LONDON - Britain's BBC could be doomed unless it makes radical changes, the head of its governing trust said, after its director general quit to take the blame for the airing of false child sex abuse allegations against a former politician.

BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten said on Sunday confidence had to be restored if the publicly funded corporation was to withstand pressure from rivals, especially Rupert Murdoch's media empire, which would try to take advantage of the turmoil.

"If you're saying, 'Does the BBC need a thorough structural radical overhaul?', then absolutely it does, and that is what we will have to do," Patten, a one-time senior figure in Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party and the last British governor of Hong Kong, told BBC television.

"The basis for the BBC's position in this country is the trust that people have in it," Patten said. "If the BBC loses that, it's over."

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