Griff pulls out of university role

Griff Rhys Jones had been expected to be named chancellor of Cardiff University

Griff Rhys Jones had been expected to be named chancellor of Cardiff University

First published in National News © by

Comedian and television presenter Griff Rhys Jones has ruled himself out of becoming Cardiff University's new figurehead following the shambles over his appointment.

The star was set to become the institution's new chancellor earlier this month, but officials blocked the move moments before he was due to be unveiled.

Officially the appointment was "delayed", although it later emerged the process stalled after academics questioned why the current incumbent and Nobel Prize-winner Sir Martin Evans was not offered a second term in office.

But now Mr Rhys Jones has said he does not want to be considered for the post.

In a letter to vice-chancellor Professor Colin Riordan, he said: "It may well be that the council wants to re-offer the post to the incumbent, Sir Martin Evans.

"Sir Martin may decide to take it or step aside. I feel, however, that my presence only makes this a more complicated process for everyone concerned.

"I can't say that I am offering my resignation. I haven't yet been appointed. But I do not want to be further considered for this post."

Mr Rhys Jones added that he was "honoured" to be chosen, but any further association "would only be the subject of dispute and that would not be good for the council or the court of the university".

Cardiff University said it was "very sorry for creating the circumstances" leading to the comedian's decision.

A spokesman said: "These events were based solely on internal rules and procedures. Our ongoing friendship with Griff Rhys Jones was never in question.

"We are immensely proud of Griff's continuing work as an honorary fellow and patron to our Sustainable Places Research Institute, and he remains a trusted supporter of the university.

"The university council will meet to consider the nomination of a future chancellor at a meeting on May 19. Sir Martin Evans has indicated to the chair of council his willingness to be considered for nomination for a further term."

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