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BBC boss: No area safe from job cuts

No area of the BBC is safe from the drive for greater efficiency, chairman Sir Michael Lyons has warned.

He refused to be drawn on details of impending jobs cuts, but stressed: "There is no part of the BBC's output that can be exempt from the search for better value. There are no protected areas."

Up to 2,800 staff – 12 per cent of the workforce – are said to be facing the axe as Director-General Mark Thompson prepares to make cuts in a bid to plug a £2bn funding shortfall.

Mr Thompson will present his six-year plan to the BBC Trust on Wednesday and an announcement on job numbers will be made the following day.

Sir Michael, chairman of the BBC Trust, said difficult choices had to be made given the lower than expected licence fee settlement.

"Running through all of this debate will be a very strong imperative to get absolutely the most from every pound of licence fee payers' money," he told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

"And that goes even in those areas the public cherish as the most important areas of BBC output – news and current affairs, and knowledge and education."