Michael Grade, arguably the most experienced person in British broadcasting, has said he remains interested in the role of chair of the UK media regulator Ofcom.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Lord Grade, who has run the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, confirmed he initially applied for the £142,000, three-day-a-week role last November.
It followed the rejection of former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre for not fulfilling the required criteria.
Lord Grade told the Telegraph he then had “second thoughts” over entering the race. “I became suspicious of the process until I realised Sue Gray was back in charge of the appointment after her Partygate exertions. I was fully reassured and am now happy to keep my hat in the ring.”
After initially extending the deadline for applications into December, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport then re-advertised the post on January 26.
Unlike Dacre, who accused “liberal or Left-wing associations” of running the process, Lord Grade does not see the Ofcom chair as being a political appointment.
“I spent 30 years running major broadcasters as editor-in-chief, pretty much, and nobody knew my politics or which way I voted. When I got into the House of Lords as a Conservative many of my old friends on the Labour benches said: ‘I always thought you were one of us.’ I said, ‘I needed you to think that.’”