BBC executive George Entwistle has been appointed Director-General of the BBC. He is currently Director of BBC Vision.

Mr Entwistle will take over from Mark Thompson on a salary of £450,000 sterling in the autumn.

Speculation had been mounting that a decision would be reached swiftly after a final round of interviews yesterday, conducted by Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust.

Entwistle had been director of BBC Vision since last year.

The pay for the role has been hugely reduced by more than £200,000. Mr Thompson - who has held the role since 2004 - is currently paid £671,000, giving an indication of the general belt-tightening for BBC executives.

Among those interviewed for the role are understood to be Ed Richards, the chief executive of Ofcom who was seen as a frontrunner, and the BBC's chief operating officer, Caroline Thomson.

Mr Thompson indicated in March that he was stepping down following the Olympics. Headhunting firm Egon Zehnder led the process to find his successor.