Dyke is courted by 'quiet assassin' Bolton for post at ITV

LONDON - The powerful City fund manager Anthony Bolton is reported to have been courting Greg Dyke, raising the possibility that he is lining him up for a pivotal role at ITV.

It was Bolton, dubbed the City's "quiet assassin", who last year brought down Carlton chairman Michael Green and had him removed as chairman-elect of ITV.

He is also believed to have been putting pressure on ITV chief executive Charles Allen, who could yet be forced out if Bolton gets his way.

ITV is currently casting around for a new chairman. Shareholders want to appoint a strong chairman partly to keep Allen in check.

The Sunday Times reported that Bolton has spoken with Dyke by telephone and he has been praising him in meetings. Bolton is understood to favour replacing Allen as chief executive with Dyke.

It is the chief executive's job Dyke is being mentioned in connection with because the part-time chairman's job is not thought to interest him.

A number of candidates have been mentioned in connection with the ITV chairman's job with Sir Peter Burt, the former chief executive of the Bank of Scotland being the latest to emerge as frontrunner. Sir Tim helped steer the merger of the BoS and Halifax through to form HBOS in 2001.

John Gardiner, the soon to step down chairman of Tesco is also thought to be in the running.

Last week former chief executive of Vodafone Sir Chris Gent said he would be interested in the job but is believed to be an unlikely candidate because of his connections to the Conservative Party.

Another candidate, former investment banker John Nelson, has pulled out of the race.

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