Last night, Greg Dyke was scheduled to introduce one of his personal favorite films, Bob Fosse’s “Caberet,” to a packed theater at the BFI Southbank as one of his final duties as the board’s chairman. However, the spotlight was removed from Liza Minnelli for a moment when Melvyn Bragg took the stage and surprised Dyke with the BFI Fellowship Award.
Dyke is now part of the elite 78 figures who have won the award since its creation in 1983, including the likes of Alec Guinness, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave, Mike Leigh and Helena Bonham Carter.
Dyke has served as the BFI’s chairman since 2008, but he has long been involved with entertainment and the arts. For the past 50 years, Dyke has had careers as a journalist, broadcaster, producer for both films and sports programs. He also served as the Director General of the BBC, Chief Executive of Pearson Television and LWT, Chairman of the FA and European Theater Group ATG and is also the current Chancellor of York University.
What solidified Dyke’s impact on the BFI in particular has been his integral role in transitioning the BFI’s relationship with UK Film Council into a full-on collaboration. Under Dyke’s vision, the 5-year plan dubbed “Film Forever” was launched and successfully made the BFI National Archive available to the masses via BFI’s VOD platform BFI Player. He also directed the launched of the BFI’s Diversity Standards for all of its projects.
Upon receiving the honor, Dyke said: “Thank you to my friends at the BFI, we’ve had a great eight years together. We’ve faced lots of challenges but we’re better now than ever and doing more than ever. It’s a brilliant organization and I’m overwhelmed by this BFI Fellowship Award.”
Greg will leave his post at the BFI on February 23 when he hands over the BFI Chairmanship to Josh Berger, who is currently the President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain.