Andrew Duncan, chief executive at Britain's state-owned Channel 4 has quit the race to become the new ceo of ITV - the nation's largest commercial broadcaster.

Despite the fact that Duncan never formally lined-up at the ITV starting block, he was among the bookies' frontrunners in the race to grab Charles Allen's hide hotseat.

Declared Duncan in a press statement: "Leading ITV through digital switchover will be a great challenge, but I'm already engaged in what I believe is a greater and more rewarding task."

Cue commercial: "[Namely] working with colleagues to secure Channel 4's future, ensuring it adapts to remain Britain's most relevant and contemporary broadcaster in the emerging digital world and continues to make a powerful public service contribution long into the future."

Meantime, reports are circulating that another rumoured contender for the ITV role, BBC2 controller and former Channel 4 ceo Michael Jackson, has also confirmed his disinterest in the poisoned chalice.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff