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Prime Minister is advised to appoint Clementi as BBC chair

Sir David Clementi set to be chairman of the BBC Credit: PA

Sir David Clementi, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England, is to be chairman of the BBC - unless the Prime Minister opts against the recommendation of the official appointments panel.

A formal announcement is expected later this week.

For what it's worth, Downing Street says Theresa May has not yet made up her mind "on the right candidate for the role".

But my sources say they would expect her to approve the choice of Clementi.

That said, his appointment would be a little controversial because it was Clementi who led the review for the government that has led to an overhaul of the regulation of the BBC and the appointment of a conventional chairman - a post he will be the first to fill!

Also, he is unambiguously posh. He was educated at Winchester, his grandfather was governor of Hong Kong, and his great great grandfather was the 18th century musician Muzio Clementi.

I first met him in the 1980s when he was a slightly swashbuckling banker at Kleinwort Benson. He gained some notoriety in the late 1980s when he advised the Saatchi brothers on their extraordinary and abortive bid for the ailing Midland Bank.

He calmed down after that and served both as a deputy governor of the Bank of England and chairman of the Prudential.