Norma Percy was born and brought up in America. After university in Ohio she studied at the London School of Economics and then became a House of Commons researcher for the Labour MP John Mackintosh. In 1972 she joined Granada to work with Brian Lapping on the State of the Nation series. This began a collaboration with Brian which goes on until this day with his independent production company. At Granada she worked on End of Empire with him, as well as on the Granada 500 and Hypotethicals.