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Sir Gerrard Jude "Gerry" Robinson (born 23 October 1948, Dunfanaghy, County Donegal, Ireland) is an Irish-born British business executive and television presenter. He is the former non-executive Chairman of Allied Domecq and the ex-Chairman/chief executive of Granada.
Dunfanaghy is a small town, former fishing port, and commercial centre on the north coast of County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland. It lies on Donegal's North West coast, specifically the west side of Sheephaven Bay, on the N56 road. The town has its own dedicated website, which gives information about the town and the surrounding area.
County Donegal is a county of Ireland in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal in the south of the county. Donegal County Council is the local council and Lifford the county town.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
The ninth of 10 children born to Anthony and Elizabeth Robinson, an Irish father and a Scottish mother, Robinson moved with his family to England from County Donegal in his early teens. He briefly trained to become a Catholic priest at St. Mary's Seminary of the Holy Ghost Fathers at Castlehead, Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire. He began a career in accounting in 1965 as a clerk with the Matchbox Toys company. While with the firm, he progressed through various accounting roles to become Chief Management Accountant in 1974. He also, during that time, qualified as an Associate Chartered Management Accountant.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Castle Head is a country house surrounded by 20 acres (81,000 m2) of grounds near to the seaside resort of Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria, England. It is currently used as a field studies centre and is a Grade II listed building.
In 1974, he left Matchbox to work for Lex Vehicle Leasing as a management accountant. He then rose through the company before being appointed finance director. In 1980, he joined the UK franchise of Coca-Cola, owned at that time by Grand Metropolitan. In 1983 he was appointed managing director of Grand Metropolitan's international services division. In 1987 he led the successful £163m management buyout of the loss-making contract services and catering division of Compass Group, known as Compass Caterers. He joined Granada as CEO in 1991, and soon ousted Granada's chairman, David Plowright in 1992, which led John Cleese to call Robinson "an upstart caterer ".
Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by The Coca-Cola Company. Originally intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Stith Pemberton and was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century. The drink's name refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves, and kola nuts. The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a trade secret, although a variety of reported recipes and experimental recreations have been published.
Grand Metropolitan plc was a leisure, manufacturing and property conglomerate headquartered in England. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it merged with Guinness plc to form Diageo in 1997.
Compass Group Plc is a British multinational contract foodservice company headquartered in Chertsey, Surrey. It is the largest contract foodservice company in the world. Compass Group has operations in about 50 countries, employs over 550,000 people and serves around 5.5 billion meals a year. Compass Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It is also a Fortune Global 500 company.
Robinson steered the company through various mergers, and hostile takeovers including London Weekend Television (1993) and Forte Group (1996). In 1999 Robinson was the subject of a biography, Lord of the Dance, written by business journalist William Kay, and published by Orion Business Books ISBN 0752810480. In 2005 he made an unsuccessful attempt to oust Doug Flynn as CEO of Rentokil Initial and install himself as Executive chairman for a 5% stake in the company, then valued at £56M. [ citation needed ]
London Weekend Television (LWT) was the ITV network franchise holder for Greater London and the Home Counties at weekends, broadcasting from Fridays at 5.15 pm to Monday mornings at 6:00 am. From 1968 until 1992, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Thames Television, there was an on-screen handover to LWT on Friday nights. From 1993 to 2002, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Carlton Television, the transfer usually occurred invisibly during a commercial break as Carlton and LWT shared studio and transmission facilities.
Forte Group plc was a British hotel and restaurant company. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Granada plc. Its head office was in the London Borough of Camden.
William Kay is a British financial and business journalist.
Robinson's first foray into broadcasting was a revival of the BBC's Troubleshooter show, originally fronted by Sir John Harvey-Jones in the early 1990s. Titled I'll Show Them Who's Boss and co-produced by the Open University, in 2004 he went into struggling businesses to try to turn them round by advice and mentoring.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.
Troubleshooter was a British reality television series, produced and shown by the BBC, focusing on experienced business leaders visiting and advising small and often struggling UK businesses.
Sir John Harvey-Jones MBE was an English businessman. He was the chairman of Imperial Chemical Industries from 1982 to 1987. He was best known by the public for his BBC television show, Troubleshooter, in which he advised struggling businesses.
In January 2007 following a similar format, he presented a three-part series, Can Gerry Robinson Fix the NHS? as he attempted to reduce waiting lists at Rotherham General Hospital.He returned a year later for a sequel, Can Gerry Robinson Fix the NHS? One Year On. In December 2009, Robinson presented a programme in a similar format entitled Can Gerry Robinson Fix Dementia Care Homes?.
Can Gerry Robinson Fix the NHS? was a three-part Open University BBC series shown on BBC2 from the 8th to 10 January 2007. This is the second BBC series where Gerry Robinson works to turn around failing companies, but whereas his earlier series I’ll Show Them Who’s Boss had a commercial focus, this one deals with the public sector.
Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust operates Rotherham General Hospital in South Yorkshire, England. It was previously Rotherham General Hospitals NHS Trust before becoming an NHS Foundation Trust in 2005.
