Obituary: Edmund Dell

IT IS worth emphasising that Edmund Dell [obituary by Tam Dalyell and Robert Sheldon, 4 November] was a vigorous and far-sighted chairman of Channel 4, writes Lord Blake. I was on the board of directors from 1983 to 1986. I well remember his resentment at the channel's being a wholly owned susbidiary of IBA, and having to go cap in hand to it for funding.

At the Peacock Committee he forcibly put the case for independence and for the channel's selling its own advertising. The channel's chief executive was Sir Jeremy Isaacs, with whom on many issues Dell was far from seeing eye-to-eye, inclining to the conservative side, Isaacs being radical, innovative and mercurial. But on the funding question, while not opposed, he was much more cautious than Dell, whose persistence, in the end, carried the day.

The channel's complete independence and control over its own advertising have largely stemmed from the efforts of Edmund Dell.

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