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BBC TV boss: Jeremy Clarkson 'is not racist'

BBC TV boss Danny Cohen has insisted Jeremy Clarkson "is not racist" after the Top Gear host came under-fire once more for remarks made on the programme.

Cohen ordered an internal investigation into the hit show after a string of controversies which saw it criticised by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules over a "racial" term used by Clarkson.

Jeremy Clarkson is not racist, Danny Cohen has written. Credit: PA Wire

Cohen said in a letter to The Guardian, "While Jeremy and I disagree on the language some have recently found very offensive, I do not think he or anyone on the Top Gear team are racist."

It was "no secret" there had been "some significant issues" on the show recently, Cohen said, adding he had "instigated a health check ... to ensure that there were no further issues".

Chris Evans breakfast show breaks audience record

BBC Radio 2 breakfast host Chris Evans has hit another audience high, with a new record number of listeners to his show.

Chris Evans has hit a record audience high. Credit: PA

The 48-year-old now pulls in 9.91 million each week, giving his show the biggest audience recorded in the UK since the current measurement methods were launched 15 years ago.

Evans is almost four million ahead of his Radio 1 breakfast rival Nick Grimshaw, who has himself seen a slight boost in his numbers to 5.97 million - up from 5.89 million this time last year.

Radio 3 has seen its audience slip below that of the BBC's digital-only 6 Music for the first time.

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Lord Coe 'pulls out' of race to chair BBC Trust

Sebastian Coe has signalled he has pulled out of the race to become the next chairman of the BBC Trust.

Seb Coe suggested he doesn't have the "capacity" to chair the BBC Trust. Credit: PA

The London 2012 supremo, who is chairman of the British Olympic Association, was at one point the Government's preferred candidate for the role but told the Daily Mail he did not have the "capacity" for the job.

He said: "I did allow my name to go forward to give myself time to properly analyse whether I had enough time to do the job to the best of my abilities.

"On reflection, I haven't the capacity and I now want to concentrate on my current commitments and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) election."

Other names mentioned in relation to the role at the BBC's governing body include Dame Marjorie Scardino, the former chief executive of the company behind the Financial Times, and Channel 4 chairman Lord Burns.

BBC to stage strike during Commonwealth Games

Thousands of journalists, technicians and other workers at the BBC are to stage a 12-hour strike on July 23, the day of the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, in a dispute over pay, unions announced.

BBC will stage a 12-hour strike in a row over pay, unions announced. Credit: PA

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445 complaints to BBC over Neville commentary

Ex Manchester United and England player Phil Neville made his commentary debut for the BBC on Saturday. Credit: Press Association

The BBC has received 445 complaints about Phil Neville's commentary of England's World Cup match with Italy, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Neville was heavily criticised on Twitter during and after Saturday's match for what some described as his "boring" delivery.

ITV and BBC sign FIFA World Cup deal for 2018 and 2022

ITV and BBC have won a new deal with Fifa to broadcast the 2018 World Cup and 2022 World Cup across TV, radio and online.

The 2018 finals will be the 14th consecutive FIFA World Cup that ITV and BBC broadcast together, continuing their long-running and hugely successful broadcast partnership.

ITV and BBC win rights to broadcast both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. Credit: PA

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport said: "The excitement building on the eve of this summer's tournament in Brazil demonstrates how the FIFA World Cup offers a shared, collective experience for people across the UK.

"So we're thrilled to be able to look forward to bringing the next two World Cups free to air to viewers in 2018 and 2022."

IDS: BBC is 'downgrading' PM's referendum pledge

The BBC is systematically “downgrading” David Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, leaving most voters ignorant of the Prime Minister’s radical plans, Iain Duncan Smith has said. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he added:

The broadcaster's executives take the view that "we've done that" and the policy does not need explaining.

The British people use the BBC more than anything else to find out what's going on in politics. When was the last time you really heard this?

'No decisions yet' over BBC charter until process begins

No decisions have been made over a potential Charter Review of the BBC, a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said, after the new Culture Secretary said the organisation faces a review of "everything".

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has said all aspects of how the BBC will be reviewed when its charter comes up for renewal. Credit: PA

Sajid Javid said plans for the process of renewing the charter, which expires in December 2016, were being worked on.

A spokesman said: "No decisions have been made as to the content of the Charter Review. All aspects of the BBC could be within scope but no decisions will be made until the Charter Review process begins".

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