Lord Patten is to step down from his position as Chairman of the BBC Trust after he submitted his resignation to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Sajid Javid, citing health concerns relating to a recent heart operation.
In a statement released today, Lord Patten said that on April 27th he was hospitalised with chest pains and the following day underwent a successful treatment consisting of a “combination of bypass surgery and angioplasty” at Royal Brompton Hospital.
“On the advice of my doctors…I have concluded that I should reduce the range of roles I undertake. On this basis I have decided with great regret to step down from much the most demanding of my roles – that of Chairman of the BBC Trust”, he added.
The resignation is effective immediately and the BBC Trust said that Vice Chairman Diane Coyle will assume the post of Acting Chairman until the government appoints a successor. It is unclear how quickly the DCMS would move on finding a replacement.
Patten has served in the post of BBC Trust Chairman since 2011 and recently announced that he would not be seeking a second term when his current one expired in 2015. He had a hard time in the post, with the BBC being rocked by scandals over Jimmy Saville and executive pay levels, not to mention the quick departure of DG George Entwistle.
“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”, said BBC Director-General Tony Hall. “He has steered the BBC through some of its most difficult days. In undertaking this role he brought unrivalled experience, wisdom, and an overwhelming desire to ensure that the BBC remains the best public service broadcaster in the world.”