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ABC executive Paul Lee 'not seeking BBC director general post'

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BBC logo at BBC Television Centre

© Rex Features

ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee has reportedly been approached about the BBC director general's post but intends to stay put in his current role, sources have claimed.

It was reported by Variety on Wednesday evening (May 2) that Lee, who became head of the network in July 2010, had been courted for a return to the corporation.

However, sources have now told Deadline that Lee intends to stay put, claiming: "He was approached because he is British, and so were others."

Lee joined the BBC in 1984 from Brazilian national TV network Rede Globo, where he had worked as an assistant production manager.

Having started his career as a reporter, he eventually moved into drama - producing or directing numerous programmes and winning BAFTA and BANFF awards in 1990 for a documentary on singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie.

He previously served as channel editor for BBC Prime and CEO of BBC America - launching the latter as founder in 1998 - and moved to ABC Family in 2004.

Current BBC director general Mark Thompson has announced that he intends to step down in the autumn and headhunters Egon Zehnder have been appointed to help find his successor.

The corporation has also advertised the director general's post publicly on the BBC Jobs website, saying that it is seeking "an inspirational leader" who can "'thrive under legitimate and constant public and political scrutiny'' and respond well to pressure.

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