Former BBC DG Sir Michael Grade

Michael Grade: Dishing the Dirt on Who

Former BBC DG Sir Michael Grade

"Look! I can count. Ergo, I have the power of life and death over any TV show..."

Building on the old TV adage that if something is popular that means it must be good and vice versa Michael Grade – the man responsible for Doctor Who being put ‘on hold’ in 1986 and owner of the prestigious ’Horses Ass’ trophy (presented to him by American Doctor Who fans) – has been talking about the events leading up to its cancellation and eventual resurrection in 2005.

Doctor Who News has reported that Grade was speaking on BBC Radio 2 show, On the Box, in a section called Dishing the Dirt where he shared his own viewpoint on the event. The former Director General of the BBC also chatted with key players involved in the decisions such as then BBC Controller Jonathan Powell and eventual successor Lorraine Heggessey who held the role when the show returned to our screens, and shares some of the difficulties she face in bringing the Doctor back:

“I just remembered it as an iconic show. I wanted popular drama at the heart of Saturday night.”

Grade also talks to former showrunner Russell T. Davies, BBC executive Jane Tranter and former Executive Producer Mal Young, as well as Steven Moffat who talks about the plans for the fiftieth anniversary of the show:

“It is a concern to stamp the word 50 on a series because it should be brand new every few years. But its great as it does give you an excuse for a party and an excuse to take over television again.”

On the Box is available for the next seven days via the BBC iPlayer.

Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

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