Michael Ian Grade, Baron Grade of Yarmouth, CBE (born 8th March 1943) is an English television executive and businessman. He was chairman of the BBC from 2004 to 2006 and executive chairman of ITV plc from 2007 to 2009. Since 2011, he has been a Conservative Party life peer in the House of Lords.
Grade was born into a Jewish show business family originally called Winogradsky; his father was the theatrical agent Leslie Grade and his uncles were the impresarios Lew Grade and Bernard Delfont. When he was three years old his mother left the family to conduct a relationship with wrestling commentator Kent Walton. Grade was brought up by his grandmother, and only saw his non-Jewish mother once more as an adult. He was educated at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire and St Dunstan's College in London.
Grade joined the Daily Mirror in 1960, and was a sports columnist from 1964 to 1966. By his own account (as related on Channel 4 chat show The Late Clive James), the job had been organised by his father. When Leslie Grade suffered a serious stroke in 1966, the 23-year-old Michael moved into his theatrical business. In 1969, he moved to London Management & Representation. Among the artists whom Grade represented were Morecambe and Wise (he successfully negotiated the duo's defection from ATV to BBC2 in 1968) and Larry Grayson.
Grade was appointed a CBE in 1998. That same year, he published his autobiography, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, and married his third wife, Francesca Leahy; they have a son, Samuel.
He was previously married to Penelope Jane Levinson (1967–81; she is now the wife of writer and historian Sir Max Hastings), by whom he has two children, and Sarah Lawson (1982–91), a film producer.
Grade is a fan of Charlton Athletic F.C.
Grade revealed his membership of the Conservative Party for the first time in May 2010.On 25 January 2011, he was created a life peer, as Baron Grade of Yarmouth, of Yarmouth in the County of Isle of Wight. He was introduced in the House of Lords on 27 January and sits as a Conservative.