Sidney Bernstein’s later years

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Well, I think it was as well that a lot of that happened after he was really aware of what was going on. I think, you know, all good things come to an end. There were lots of external factors that were involved in the changes to the independent broadcasting scene. Not all of it was bad, and of course how Steve Morrison so eloquently explained in his segment, his participation in your day, a lot of the programme making excellence that was part of Granada continues to this day, not withstanding that there isn’t an independent broadcasting franchise under that brand. But a lot of that was painful for the people who were involved in the group as a whole, I know, and certainly I am pleased that my father wasn’t aware of all of that decline, because he was involved in his own decline; he was a physically enormously powerful and strong man all of his life, and sadly he had a series of small strokes and then a large stroke and was incapacitated. He, as I said earlier, outlived his much-younger wife, and eventually died aged 94, just a week or so after his 94th birthday, and the last thing he had left was this extraordinary grip in his hand, and I rushed back to London at the very end of his life, when he was no longer eating or drinking and was very close to the end, and I got back on a Thursday morning and he died at 6pm that evening, and I arrived and he took my hand and he gave me this hugely powerful squeeze of my hand, just hours before he died, he still had this great vigour of some sort, even to the end. [It was] hard for him to let go, but he did eventually.

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