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Dyke in jibe at BBC Trust's Patten

Former BBC director-general Greg Dyke has called current BBC Trust chairman Lord Chris Patten a "busted flush" who the broadcaster would be better off without.

In an interview with the Guardian, he said Lord Patten had been damaged by the Jimmy Savile scandal and payouts to former executives such as 54-day director-general George Entwistle.

He said: "The BBC has a problem in the sense it's got a busted flush as chairman. I am surprised (Patten) is still there. It would probably help if he wasn't."

Mr Dyke, who ran the corporation between January 2000 and 2004 and is now chairman of the Football Association, said the BBC's supporters needed to "stand up".

He said: "It's time for those of us who really care about the BBC and who can get a mouthpiece to stand up and say what we value about the BBC.

"The BBC is very good at regrouping and sustaining itself. In the end it has the support of the country and it always has had. That's why Thatcher never took on the BBC - because it has the support of middle England."

The Six O' Clock Show creator said 2014 will be a crucial year for the Corporation as outrage gives way to debate on the nitty-gritty of funding and regulation.

In October Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps threatened to cut the licence fee or share it among other broadcasters if the BBC did not "win back public trust".

Mr Dyke said it was "almost certain" that regulation of the BBC would pass to Ofcom.

But he expressed doubts about Dame Janet Smith's investigation into historic sexual abuse at the BBC, saying: "It's very difficult to apply the standards of today to 25 or 20 years ago."

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