FIlm-maker David Puttnam has pulled out of the race to become the BBC's next chairman, after making the "most difficult decision" he has ever faced. Lord Puttnam had been "agonising" over the decision ever since former chairman MICHAEL GRADE defected to rival British channel ITV in November (06). The outspoken film producer was regarded by many observers as the clear favourite for the post. Explaining his decision to drop out of the race, he compared it to a scene in his Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. He says, "ERIC LIDDELL is in the stands watching his great rival HAROLD ABRAHAMS walking out for the final of the Olympic 100 metres. "His coach leans across and asks, 'Any regrets, Eric - that you are not down there with them?' Eric nods and replies, 'Regrets, yes - no doubts though!"'