Michael Grade, the former chief executive of Channel 4, has been appointed chairman of the BBC.

Grade heads UK studio group Pinewood Shepperton, which he announced only this week would float this year on the London stock exchange.

Grade is a former controller of BBC1 and director of BBC television programmes and was branded "pornographer in chief" by the right wing press after introducing explicit programmes at Channel 4.

He succeeds Gavyn Davies, who resigned in January after the Hutton report criticised the BBC.