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Caroline Thomson

Caroline Thomson
Caroline Agnes Morgan Thomson

(1954-05-15) 15 May 1954 (age 65)
Alma materUniversity of York
EmployerEnglish National Ballet
Spouse(s)Roger Liddle, Baron Liddle
Parent(s)George Thomson, Baron Thomson of Monifieth (father)

Caroline Agnes Morgan Thomson, Lady Liddle (born 15 May 1954)[1] is chair of the charity, Oxfam. [2]. She is a former BBC executive and was the Corporation's chief operating officer, from March 2011 to September 2012[3] and she stood in for Mark Thompson, the former director general, when necessary.[4]

Thomson is the elder daughter of Labour peer George Thomson, Baron Thomson of Monifieth.[5] She was educated at Mary Datchelor Girls' School in Camberwell, a grammar school,[6] and graduated from York University, where she read history and economics.[7]


She first joined the BBC as a journalist trainee in 1975, ultimately becoming a producer on Analysis (Radio 4) and later Panorama (BBC1) before becoming personal assistant to SDP leader Roy Jenkins in 1982. She spent over a decade at Channel 4 from 1984, initially as a commissioning editor, later as Head of Corporate Affairs from 1990, before rejoining the BBC in 1996 as Deputy Director of the World Service.[8] She became the Corporation's Director of Policy and Legal Affairs in July 2000, a job description later expanded to include Strategy, before being promoted to chief operating officer in 2006. In 2011 she was paid £385,000 by the organisation.[9] The Commons Public Accounts Committee suggested that her £670,000 redundancy pay-off was effectively paid to "compensate" her for missing out on the job of director-general.[10]

In October 2013 she became Executive Director of the English National Ballet [11][12]

Since November 2012, she has been Chair of Digital UK.[13] She is also chair of Tomorrow's People Trust's Ambassadors group and Trustee to a number of charities including the National Gallery.[14]

Personal life

Caroline Thomson is married to the Labour peer Roger Liddle, an advisor to Tony Blair while Blair was Prime Minister.


  1. ^ "Miss Caroline Thomson"[permanent dead link], Debrett's
  2. ^ "Oxfam's CEO, Directors and Trustees - Oxfam GB". Oxfam GB.
  3. ^ "Caroline Thomson to leave the BBC", BBC Media Centre, 18 September 2012
  4. ^ "Biographies – Caroline Thomson – Chief Operating Officer, BBC Press Office
  5. ^ William Rodgers, 'Thomson, George Morgan, Baron Thomson of Monifieth (1921–2008)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Jan 2012; online edn, May 2012 accessed 15 June 2012
  6. ^ "Corrections and clarifications", The Guardian, 30 March 2012
  7. ^ "Interview with Carol;ine Thomson", University of York website, 19 July 2011
  8. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (25 March 2012). "Caroline Thomson – engine room strategist ready to take BBC helm". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  9. ^ "BBC executive: 'swearing in TV comedies is acceptable'". The Daily Telegraph. London. 1 December 2011.
  10. ^ Christopher Hope "BBC gave inflated pay-offs to top staff, NAO says",, 1 July 2013
  11. ^ "Staff | English National Ballet". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Press Release: Caroline Thomson Appointed Executive Director of English National Ballet - Ballet / Dance news & information". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  13. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (14 November 2012). "Caroline Thomson rules herself out of BBC Director General race". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  14. ^ "BBC Declaration of Personal Interests" (PDF). Retrieved 23 April 2012.