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Former Beeb boss leads Oftel supremo

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The former head of the BBC has emerged as favourite to head the new super communications watchdog Ofcom.

The FT claims Government sources have put Sir John Birt top of a list of candidates likely to take up the role when the new all-encompassing regulator comes into effect some three years from now.

The news is likely to come as a bitter blow for David "Harry Potter" Edmonds - the current headboy of telecoms watchdog Oftel.

No doubt he had hoped that all his experience at handling BT and the brilliant job he's made of bringing the monster telco into line would have worked in his favour.

However, it seems that Edmonds' has been overlooked because of his age. At 57, it's reported that he is just too old for the job.

News that Sir John is favourite for the post will anger Government critics who claim that the Communications White Paper - which announced the creation of Ofcom - is already biased in favour of TV and old media. ®

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