a real world point of view
Michael Grade (born 8 March 1943) was a British broadcast executive. In 1984, he joined BBC Television as Controller of BBC One. In 1985, he controversially put Doctor Who on an eighteen-month hiatus, citing low ratings, overly violent content and farcical storylines. In 1986, he compelled John Nathan-Turner to fire Colin Baker. In 1987, Grade stepped down as Controller and was succeeded by Jonathan Powell.
Despite his consequent negative image amongst Doctor Who fans, he was unambiguously good for the programme on at least one occasion. In 2004, Grade, as Chairman of the BBC Board of Directors, presided over the unanimous vote which elected Mark Thompson as the Director-General of the BBC. Thompson stayed in the job for eight years, until the broadcast of the beginning of series 7. Grade is thus partially responsible for installing a management regime which allowed Doctor Who to become one of the leading shows in Britain.
- Internet Movie Database at the