Roland Coburn biography

Roland Coburn has been associated with Granada Television all his life. His mother was a well known Production Assistant at the company and at one time was secretary to David Plowright. As a consequence Roland has been in and out of the building since he was a child. His own Granada career began in 1975…

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Roland Coburn describes how he started work at Granada TV

I left school when I was eighteen, and then I went to work for a company called Greendow, which was a small independent place that used to have freelance editors, assistants and things to help out all the television companies around the country. They used to supply editors to work on programmes like World in…

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Roland Coburn remembers visiting Granada as a child

I think you mentioned to me you would get taken into the studio by your mum? Yes. Obviously, with Father working for the BBC and Mother working for Granada, I was volunteered to go to boarding school — that’s probably the best way of putting it — and often, when I used to finish the…

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Roland Coburn on Granada as a family-friendly company

It was always very friendly, especially in the early days. I always remember, when I was possibly about eight or nine, Granada always used to have, at Christmas, a children’s show, that they used to have in one of the studios. They used to invite all the children of the employees down there and it…

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Roland Coburn’s memories of the Granada canteen and the Stables

People have mentioned to me about the canteen, the bar and the Stables being very important? The canteen was very important, for several reasons, I always thought, because anybody who was working at the station and wanted anything to drink or eat would have to go in the canteen. There was none of this, ‘Oh,…

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Roland Coburn’s memories of Sir Denis Forman and the Bernsteins

Occasionally I was taken off to do particular one-off programmes because, perhaps, World in Action was off the air, and things like that. One of them was The Battle of Monte Cassino; this was the battle in which Sir Denis had been injured and lost his leg during the war. Sir Denis often used to pop…

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Roland Coburn remembers meeting the stars of Coronation Street

She (his mother) was also involved quite heavily, in the early days, on Coronation Street. She was very good friends with Violet Carson, Ena Sharples, Elsie Tanner, Pat Phoenix and Doris Speed, who was Annie Walker. They were always at our house, and I was always wandering round with mother to their houses, because Pat…

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Roland Coburn recalls working with Ken Russell

I was sent to the Lakes with Ken Russell, who was then a features director. So having a features director work on a television programme was interesting, to say the least! David Warner was in it, and Felicity Kendal — people like that. We were up there, and we actually edited the programme in Ken…

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Roland Coburn on working in local programmes

What kind of programmes did you work on after doing those initial dramas? Well, it was a bizarre setup really, because when I was an assistant, ITN used to have a north-west reporter, who used to come up to Manchester and do little north-west news items. The very first thing I cut was a fifteen-second…

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Roland Coburn on Granada as a company and employer

It was a brilliant company to work for. Everybody seemed to want to do their best for the company. Everyone said, ‘I work for Granada Television, because they make the best programmes’, and they did. Jewel in the Crown, Brideshead Revisited: these wonderful dramas that they would make, and they would spend a lot of…

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Roland Coburn explains the ten-hour break!

You were well rewarded? Well, you were well rewarded in the sense that you got overtime, and overtime was often an incentive for a lot of people to go beyond what was normal. On World in Action — and it went through across the board — if you did work overtime, you’d have to have…

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