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20 Most Powerful Asians in British Media

The full list (2005)   »   No. 1

Lord Waheed Alli
Age: 40
Labour peer

At the age of 34, Lord Alli became the youngest peer in parliament, and it was thought that he might help the prime minister reach out to a younger generation. He influenced government policy during the drafting of the Communications Bill in 2003, and took over as chairman of the media rights company Chorion in the same year. Chorion's catalogue includes Enid Blyton, Noddy and Agatha Christie.

Its fortunes have improved significantly in recent years, thanks to the continuing success of Noddy and ITV's renewed interest in Christie adaptations. Lord Alli first came to prominence in the media through his TV production company Planet 24, which he founded with his friends Charlie Parsons and Bob Geldof.

Planet 24 went on to make the iconic Channel 4 hit, The Big Breakfast, and was later sold to Carlton Television in a deal worth at least 15m. Lord Alli landed the post of head of production at Carlton, where he presided over the unsuccessful revival of Crossroads; he left in 2000 when he lost out in a management reshuffle.

Previously talked of as candidate to be chief executive of Channel 4 and seen by some - perhaps overly optimistically - as a potential chairman of the BBC, Lord Alli is still very much on the rise.


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