News Bloodbath of nostalgia: Michael Grade is preparing to say farewell to BBC Television Centre which is to be turned into a £200m complex of shops and offices

Lord Grade, the former chairman of both the BBC  and ITV, has been suggested as a potential "mediator" who could help broker the current impasse over future press regulation.

Birt 'tried to block Grade's BBC job'

Tony Blair was told by Lord Birt that his choice of Michael Grade as BBC chairman earlier this year was the "worst public appointment" he had ever made. John Birt's intervention is revealed by Greg Dyke in the latest instalment of his score-settling memoirs.

Harry Potter boosts Pinewood's profits

The films Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the latest Harry Potter helped take Pinewood Shepperton's half-year profits to a record £6.7m.

Grade orders investigation into BBC's finances

New chairman calls in outside auditors to carry out crucial review

Auntie needs some radical surgery

Forgive my cynicism, but a lot of what the BBC has announced is window dressing pure and simple

Grade wants independent panel to set licence fee

Michael Grade, the chairman of the BBC, has been accused of "using a sledgehammer to crack a nut" after suggesting the power to set the level of the licence fee should be taken away from the Government and handed to a new independent body.

A clear vision for the future of the BBC

The BBC'S charter manifesto was unveiled by Mark Thompson and Michael Grade yesterday to the sort of fanfare usually reserved for political rallies. But with Lord Hutton's criticism still echoing down the corporation's corridors, and the charter up for review in less than two years' time, the new director general and chairman can be forgiven for setting out their stall as boldly as possible. If they get this wrong, they risk going down in history as the men in charge when the BBC finally went down.

The news from your doorstep

Could one of Greg Dyke's old ideas save the BBC's charter? Tim Luckhurst hears how 'very' local news may be the corporation's secret weapon

Grade will have to leave BBC board meetings if Pinewood is on the agenda

Michael Grade, the newly appointed chairman of BBC governors, will be forced to absent himself from the boardroom if Pinewood Studios, which he also chairs, is discussed, it emerged yesterday.

Grade confirmed as BBC chairman

Michael Grade was confirmed by Downing Street today as the new chairman of the BBC board of governors.

Michael Grade: Has his time finally come?

At the time it seemed like little more than cheap point-scoring but the comments made by Michael Grade when he last put himself forward for the chairmanship of the BBC now seem deeply insightful. As he threw his name into the ring to succeed outgoing chairman Christopher Bland three years ago, Mr Grade took a side-swipe at his chief rival Gavyn Davies: "His association with the current government is not a reflection on him, but I'd like to see politics taken out of the top BBC appointments. In a regulated national cultural institution like the BBC, it's wrong that people with known political affiliations should be in the top jobs, director-general excepted."

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Career Services

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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album