The Andrew Davidson Interview, Magazine journalist of the year: Michael Grade - The former Channel 4 boss is a changed man. After years of therapy he has mellowed, become less agitated. He has started a new family and, by day, spreads himself across a wid

The Andrew Davidson Interview, Magazine journalist of the year: Michael Grade - The former Channel 4 boss is a changed man. After years of therapy he has mellowed, become less agitated. He has started a new family and, by day, spreads himself across a wid

by ANDREW DAVIDSON

Yeah, just ringing with my Pinewood hat on, just checking if there is anything I can do, basically ... Yes ... yes ... Michael Grade, former boss of Channel 4, scion of one of Britain's best-known showbiz families, is on the phone at his desk in Pinewood Studios, selling ... 'Well, I tell you, if we get this, I will so look after you so well you won't know where to put your hat ...'

He is struggling to close a deal, a deal probably long since gone, to bring a production to Pinewood's soon-to-be-opened, state-of-the-art television studios. He takes another puff on his half-smoked cigar, loudly, a verbal signifier if ever there was one. He's playing all his cards, calling in old favours, even calling up old ghosts.

Puff, puff. 'Yes ... yes ... extra space, of course ... right ... right ... If you want us to sharpen our pencil I can get ... ah, other issues ... yes ... hurr hurr hurr.'

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