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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Scientist seen as 'outside bet'
The British Library
Dr Ashworth: Chair of the British Library from 1996-2001
Scientist and educationalist Dr John Ashworth, 63, was until August chairman of the British Library board.

He has distinguished himself for his work in biology and has published many articles on science and education - but is seen as an outside bet for the BBC chairmanship.

He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he was made an Honorary Fellow in 1983.

He received his PhD at Leicester University and worked there as a lecturer and reader before going on to take up the post of Professor of Biology at the University of Essex.

Private sector

Dr Ashworth was under-secretary to the government's Cabinet Office from 1979-81.

While Vice-Chancellor at the University of Salford from 1981-1990 he is said to have won the favour of then prime minister Margaret Thatcher by his efforts to raise money from the private sector.

His stay as director at the London School of Economics from 1990-1996 was also seen as controversial, as Dr Ashworth was support of students' "top-up" fees.

Dr Ashworth was a director of Granada TV from 1987-89 and has been a director of the Granada group since 1990.

He has four children by his first marriage, to the late Ann Knight. He has been married to Auriol Stevens, editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement, since 1988.

Dr Ashworth is said to be a keen sailor.

See also:

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07 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Scientist 'joins' race for BBC chair
31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Lady Jay applies for BBC post
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
BBC chairman to step down
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Gavyn Davies: The socialist millionaire
14 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
Tory wants to chair 'dull' BBC
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
The BBC's watchdogs
25 Aug 00 | UK
The Board of governors
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