Micheal Grade appointed as BBC Chairman

MUMBAI: Michael Grade has been appointed BBC chairman in place of Gavyn Davies, one of the high profile heads to roll in the wake of the damning Hutton inquiry report.

Known as one of Britain's most flamboyant and controversial media figures, 61-year-old Grade succeeds Davies who resigned in January after the Hutton inquiry report criticised the BBC's handling of the row that led to the death of weapons inspector David Kelly last year.

Grade's predecessor Davies was appointed on 19 September 2001 for a five year period from 1 October 2001. He resigned from the BBC on 28 January 2004. The Hutton report also led to the resignation of BBC director-general Greg Dyke.

Among the challenges Grade faces will be the hunt for a new director-general, restoring trust in the BBC, restoring the institution's global reputation, leading new programming initiatives, clarifying BBC regulations, negotiating the BBC Charter and establishing a vision for the future.

Prior to this stint, Grade has had a long and distinguished career including leading roles in commercial television, the BBC, film and the leisure industries. In 1973, he became London Weekend Television's head of entertainment and director of programmes. Later in 1978, he moved to the USA to become president of Embassy Television. He joined the BBC as controller BBC-1 in 1984 and became its director of programmes, Television in 1986. 

He then spent nine years from 1988 as chief executive of Channel 4 Television. In 1997 he joined First Leisure Corporation, first as executive chairman and then as chief executive until 1999, says the release. 

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