In June 2009 he presented a special edition of The Money Programme entitled Gerry Robinson's Car Crash investigating the history and future of the British motor industry. He regularly appears on British TV as a celebrity businessman.In July 2009 he started a TV series called Gerry's Big Decision, in which he reviews struggling companies and decides whether it is worth investing his own money to save them. From 14 January – 18 February 2011 he presented BBC2 show Can't Take It with You, which helps people to write their wills.
Robinson also served as chairman of the Arts Council England for six years from 1998, in which capacity he was one of the many victims of a spoof by British comedian Ali G.
Robinson has divorced and remarried and has four children. He lives in Raphoe,Co Donegal; he established a botanical garden with a narrow gauge railway – the Difflin Lake Railway – which is open to the public.
Although originally a Conservative Party supporter, he supported Tony Blair and starred in a Labour Party election broadcast, saying that "... frankly, there's only one party that can represent Britain best, getting business right, and that's New Labour".
In June 2008, Robinson was one of four Labour donors who expressed their concerns with Gordon Brown's leadership and stated he would not be contributing any more money to the Labour Party until there was a change of leader. He had donated some £70,000 to the party between 2001 and 2005.
He was knighted in the 2004 New Year Honours List.
Kenneth Harry Clarke is a British Conservative politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe since 1970. He is currently the Father of the House.
ITV Granada is a regional television company in North West England. It is the largest independent television-franchise producing company in the UK, accounting for 25% of the total broadcasting output of the ITV network.
Joan Ann Olivier, Baroness Olivier, DBE, commonly known as Dame Joan Plowright, is a retired English actress whose career has spanned over six decades. She has won two Golden Globe Awards and a Tony Award and has been nominated for an Academy Award, an Emmy and two BAFTA Awards. She is also one of only four actresses to have won two Golden Globes in the same year.
David John Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville, FRS, HonFREng is an English politician, businessman and philanthropist. From 1992 to 1997, he served as the Chair of Sainsbury's, the supermarket chain established by his great-grandfather John James Sainsbury in 1869.
Geoffrey Robinson is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry North West since 1976. He was Paymaster General from May 1997 to December 1998, resigning after it was revealed that he had lent his government colleague Peter Mandelson £373,000 to buy a house. From 1996 to 2008 he was the owner of the New Statesman, a centre-left weekly political magazine.
Gregory Dyke is a British media executive, football administrator, journalist and broadcaster. Since the 1960s, Dyke has had a long career in the UK in print and then broadcast journalism. He is credited with introducing 'tabloid' television to British broadcasting, and reviving the ratings of TV-am. In the 1990s, he held chief executive positions at LWT Group, Pearson Television and Channel 5.
Digby Marritt Jones, Baron Jones of Birmingham,, known as Sir Digby Jones between 2005 and 2007, is a British businessman and politician, who has served as Director General of the CBI (2000–06) and Minister of State for Trade and Investment (2007–08).
Raphoe is a town in County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland. It is the main town in the fertile district of East Donegal known as the Laggan, as well as giving its name to both the Barony of Raphoe North and the Barony of Raphoe South, as well as to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raphoe and the Church of Ireland Diocese of Derry and Raphoe.
Peter Gerald Malone is a British Conservative politician who was an MP from 1983–87 and 1992–97.
David Campbell Bannerman MEP is a Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, having sat for the UK Independence Party until 24 May 2011. He served as UKIP deputy leader from 2006 until 2010, when he was replaced by Paul Nuttall.
Ian William Wrigglesworth, Baron Wrigglesworth is a Liberal Democrat peer.
David Ernest Plowright, was an English television executive and producer.
The 2006-2007 Life Peerages scandal was a political scandal in the United Kingdom in 2006 and 2007 concerning the connection between political donations and the award of life peerages. A loophole in electoral law in the United Kingdom means that although anyone donating even small sums of money to a political party has to declare this as a matter of public record, those loaning money at commercial rates of interest did not have to make a public declaration.
The BBC Trust was the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) between 2007 and 2017. It was operationally independent of BBC management and external bodies, and its stated aim was to make decisions in the best interests of licence-fee payers. On 12 May 2016, it was announced in the House of Commons that, under the next Royal Charter, the regulatory functions of the BBC Trust were to be transferred to Ofcom.
Charles Lamb Allen, Baron Allen of Kensington, is a British businessman and broadcaster, and the chairman of Global Radio, 2 Sisters Food Group, ISS and Advisory chairman at Moelis & Company. Lord Allen was chief executive of Granada Group from 1996 to 2000, executive chairman of Granada Media plc from 2000 to 2004, chief executive of ITV plc from its formation in 2004 until 2007, and chairman of the music company EMI. He was chairman of Endemol, a non-executive director of Tesco plc and Virgin Media. In March 2012, he was appointed by Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, to the position of chairman of the executive board of the party. He has been chairman of the British Red Cross.
Sir Rocco Giovanni Forte, FCA, FIoD is an English hotelier and the chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels.
Sir John Denis Forman was a Scottish executive in the British television industry long associated with the ITV contractor Granada, and with various charitable and governmental bodies in the arts.
Rotherham General Hospital is an acute general hospital in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It is managed by the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.
| Chair of Arts Council England |