Published: 19th August 2015

BBFC Director David Cooke to retire in March 2016

David Cooke, Director of the British Board Of Film Classification (BBFC), will retire on 12 March 2016 following 12 years in post.

David Cooke joined the BBFC in September 2004. Prior to this he held six government Director level posts, in the Cabinet Office, Northern Ireland Office and Home Office, working on topics such as the Northern Ireland Peace Process, devolution, asylum, criminal justice performance and broadcasting. David is also an Executive Board member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).

David Cooke said: "Being Director of the BBFC is a wonderful job. It comes with superb colleagues and an endlessly fascinating subject matter. The danger is that you will outstay your welcome because you cannot bring yourself to leave. That's why I decided, some time ago, that I would retire when I was 60.

The right time for reflection on my decade in post will be when I actually go, in March next year. For now I'll simply say that I've tried, with the Presidential Team and the Council of Management, to make the BBFC more open and informative, more approachable, and above all more useful to the public at a time when the proliferation of online outlets for audio-visual content means that the need for a trusted guide in support of child protection is greater than ever."

During his tenure as Director, David Cooke has overseen the day to day running of the BBFC, and two large scale public consultation reviews of the Classification Guidelines. He also helped the BBFC adapt its services in line with technology in a number of ways, including a voluntary online regulation services for Video-on-Demand content, the introduction of a classification framework for mobile network operators, and the launch of an initiative to age rate UK online music videos.

The search for David Cooke's replacement will begin immediately via open competition.