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(From The Guardian)
The shaggy, rather shambolic man who made stars of Ant and Dec and revived Basil Brush appears an unlikely choice to take on the key role at the top of Britain's biggest commercial television network. But Nigel Pickard - until last week unknown outside television circles - is now suddenly being hailed as the saviour of ITV.
Officially, Pickard, currently controller of Children's BBC, has taken a vow of silence since his appointment as director of programmes at ITV. But through friends, TV executives and other sources close to Pickard, Media Guardian has begun to establish an initial indication of the Pickard vision.
He is, to coin a phrase, a quiet man. This genial, bearded 50-year-old could not be more different from the fizzing former Channel 5 chief executive Dawn Airey, notoriously the first choice of ITV bosses. But while the arrival of Airey would have signalled a bloodbath, the Pickard regime will be more of a velvet revolution.
Pickard is unconcerned that he was so obviously the second choice. But despite ITV's well-documented travails, it is still the premier commercial …