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Creator: Michael Grade

British high-level executive in TV, holding a CBE. Cancelled Doctor Who in 1985, before amending it to an 18-month hiatus.

Son of Leslie Grade, a theatrical agent, he started as a journalist and moved to TV in 1973, namely London Weekend Television. There he commissioned (and later canned) Mind Your Language (a controversial show about an English-As-A-Second-Language class), The Professionals, and The South Bank Show.

He moved to the BBC in 1984 as Controller of BBC1, where he proceeded to cancel Doctor Who, bring it back 18 months later after much public outcry, sack Colin Baker, and put the show up against Coronation Street (his successor, Jonathan Powell, eventually brought down the axe in 1989). He also canned the Tripods trilogy before Part 3 could be produced, turning it into a duology with a Downer Ending.

He was also (whether rightly or wrongly) accused of cutting down Blackadder's budget after a not-so-good first season. Writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, however, chalk it up to an appropriate coincidence when they were precisely planning to focus more on gags and Historical In-Joke stuff.

Moving to Channel Four in 1987, he was accused of dumbing-down and was dubbed "pornographer-in-chief" by The Daily Mail. He left in 1999. A certain infamous satirical show mocked him by inserting a few frames stating he was a cunt while there.

In 2004, following the Hutton Inquiry, he became Chairman of the BBC Board of Governors. There he had to consume much humble pie after the spectacular success of the Doctor Who revival.

In 2007, he became Chairman of ITV, which is currently suffering from insane cash-flow problems under his reign. He then stepped down into a lower position in 2009.

Grade holds the distinction of being the only BBC controller who was not knighted by the Queen. (Making a fandom angry is unwise. It is triply unwise when that fandom includes one's sovereign.) However, he did become a Life Peer, as Baron Grade of Yarmouth, at David Cameron's behest (he was something of an obvious choice for a new Conservative Peer).


Mark GoodsonProducersMerv Griffin

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