Derek Granger biography

Derek Granger joined Granada in 1958 from the Financial Times where he had been the paper’s first drama and film critic. He was soon made head of the play department and in 1961 was appointed as the second producer of Coronation Street. His appointment partly coincided with the Equity actors’ strike, which meant that his…

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Derek Granger remembers when he joined Granada

I was a journalist, and I’d been a provincial journalist on the Sussex Daily News and Evening Argus in Brighton. I’d come out of the war, and I’d come out of the Navy where I was a lieutenant, and I had worked very, very briefly for them for about six or nine months before I…

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Derek Granger on his first Granada programmes

The very first programme I worked on was a programme called Sir Thomas Beecham at Lincoln’s Inn. And it was a programme I think which had been revised by Denis Forman, and Denis was my mentor then because he was teaching me to write for television, and I went in really as a researcher, that…

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Derek Granger on his close working relationship with Sidney Bernstein

And then I suddenly – ha! – in Granada’s typical way, I was made head of the play department, and rather eccentrically they didn’t call it head of drama which would have been sensible, I became head of the play department. But the interesting thing there was that I was working directly with the proprietor…

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Derek Granger talks about filming drama in the late 1950’s

Everything then was shot in the studio and this rather lugubrious way with these great trundling television cameras, and the PA system in the actual control room, having to signal where the next cameras went, it was very curious. The television was set up like theatre in a way with rehearsals, and when it came…

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Derek Granger on Cecil Bernstein

Cecil was a very, very interesting man. He hadn’t got the huge personality or the grandeur of Sidney, but he had a great integrity, and he had a marvellous nose for comedy and popular entertainment. And that’s what he did. And comedy under Cecil was very, very good. There was a very, very good actual…

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Derek Granger recalls producing Coronation Street in 1961

Coronation Street began in on December 1960, and it was going on long very, very well, and then Cecil came to me and said, “Derek, do you mind awfully coming on to Coronation Street?” And the idea was that, although it was going all right, it was rather… it was on a very small scale.…

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Derek Granger on working with Sir Laurence Olivier

Well, we had a wonderful time really, most of the time, but this was David’s idea, when Olivier… you know, I’d worked with Olivier at the National Theatre as literary consultant, and then I’d gone back to Granada and then when Olivier became terribly, terribly ill with this horrible form of cancer, this sort of…

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Denis Granger on the origins of Brideshead Revisited

The idea of Brideshead, did that come from Sir Denis? No, I went to Denis and said, “I want to do this novel.” Why? Actually, it had been suggested to me by one of the directors on Country Matters, Donald McWhinnie, who was a great old BBC hand, and he directed The Four Beauties. And…

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Derek Granger on the truth behind the Brideshead script

Did you write the script? Yes. We had to ditch the (John) Mortimer script. We ditched that at the very beginning. But it was a very difficult contractual situation because the estate had made the stipulation… there was a condition that if we had the rights, we had to accept their choice of adaptor. And…

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