Is Lord Coe the ‘suitable candidate’ for the BBC Trust?

23 June 2014

Applications to become Chairman of the BBC Trust close on Friday. Plenty of noise was made early on the race about the need for a totally committed successor, after Chris Patten stood accused of not giving the £110,000 a year job his full attention.

The official job specification published by the Cabinet Office stated:

The time commitment for the Trust Chairman has been 3-4 days per week (or 12-16 days per month).


Late in the day though, a source familiar with the selection process points out that an additional sentence has been added to the advert:

However, suitable candidates able to offer a lesser time commitment will also be considered.

That wasn’t there when the job first went up. Intriguingly, BBC insiders refer to it as the ‘Seb line’.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • foto2021

    Seb Coe is one of the least suitable candidates. The BBC Trust needs to be chaired by someone of independent mind who is not too close to one political party or another.

    Seb Coe fails both of those tests.

  • SimonToo

    Ann Widdecombe should be a front-runner. It is time for a woman in the job, and she has experience working at the BBC. Her time as a minister at the Home Office should have given her sound experience of dealing with large bureaucracies.

  • The_greyhound

    Surely the candidate should be selected only on ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Being able to run fast isn’t a core skill, just a bonus.

    The Hall-twat has already announced he will be filling our screens with as many foreigners as he can recruit. It would be nice if this well-paid sinecure could also be kept away from anyone British.

  • The Masked Marvel

    So long as the new DG doesn’t interfere with the BBC’s unaccountability or ideological bias, they won’t much care who it is.

  • Gold Bug

    He’s perfect. One of the old boy network, profited hugely from the Olympics that the rest of us will still be paying for in 30 years, already has loads of other jobs, at home in any Quango boardroom. makes more money from the public purse than most of us will see in a lifetime. The only surprise is he hasn’t jumped on the Brussels gravy train yet. The Beeb will snap him up.

  • channel.fog

    I suppose this means Billy Hague will be seen in the BBC gym practicing his moves with Seb.

  • laurence

    Well, if the principle aptitudes for the position are enormous self-regard, unctuous
    self-satisfaction and the possession of a face you’d never tire of punching, then Coe is undoubtedly your man. After all, what could possibly be the objection to placing a man whose sole prowess is running in charge of a cultural organisation? Jeez, I mean, it’s not as if it is entirely akin to placing a crack-head minister with, ahem, ‘LibDem’ proclivities at the helm of a bank. While we’re at it, perhaps Bradley Wiggins might be our new Foreign Secretary? After all, he has cycled around some warm places. Wayne Rooney for Culture Secretary?

    • laurence

      Oops. Just corrected a grammatical lapse.

  • timbazo

    The only suitable candidate is some one ELECTED to do the job.

  • Pier66

    Perfect man for that job

  • gelert

    More of the same.

  • davidofkent

    The BBC Trust is a pointless organisation. It is merely a sinecure for the good and the great. Perhaps they should recruit an ‘ordinary’ person and offer a decent, but not overly generous, salary. Let’s say about £40,000 pa for a 3-day week. then let’s see the BBC Trust have some teeth and do the job it was designed to do, starting with improving the quality of English grammar and diction on both BBC TV and Radio..

  • sir_graphus

    He’s as right wing a candidate as the BBC would be prepared to put up with, that is, not very.

  • Hackney Hal

    His qualifications for the job being what exactly ? Very unimpressive CV.

    • Wessex Man

      precisely but then anyone could do this non job in their sleep. We need a team of Auditors in there to clear out the jobs for life culture and freebies all over the world.

      We then need the rotten edifice sold off and the Licence Fee scrapped!

      • sarah_13

        Better Seb Coe though, not that i’m a big fan, than one of the hacked off supporting charity patrons who would be the alternative.

        • HenryWood

          You might reconsider your tepid endorsement of Lord Coe after you read this:

          “If this is all to make it easier for Lord Coe, someone’s missing a big elephant. Lord Coe’s company, Complete Leisure Group, was taken over by Chime last year. Its principal asset was the rights to all Lord Coe’s income streams for the next 15 years. Lord Coe now chairs CSM Sport and Entertainment within the Chime group, three days a week. If he can stay in the job and meet targets, there’s an £11m bonus coming, to be paid out up to 2017. Seb also takes fees as a Global Advisor to Nike, as a writer for the Telegraph, and from Chelsea FC.

          CSM have just acquired JMI, which brings F1 expertise to the group. CSM’s target is to be in the top three of worldwide sport and entertainment businesses. Chime has at least eight major sponsorship contracts at the World Cup, and expects 25% of its profits in this financial year from them.

          Chime’s ad agency, VCCP, has a client roster including Coors brands Carling, Cobra, Doom Bar; ASDA; O2; Comparethemarket and BetVictor. Chime’s PR wings include Good Relations, with 400 clients including Sky, Fujitsu, Sennheiser, Unilever, Talktalk and Airbus. Chime’s venture into healthcare PR, Open Health, now employs 200 “specialists in healthcare communications and market access.” Its new subsidiary, EarthWorks, makes apps for companies like Lilly, GSK and J&J. Teamspirit Public Relations is the the second largest financial services PR company in the UK, with clients including Aviva and Barclays.

          In all Chime boasts 80 subsidiary companies, including Opinion Leader Market Research, Pure Media, Cherry Picked, Watermelon Research, Corporate Citizenship, TTA Property…

          It’s hard to imagine a pie without a finger in it. It’s hard to imagine the BBC writing a cheque to CSM for Lord Coe’s services – isn’t it ?”

          Coe is absolutely unsuitable.

          • davidofkent

            Indeed he is. He’s an Establishment Man through and through.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here