Bunhill: Where's Bland?

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The Independent Online
SIR Christopher Bland seemed to vanish last week after quitting London Weekend Television with pounds 14m in his pockets following the surrender to Granada Group. With his track record, there are plenty of employers eager for his services, and investors galore to back him. I understand he has already taken soundings from his old buddy, Lawrence Banks of the merchant bankers Robert Fleming.

But where was he? I eventually tracked him down to his holiday home in Gascony - the south-western corner of France famous for armagnac and foie gras. He sounded tolerably topped up with both when I rang on Friday, after lunch, to ask about his future.

'I was about to stretch out my legs and go to sleep in the sun before you interrupted me,' he scolded.

He said he had already had several job offers in and outside television even before his departure from LWT. But he is keen to continue his partnership with Greg Dyke, the populist chief executive who gave TV-am Roland Rat and LWT Blind Date.

'What I would like to do is something with Greg if we can find anything that would intrigue us and we'd be good at.'

In television? 'Probably. But the ink is hardly dry on my resignation letter. Now, you're keeping me from my nap in the sun. Goodbye.'

And with that the phone went dead. Maybe Dyke was right when he told the FT last week that Bland has 'the attention span of a peanut'.