Roly Keating
Roly Keating (cropped).JPG
Keating in 2013
Roland Francis Kester Keating

(1961-08-05) 5 August 1961 (age 61)
EducationWestminster School
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
TitleController of BBC Four (2002–2004)
Controller of BBC Two (2004–2008)
Director of Archive Content, BBC (2008–2012)
Director of The British Library (2012–present)
(m. 1989)

Sir Roland Francis Kester Keating (born 5 August 1961) is Chief Executive of the British Library. He took up his post in September 2012.[1]

Early life and education

Keating was born on 5 August 1961 to Donald Norman Keating and Betty Katharine Keating (née Wells).[2] He was educated at Westminster School, an independent school for boys in London, and then read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford.[citation needed]


Keating joined the BBC in 1983. He was a producer and director for the Arts and Music department, making programmes for Omnibus, Bookmark (1992–97) and Arena. He was a producer and later became editor of The Late Show. In 1997, he became head of programming for UKTV, partly owned by the BBC. In 1999, he became the BBC Controller of Digital Channels. In 2000, he also took on the responsibility of Controller of Arts Commissioning. He became the Controller of digital television station BBC Four in December 2001, masterminding its launch on 2 March 2002. In 2003, he was also joint leader of the BBC's Charter Review project for six months. He became the channel controller for BBC Two in June 2004,[3] a position he held until 2008. He was appointed temporary controller of BBC One following Peter Fincham's resignation[4] on 5 October 2007.

While Controller, he said that he wanted to see BBC Two be the first mainstream British TV channel to be available on broadband.[5] His decision to screen Jerry Springer: The Opera on 8 January 2005 forced him to go into hiding and he was given security protection.[6]

Keating was previously Director of Archive Content for the BBC.[7] He was announced as chief executive designate of the British Library in May 2012, to succeed Dame Lynne Brindley.

As of 2015, Keating was paid a salary of between £155,000 and £159,999 by the British Library, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[8]

Keating was knighted in the 2023 New Year Honours for services to literature.[9]

Personal life

In 1989, Keating married Caroline Russell.[2] Together they have three children; one son and two daughters.[2]


  1. ^ A & C Black (2012). "KEATING, Roland Francis Kester, (Roly)". Who's Who 2012, online edition. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "KEATING, Roland Francis Kester, (Roly)". Who's Who 2016. Oxford University Press. November 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  3. ^ "BBC – Press Office – Roly Keating named BBC TWO Controller". BBC.
  4. ^ "BBC – Press Office – Peter Fincham resigns as Controller, BBC One". BBC.
  5. ^ "BBC Two 'first to go broadband'". BBC. 8 February 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Another shameful case of religious intolerance". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2007.
  7. ^ "BBC – Press Office – Roly Keating appointed as Director of Archive Content". BBC. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015 – Government of the United Kingdom". Government of the United Kingdom. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  9. ^ "No. 63918". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2022. p. N2.
Media offices New creation Controller of BBC Four 2002–2004 Succeeded byJanice Hadlow Preceded byJane Root Controller of BBC Two 2004–2008 Preceded by???as ??? Director of Archive Content,BBC 2008–2012 Succeeded byTony Agehas Controller of BBC Archives Preceded byDame Lynne Brindley Director ofThe British Library 2012– Incumbent