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BBC Trust chairman Patten declares he wants more women in on-air roles

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten is demanding that the corporation give more on-air roles to women.

Patten wants more women at the Beeb

"We should have more women on radio and television," the former Conservative party chairman said in an interview with The Observer yesterday.

And he picked out Radio 4's Sarah Montague and Martha Kearney, of BBC TV 2, as being among the "good ones".

The BBC pledged two years ago to find more women – especially older women - to front its shows, and subsequently hired Julia Somerville, Carole Walker, Fiona Armstrong and Zeinab Badawi to present some news bulletins.

However, earlier this year, Walker criticised the move as "nothing more than a PR stunt", pointing out: "It is now 16 months since the BBC announced that I was to be one of four older women presenters on the BBC News Channel," she said.

"Last year I was given fewer than 20 days in the role. This year so far I have been given just one presenting shift."

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