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O Goshi! Was that a leg-sweep I just saw?

Or put another way, how a handsome young long distant runner might say thanks to Judo grappling with former Tory Party leader and current Foreign Secretary William Hague, in the disgraced Lord Archer's "private" Jim - whoops sorry, gym.

Doubtless plenty of "floor work" was practiced by Hague and Coe as they converted their interest from elevating themselves during Transcendental Mediation sessions to the clenchy, sweaty business of Judo. Although it is frowned upon in the Judo fraternity, grappling topless is what the two chums enjoyed in the gym in Dolphin Square, Pimlico - an address many of us at DPF may have occasion to remember (I used to so enjoy Spiked Magazine before it was brought to a close - not always accurate, but usually more so than not).

Where was I? Oh yes, Lord Coe's new position. Apparently.

Quote:BBC Trust chair hours reduced leading to claims that it encourages Coe

Advert for £110,000-a-year role amended to attract candidates who cannot give three to four days a week

[Image: Lord-Coe-011.jpg]
The hours of the chair of the BBC Trust have been reduced, which may encourage Lord Coe to apply. Photograph: Steven Paston/Action Images

A last minute change to the job description for the chairmanship of the BBC Trust has prompted Labour complaints that the change has been made to ensure that the government's preferred candidate, Conservative peer Lord Coe, can apply.
The original advert for the £110,000-a-year role was placed by the culture secretary, Sajid Javid, on 30 May stating that the time commitment required was the standard three to four days per week, but in the last week that demand was watered down and applicants given an extra week, until today, to apply.
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, a former culture secretary said: "I think it is an extremely worrying development. It gives the impression that the government have already made up their mind about who they want but that person can't commit the time so they are moving the goalposts. To do this so last minute and with no transparency is extremely alarming."
Political sources suggested that Coe, who has been sounded out about replacing Lord Patten as BBC Trust chair by top government officials, would struggle to juggle the role if he also fulfils his long-held ambition to win the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations.
But Bradshaw said that the job demanded a high level of time commitment. "A lot of criticism levelled at Lord Patten was that he wasn't committing enough time or attention to the job doing it four days per week," he said. "It would be extraordinary for the government to appoint someone prepared to give less time, particularly given the importance of the charter renewal process they will oversee, and possible fundamental changes in the BBC's government structure."
Lord Coe told BBC Radio 5 Live earlier this month that he had some "thinking to do" about applying for the job. He said it was "very flattering" to be linked to the role and said he was "passionate about public service broadcasting". But acting BBC Trust chair Diane Coyle is the only publicly confirmed candidate for the job.
Deputy labour leader Harriet Harman, who has raised fears about political bias influencing the recruitment process, said that there had been no consultation about the changes. "The chair of the BBC Trust is an important role and the appointment must be made on merit and not on party political lines," she said. "We have real concerns that these changes signal that the process is being changed to suit a particular applicant for political reasons. This is a significant difference in approach and there has been no consultation."
A spokesman for the DCMS said that the change was designed to attract the strongest field of candidates. "We will consider any suitable candidates who can commit to less than three to four days a week," the spokesman said. "It is essential we appoint the best possible person to the position so we must ensure we have the widest possible field of candidates."
However, in the past week the ad has been amended to include a line opening up the position to candidates with less free time: "Suitable candidates able to offer a lesser time commitment will also be considered." The deadline for applications has also been extended by a week from Friday 20 June.The BBC declined to comment. But one source said that the BBC had advised the DCMS that the role requires a three to four day time commitment.
A spokeswoman for the Commissioner for Public Appointments said that the changes to the job description had been cleared by Mark Addison, public appointments assessor.
On Thursday the DCMS also revealed the three-strong panel who will interview the candidates in the week beginning 28 July.
Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, one of the country's top civil servants, is named as the panellist "representing government".
Carolyn Fairbairn, a former senior executive at the BBC and ITV, has been named for her "extensive experience of the industry". Fairbairn, who left ITV in 2011, is a non-executive director at Capita and Lloyds Banking Group as well as the board of the Competition and Markets Authority.
Lord Kakkar, professor of surgery at University College London, whojoined the House of Lords in 2010, is listed as the "independent" panel member.
The interview panel is chaired by Addison, to make sure the process complies with the code of practice of the commissioner for public appointments.
According to that code appointments must be made based on three core principles: merit, openness and fairness.
"The selection processes must be objective, impartial and applied consistently to all candidates," states the code under the fairness principle. "The selection of appointable candidates is made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition."
One senior media industry executive considering applying for the post said that the development was "shocking" and unnerving.
"I've heard that the BBC advised three to four days a week was necessary to do the job so this is quite shocking," he said. "It looks like they are targeting a certain someone in particular. It is meant to be an open appointments process."