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Ofcom king Ed Richards seeks BBC throne

From regulator to regulated in one easy move

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Ofcom's chief executive Ed Richards has applied for the job of BBC director general, so he will have to be excluded from conversations related to the national broadcaster from here on in.

Confirming the application yesterday, Ofcom insisted that "robust procedures" would prevent any conflict of interest, and that during the application process Mr Richards would be excluded from any meetings or conversations about the future of the BBC.

At least he'll know his way around the place, having worked at the BBC under John Birt last century, before becoming a policy advisor to Tony Blair. In that role he helped create Ofcom and joined the regulator as an inaugural senior partner in 2003. Since then worked his way up, a short flight of steps, to chief executive in 2006.

But now he's going to have to be excluded from much of the regulator's business, at least until the BBC Trust selects a new director from the various applications which (the The Guardian tells us) includes the existing COO Caroline Thomson and BBC news director Helen Boaden as well as the director of BBC Vision, George Entwistle, and Tim Davie – who currently heads up BBC Audio and Music. ®

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