Colin Weston on joining Granada as a continuity announcer

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Well, I lived in south London with my parents and I always wanted to get into television, and I used to regularly watch the ITV stations down in London. And I said, “I’d like to do that job,” which was continuity announcer, station announcer whatever you want to call it. And I sort of looked around for vacancies; there weren’t many, but in 1968 the franchise changes came about and some companies weren’t there to be any more, they didn’t exist any more, so I thought I’d write in to see if there were vacancies around. And there was an advert in The Stage newspaper at Granada for an out of vision trainee announcer, so I applied for that and I left London for the first time, came up to Manchester for an audition. I sent in a reel-to-reel tape – if people remember what a reel-to-reel tape was! – and sent that in, and they liked it and they shortlisted me and they asked me to come up to Manchester and have an interview and do a little audition, and that’s what I did. That’s how it came about, from an advert basically. In 1968.

1968?

Yes. Just before the franchise changed when Granada lost the Yorkshire side of the contract. So when I joined, it was actually a seven-day north west company, but a month later they lost that side of the franchise to Yorkshire TV.

Okay, so what happens then?

When you’re taken on as a trainee, obviously you sit in with another person. So there was an announcer from way back called Don Murray-Henderson, you might have heard his name, he was he was an announcer there he used to do the voices on University Challenge and World in Action and things like that. So he actually trained me, I sat with him for four or five months, just sort of doing the job, and he was training me into what you should do, you know. Because basically it was voice over, you know, we weren’t in vision. So it was voice over in a little booth in what they called central control rooms, CCR as it became known. So that was basically it. I was trained by somebody who was already there.

 

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