Separately, Granada confirmed that it had agreed a pounds 45m deal to sell Brown's Hotel in London's West End to Raffles Holdings, owner of the eponymous luxury hotel in Singapore. Brown's, acquired by Granada after the Forte takeover, has during its 160-year life played host to Haile Selassie, Napoleon III and Theodore Roosevelt's last night as a bachelor.
A report that Granada was lining up an imminent bid worth over pounds 600m for fellow north of England ITV group Yorkshire-Tyne Tees was being played down by both sides yesterday. Granada, which is forecast to announce a 31 per cent rise in annual profits to pounds 240m on Wednesday, is thought to have worked out a takeover plan with Yorkshire, but nothing immediate is expected to come of it. Any move this week would come as a surprise to Ward Thomas, as the Yorkshire chairman is not due back from a holiday in the south of France until Thursday.