The former Director-General of the BBC Greg Dyke has been names as the new chairman of the British Film Institute (BFI).

He replaces Anthony Minghella, beginning his four-year term in March.

The chair of the BFI is a high-profile role, Dyke has 30-years experience in television and took the top job of BBC Director-General in 2000.

There he started four new digital television channels, five new digital radio stations, opened two new BBC regions, launched the BBC's interactive television services and was the driving force behind Freeview.

That digital experience will be vital to his new post as the BFI tries to deal with the challenges of a digital age and the preservation of its vast archive.

'At a time when the whole world is being changed by the digital revolution we have a unique opportunity to make content available online to the whole of the education sector and, if we have the rights, to the public at large.

'I started something similar in my time at the BBC and I hope we can expand in this area at the BFI. There are thousands of students at colleges and universities studying television and film and we want to be essential to all of them.

Dyke quit his BBC role in 2003, following criticism of the BBC by the Hutton Report into the reporting of a dossier used to justify the Iraq War.

Dyke has been a long time sponsor of the National Theatre and other arts organisations through his charitable trust which has also benefited the world of education.

One such example is the new department of Film, Television and Drama which is currently being established at York University. Stewart Till CBE, Chairman of the UK Film Council welcomed the appointment.

'I am absolutely delighted that Greg has agreed to lead the BFI, not least because of his track record of leading large organisations and his exceptional ability to inspire and motivate the people around him.

Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: ''Greg Dyke is an excellent choice to lead the BFI. He brings a wealth of experience in the fields of television, education and the arts, and a well-deserved reputation for getting things done and inspiring the people around him. He takes up his post at a time of strength and international acclaim for the UK film industry, and I look forward to seeing the BFI go from strength to strength under his leadership.'