As minister for the arts, Mr Fisher will have responsibility for the arts; museums and galleries; libraries; information technology; the government art collection; education issues; and architecture and design.
He will also support the secretary of state on broadcasting and media policy.
Mr Fisher was born in 1944 and educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. Having begun his career in 1966 as a documentary film producer and script writer, in 1975 he became principal of Tattenhall Centre of Education.
He was an opposition whip 1985-86; opposition spokesman on the arts and media 1987-92; opposition spokesman on the citizens' charter 1992-93; and opposition spokesman on the national heritage 1993-97.
He has been deputy pro-chancellor of the University of Keele since 1989. He was a member of the BBC General Advisory Council 1988-95 and a member of the Council of the Policy Studies Institute 1989-95. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1992 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1993.
Mr Fisher is author of the stage plays Brave New Town (1974) and The Cutting Room (1990). His publications are: City Centres, City Cultures (1988); Whose Cities (joint editor) (1991); and A New London (1992).