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BBC finance director resigns

IAN PHILLIPS, the BBC's director of finance and chairman of its business arm, BBC Enterprises, has resigned after four years, writes Maggie Brown. Mr Phillips, 54, who was recruited from British Rail, leaves the corporation in February.

The BBC's television services have overspent by a possible pounds 58m. The BBC is having to cancel and postpone new programmes to make good the shortfall.

An audit committee chaired by Lord Barnett, deputy chairman of governors, has been trying to unravel the problem for the past three months. Last week, Marmaduke Hussey, chairman of the BBC, said the committee would report this week.

Yesterday, senior executives said that the reasons for the overspend were still not clear. It could be down to too swift an introduction of producer choice - the use of outside contractors - plus the introduction of new accounting procedures before a computer system to handle them had been properly installed.