New BBC Trust boss to be grilled by MPs

The prospective chairman of the BBC Trust will face a grilling from MPs before taking the job.

The current chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, is stepping down from the role in May after four years.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said his nominated replacement would appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

She said: "The Secretary of State has written to the chair of the CMS Select Committee in response to his request at the Select Committee hearing on 14 September for Select Committee involvement in the appointment process of the chairman of the BBC Trust.

"The Secretary of State has indicated his view that it's appropriate for the preferred candidate to appear before the committee prior to final appointment. This follows the established pre-appointment scrutiny process under the OCPA Code of Practice."

Among the names said to be in the running for the job is former Hong Kong governor Lord Patten.

An independent panel is expected to nominate two preferred candidates, with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt choosing Sir Michael's eventual successor.

Sir Michael announced he was stepping down in September when he said the growing workload for the part-time position had made him "increasingly concerned" that it was squeezing out other demands on his time.

The trust has been credited with increasing BBC openness over expenses and senior executives' pay, but has caused high-profile difficulties for the corporation, such as its public consultation into BBC director-general Mark Thompson's strategic review.

As a result, the trust effectively put the brakes on proposals to close the digital station 6 Music.