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Ofcom boss Ed Richards applies to run BBC

Media regulator Ofcom has confirmed that its Chief Executive Ed Richards has applied for the soon-to-be-vacant role as BBC Director General.

The BBC Trust is recruiting a replacement for Mark Thompson, who will step down following this summer’s Olympic Games.

In a statement, Ofcom said: “Given the significant level of speculation surrounding potential applicants for the BBC Director General role, Ofcom can confirm that CEO Ed Richards has applied. Robust procedures, agreed by the Ofcom Chairman and the Board, have been put in place to prevent any potential conflict of interest.”

Mr Richards has already stepped aside from dealing with any Ofcom matters that may involve the BBC in anyway – including board meetings and both formal and informal policy discussions.

Before becoming Chief Executive of Ofcom in 2006 he was the organisation’s Chief Operating Officer and previously Senior Partner. He joined the regulator on its creation in 2003 after helping draft the Communications Act that created it while working as a policy advisor to then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Ed worked at the BBC in the late 90s as its Controller of Corporate Strategy.

The boss of BBC Radio Tim Davie and former Radio 4 controller Helen Boaden are other names that have been suggested as possible replacements for Mark Thompson. Boaden is currently the corporation’s Director of News. Favourites for the job, however, are thought to be the BBC’s Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson and BBC Vision director George Entwistle.

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