Diary: How Channel 4 top dogs kept Grade’s departure top secret

Michael Grade’s departure from Channel 4 caught everyone by surprise - a near miracle in the gossipy world of television.

Michael Grade’s departure from Channel 4 caught everyone by

surprise - a near miracle in the gossipy world of television.



The announcement was regarded as so sensitive that Channel 4 chairman

Sir Michael Bishop put it out to a PR firm - Charles Barker, which works

for the airline British Midland, where Bishop is also chairman.



The agency was put on red alert a week earlier but was not briefed

formally until lunchtime on Monday - several hours before the

announcement was made.



As for the Channel 4 press office - apparently it was given the news

Grade’s impending departure half an hour earlier. ’No reflection on its

staff,’ says my Channel 4 mole, ’but there was no way you could keep a

story about Michael Grade quiet for very long.’



Other than locking him in his office and cutting off the telephone, that

is.



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