The BBC has been heavily criticised after announcing neither Rule Britannia nor Land of Hope and Glory will be sung at the last night of the proms, though they will still be played on instruments. Critics claim the two songs have racist overtones related to Britain’s imperial past.
However the decision was savaged by Boris Johnson who accused the BBC of “wetness”.
Lord Hall is stepping down as BBC director general after seven years in the job.
He is due to be replaced by Tim Davie, currently chief executive of BBC Studios.
During an interview with The Telegraph Lord Hall argued 70 percent of BBC staff should be based outside of London to better represent the country.
He also argued decision makers at the BBC must be ethnically diverse to reflect modern Britain.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph Lord Hall said: “You don’t want people who all think alike.
“So you need diverse voices around the table; that could be diverse because you’ve got black, Asian, minority voices around the table, that’s important.
“I’ve got a thing myself about social diversity.
READ MORE: TV Licence could be replaced by household tax in shakeup for Britons
He argued the BBC should reflect the “calm centre” in Britain’s national debates.
Lord Hall argued: “Our job is not to take sides.
“We should not pander to any particular group; we should be giving everybody, whoever they are, something.
“We should try to be the calm centre in what is a very stormy situation that we find ourselves in.”
The row over the last night of the proms prompted the Prime Minister to say it’s “time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history”.
Separately during a talk at the Edinburgh TV festival Roger Mosey, formerly head of BBC News, admitted the corporation was run by “white liberals” and needed to do more to ensure
“diversity of thought”.
Lord Hall claimed the case for putting more BBC staff outside of London was strengthened by the Covid-19 epidemic which has seen an explosion in home working.
He explained: “What we’ve learned from Covid is that you don’t need as many buildings as you think, therefore you can be more diverse in where you centre people.
“I think we can do a big push to get more out of London, and that changes the dynamic of the discussions you have and therefore – I hate using the word relevance, but I will do – your relevance to the people that are paying for you.”
It is currently illegal to watch live TV in the UK without paying the licence fee, which is used to fund the BBC.