Job description for new BBC chairman tweaked – so that Seb Coe can work three days a week

Lord Coe is regarded as ‘a great leader’ by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

The job criteria for the incoming chairman of the BBC Trust has been quietly changed amid suggestions the Government’s preferred choice Sebastian Coe is too busy to commit to a four-day-a-week role.

The Conservative peer and leader of the London Olympic Games’ organising committee has won support from David Cameron and Boris Johnson in the race to replace Lord Patten as the high-profile head of the BBC’s governing body.

However Lord Coe, a former judo partner of Foreign Secretary William Hague, has a number of outside business interests including commitments to Chime Communications, which bought his sports-marketing and image-rights business last year.

When the position was advertised on the Cabinet Office website earlier this month, the “time requirements” stated the need to work “3-4 days per week (or 12-16 days per month)”.

However, earlier this week officials at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) updated the job description to add the phrase: “Suitable candidates able to offer a lesser time commitment will also be considered.”

The tweak to the job criteria appears designed to clear the way for a truly part-time candidate with major outside commitments – raising fears they may be unable to devote sufficient attention to the role.

The incumbent Lord Patten, who announced he was stepping down following heart surgery, worked a four-day week as chairman of the BBC Trust – described recently as a “high-profile, high-wire job where the slightest slip can make front-page news”.

Lord Coe sold Complete Leisure Group (CLG), to Chime in January 2013 and has been working there four-days-a-week. Coe’s CLG got £1.8m in remuneration last year and is in line for an “earn-out” that could be worth £10.2m if he stays until 2017, raising questions over whether he could juggle the commercial role with the BBC Trust job, which pays £110,000 a year.

Lord Coe has previously admitted he was thinking about applying to replace Lord Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong. “It is a very meaty job and I’m passionate about public service broadcasting,” he told the BBC. “But the honest answer is I probably have a few weeks to think about it.”

The former Olympic gold medallist, who won widespread acclaim for his handling of the 2012 London Games, did not deny he had been contacted by Tory members of the Coalition, but said no formal approach had been made.

Earlier this month, London Mayor Boris Johnson was effusive in his praise of Lord Coe, and said he would be a “first-rate choice” to head the BBC Trust. “I think it’s fantastic news for the BBC and British broadcasting,” said Johnson. “Seb Coe is a great leader. I’ve worked with him a lot over the past few years and I think he’ll demand very high standards of the BBC... he’ll be exactly in the right tradition of British broadcasting.”

Another possible obstacle is Lord Coe’s interest in the world of international sport politics. Following his success at the London Olympics, he is also said to be considering a tilt for the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which could lead to the ultimate prize: heading up the International Olympic Committee.

A DCMS spokesperson said: “We will consider any suitable candidates who can commit to less than 3-4 days a week. It is essential we appoint the best possible person to the position so we must ensure we have the widest possible field of candidates.”

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution