BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten (pictured) is stepping down as head of the UK pubcaster’s governing body, effective immediately, after undergoing major heart surgery.
In a statement, the Trust said that Patten would be departing on health grounds. The decision comes after he was admitted to hospital suffering serious chest pains on April 27, subsequently undergoing bypass surgery the next day.
Patten will be replaced on an interim basis by vice-chairman and former Treasury adviser Diane Coyle.
“On the advice of my doctors… and having consulted my family and friends, I have concluded that I cannot continue to work at the same full pace as I have done to date,” he said.
BBC director-general Tony Hall said: “I have enjoyed working with Chris over the last year; he is a staunch believer in the BBC and he has brought his vast experience to the role of chairman of the BBC Trust.
“He has steered the BBC through some of its most difficult days. In undertaking this role he brought unrivaled experience, wisdom, and an overwhelming desire to ensure that the BBC remains the best public service broadcaster in the world.”