David Boulton biography

David Boulton joined Granada Television in 1964 after working as a journalist with CND and the left-wing weekly paper Tribune. He initially joined Granada as a press officer in the London office but after a year or so was told that he was ‘no good’ and was sent to work in Manchester on Scene At…

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David Boulton’s memories of ‘Scene at 6.30’

I was a very poor press officer because I wasn’t any good at publicising things and being a PR man and after a fairly short while (I think about a year) Sidney summoned me and said, ‘How are you getting on?’ and I said “I hope I’m doing alright.” And he said, ‘Well, I think…

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David Boulton describes how ‘World In Action’ operated in the 1970’s and the team that supported the journalists

At any one time there was somewhere between 12 and 15 (maybe even a few more) producers, directors and researchers on World in Action and, of course, we had very regular meetings to discuss programme ideas and there was a quite fierce competition among the producers and researchers to put forward ideas that they would…

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David Boulton describes his experiences of making films in Northern Ireland for ‘World In Action

The two strands that I tended to make my own were films in Northern Ireland (that was the first one) because the so-called ‘Irish Troubles’ or the ‘English Troubles’ as far as the Irish were concerned were all bubbling up at this time from 1969 onwards and I had a peculiar ‘in’ into Northern Ireland…

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David Boulton on the renowned Steel Papers ‘World in Action’ programme

What happened was that there was a strike at British Steel. British Steel was still a nationalised company and there were rumours that the management end of the dispute was being dictated by the Thatcher Government and these rumours were very strongly denied by the management of British Steel, Charles Villiers, the Chairman of British…

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David Boulton on the challenges of making films under-cover

Another strand of films that I got involved in but I think this was really something that Gus MacDonald initiated was we needed to meet the criticism that it was very easy for us to go out to the United States, say, a very, very free country and make films very, very critical of the…

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David Boulton’s impressions of Granada as a company

First of all it was a family company. The Bernsteins were the bosses. The Bernsteins made the decisions. Sidney was the one with the social conscience who determined that Granada would be better than the BBC [British Broadcasting Company] at producing its news programmes, its current affairs programmes, and in developing a social justice direction.…

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David Boulton on the introduction of Electronic News Gathering

 Another thing that you did when you were head of current affairs was the introduction of the new technology in Liverpool, ENG [Electronic News Gathering], and the new technology high-tech newsroom. Yes, that was a nightmare because if there was anybody in Granada who knew less about computers than I did, I’d have been interested…

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David Boulton describes the ethos of Granada

Granada was built on the fact that there was a very, very close editorial connection between the people at the top and the people at the bottom. I mean the people in the middle, the producers worked directly to Dennis Forman, Sidney Bernstein and you made your decisions in accordance with what you felt they…

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