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In the 1990s, The Late Show, infamous for its esoteric subject matter, launched the careers of many of the defining figures in British film and television. Why?

By David Herman   August 2004

Things are looking up at the BBC. Greg Dyke and Jane Root have gone. Michael Grade and Janice Hadlow are in and Roly Keating’s taken over as controller of BBC2. Amid all the musical chairs, an interesting pattern stands out. Two groups have dominated the big jobs in British television over the past decade. The first is well known: the executives who moved from LWT to take some of the top jobs at the BBC and Channel 4: John Birt, Michael Grade, Christopher Bland, Greg Dyke and now Grade again. Birt and Dyke were both director general; Bland and Grade…

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