Former Radio 2 controller Douglas joins The Sage

FORMER Radio 2 controller, Lesley Douglas has joined the board of trustees at The Sage Gateshead.

Lesley Douglas

FORMER Radio 2 controller, Lesley Douglas has joined the board of trustees at The Sage Gateshead.

Longbenton-born Ms Douglas, who resigned on Thursday amid the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross furore, will take up the position with immediate effect.

She will sit alongside chair of the board Lord Puttnam and fellow Geordie media big hitter Malcolm Gerrie, who co-founded The Tube in the 1980s and has been responsible for shows including Fame Academy and the UK Music Hall of Fame.

Last night Mr Gerrie, who approached Ms Douglas to join him on the board back in the early summer, said he was thrilled she had accepted.

She was over the moon when we asked her and we were just as delighted when she accepted.

It occurred to me that here was a lady who had until this week an incredibly low profile, but in terms of what she has done was absolutely extraordinary, one of the most important broadcasters that weve got.

She has turned Radio 2 into one of the most successful stations, broken a raft of new talent, made multi-award-winning documentaries and won a shed-load of major industry gongs along the way.

Ive known her for more than five years and have been bowled over by her decision-making, passion for the job and her energy. She really is lightning in a bottle.

As soon as we talked, she immediately started coming up with ideas and big picture thoughts on how to build on the fantastic reputation The Sage Gateshead has crafted so far. She was really flattered to be asked and she accepted the offer when she had the diary from hell.

Shes passionately loyal to the region, still gets her backside up here and most importantly has kept her accent.

The announcement of Ms Douglass resignation as Radio 2 controller came following the controversy over lewd messages left on the answerphone of Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on Brands late- night Radio 2 show.

Last night Mr Gerrie said he believed her actions were a shining example of the type of women he knows her to be.

Reading between the lines she has obviously stepped down to protect some of the younger staff at the station, which is typical of Lesleys humility and broad shoulders, he said.

When the heat came on, she stood right in the middle of the kitchen and took it even when it was questionable whether she should have been in the direct line of fire.

I dont think she will have any problem getting another job, he added.

She has earned the respect of everyone I know in the industry, but also of artists too.

She has the best little black book in the business and is loved by massive stars and upcoming talent alike.

Shell be a wonderful asset to The Sage Gateshead.

Last night, Ms Douglas said: I am very proud to be asked to become a trustee at The Sage Gateshead.

It combines two things close to my heart: music and the North East.

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David Whetstone
Culture Editor
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Business Editor
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