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Greg Dyke

Greg Dyke


First broadcast: Sun 20 May 2007

Former Director-General of the BBC

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Greg Dyke. A top flight TV executive known for being instinctual and populist, his appointment as BBC Director-General was an uncharacteristically bold move for the corporation and an extraordinary moment for a youngster once marked out by his teachers as 'the boy least likely to succeed'. A natural businessman who relishes taking risks, his greatest successes have come from his ability to spot the moment and act quickly. He saved TV-am with Roland Rat, moved the BBC's Nine O'Clock News at a fortnight's notice and thwarted Rupert Murdoch's digital hopes by backing Freeview.

But his critics say that it is his passion and instinct that ultimately led to his downfall. He was forced to resign from the BBC after a bitter row that erupted between the corporation and Downing Street about its coverage of the Iraq war. His departure, which followed considerable mud-slinging, ill temper and tragedy, prompted a huge display of loyalty from his staff as thousands gathered on the steps to wish him a tearful goodbye. Since then, he's kept a low profile - but doesn't rule out a return to high office if the right job came along.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]


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