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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 March, 2004, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
New BBC chairman has been picked
Gavyn Davies
The new chairman will replace Gavyn Davies, who resigned in January
The panel responsible for appointing a new BBC chairman have made their recommendation, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has said.

The replacement for Gavyn Davies, who resigned in January, is expected to be announced within three weeks.

Contenders for the corporation's top job are thought to have included former Channel 4 boss Michael Grade and host of Question Time David Dimbleby.

The recommendation must also pass by the Prime Minister and the Queen.


Speaking on Sky News's Sunday With Adam Boulton show, Ms Jowell refused to speculate on the names shortlisted for the post.

But it is customary for the culture secretary to be recommended one name by the independent panel, which goes forward for further consideration.

The secretary of state added that making names public would have deterred strong candidates from putting their names in the ring.

She also refused to discuss reports that the chairmanship will be split into two separate roles.

A total of 79 people applied for the job and interviews were held last week.

Royal Charter

Ms Jowell said that the recommendation process had been a "transparent" one and was "subject to very close scrutiny by our choice".

The new incumbent is likely to lead the BBC through the review of its Royal Charter, which expires in 2006.

Along with the board of governors, the chairman will be responsible for appointing a new director general to replace Greg Dyke, who resigned in earlier this year in the wake of the Hutton Report.

Mark Byford, former head of the BBC World Service, is currently filling the role in a caretaker capacity.

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