Just how suited is the 79-year-old Lord Michael Grade for the role of Ofcom chair? His TV experience is now way back in history, after he stopped chairing ITV in the Noughties. More relevantly, he has never worked in telecommunications, the internet or social media.
There are question marks, too, about his attempts to carve out a career in the West End. He was set to buy four of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatres – the Palace, New London, Her Majesty’s and the Cambridge. The deal was even announced, but it mysteriously fell through at the very last minute, with some saying Grade and his business partner, Michael Linnit, failed to find enough money. Then Grade, again with Linnit, persuaded the English National Opera to stage musicals. Their productions for the Coliseum included Chess and Man of La Mancha, with Kelsey Grammer, which were not exactly conspicuous successes. One ENO staffer characterised the relationship between his organisation and Grade as “stressful” as they ended it soon enough. Whether Grade’s relationship with Ofcom will turn out any better remains to be seen.