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Michael Grade

Michael Grade (born March 8, 1946) is a British businessman, a distinctive figure in the field of broadcasting.

He was born into a family which already had entertainment interests, the impresarios Lord Lew Grade and Bernard Delfont were his uncles. He was the son of the theatrical agent Leslie Grade.

He began his career as a journalist with the Daily Mirror in 1960, he was a sports columnist from 1964 to 1966. When his father suffered a serious stroke the 23 year old Grade moved into his theatrical business in 1966. In 1969 he moved to London Management & Representation. He went into television in 1973 when he joined LWT as Deputy Controller of Entertainment, achieving the post of Director of Programmes in 1977. In 1981 he had a stint in the US at Embassy Television and as an independent producer. He joined the BBC in 1984 as Controller for BBC One, becoming Director of Programmes in 1986 and Managing Director Designate in 1987. He made many controversial decisions while at the BBC, including firing Colin Baker (who played the Doctor on Doctor Who) and even canceling Doctor Who later during his term.

In 1988 he returned to commercial television, accepting the post of chief executive of Channel 4, replacing Jeremy Isaacs. He held that job until 1997 and despite attacks from the Conservative press he was successful in developing the business.

He went from Channel 4 to head First Leisure Corporation, leaving there in 1999 after a substantial restructuring to return to media as chairman of the new Pinewood and Shepperton studios company. He had ambitions to become chairman of the BBC, but lost out to Gavyn Davies. He was also on the board of the ill-fated Millennium Dome. He currently has links with Octopus Publishing, Camelot Group, and Hemscott.

He was made a CBE in 1998. He is currently married to his third wife.