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Christopher Bland

British businessman and politician

Died when: 78 years 244 days (943 months)
Star Sign: Gemini

Sir Francis Christopher Buchan Bland (29 May 1938 – 28 January 2017) was a British businessman and politician.He was deputy chairman of the Independent Television Authority (1972), which was renamed the Independent Broadcasting Authority in the same year, and chairman of London Weekend Television (1984) and of the Board of Governors of the BBC (1996 to 2001), when he took up a position as chairman of British Telecommunications plc (BT).

He left his position with BT in September 2007.Before leaving BT, he became chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Company, in 2004.

Bland held many concurrent chairmanships and directorships, including chairman of Century Hutchinson Group (1984), the Edinburgh-based Canongate Publishing, the National Freight Corporation, known as NFC PLC (1994), and Life Sciences International PLC (1987), and Directorship of National Provident (1978), and Storehouse PLC (1988) among others.

Bland had a long-standing interest in the cultivation of wine, and in 1995 bought a 19th-century house with a large wine cellar containing numbered alcoves to accommodate 1,000 bottles of Bordeaux, 100 bottles of Champagne, and 120 bins of white Burgundy.

Two years later, he bought a small vineyard next to his home in Gascony in France, planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, producing about 1,000 litres a year.

He was chairman of Leiths School of Food and Wine, which he bought jointly with Caroline Waldegrave in 1994.

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