatives such as the relay of performances to screens across the UK.

Tim Davie will stay on as acting director-general until he arrives in the spring.

The announcement followed the revelation that Mr Entwistle refused to leave his post without a £450,000 pay off - twice as much as he was entitled under his contract.

BBC trustee Anthony Fry told the Public Accounts Committee that the Trust had to choose between accepting his terms or facing a lengthy legal battle that could have increased the payout by £80,000.

He also revealed that Mr Entwistle received a pension pot of £833,000 - worth up to £40,000-a-year, private medical cover, up to £35,000 for legal fees connected to his resignation and his evidence to the Savile inquiries and £10,000 for public relations.

When asked about the deal later in the day, Lord Patten said: "The deal we did, while it may annoy for reasons I understand in headlines, was the best one for the BBC and for the licence fee-payer because anything else we would have done would have cost us more."