LONDON: The Blair administration has appointed political apparatchik Sir Michael Lyons as chairman of the BBC's governing trust - a move that has attracted widespread press allegations of control freakery in high places.

Lyons, a proven civic administrator, currently hews in the salt-mines of the Office of the Prime Minster. As a sparetime occupation he additionally chairs the English Cities Fund and the City of Birmingham Orchestra.

He is also the author of an independent inquiry into the future role, function and funding of local government - the snappily-titled Place-shaping: a shared ambition for the future of local government, whose findings bore a fortuitous resemblance to central government's requirements.

And as an each-way bettor, Lyons maintains close links to Gordon Brown, current chancellor of the exchequer and UK prime-minister-in-waiting.

Quoth Lyons: "It is a great privilege to be appointed chairman of the BBC Trust. As the BBC's sovereign body, our duty is to ensure the public who pay for the BBC retain overall control of their BBC."

The public are waiting to see whether he is as good as his words.

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