Company set up by Sidney Bernstein and listed on the Stock Exchange

The Independent Television Authority (ITA) awards Granada the franchise for the North of England. The North of England franchise will be split between North West England and the three Ridings of Yorkshire with each license being seven days a week operations.

Construction begins on Granada studios

December – Denis Forman joins as personnel officer


Sidney and Cecil Bernstein become the first two directors of the Granada TV Network

May 3 – first broadcast

May – Zoo Time with Desmond Morris

October – first drama Shooting Star directed by Silvio Narizzano

November  – What The Papers Say first broadcast presented by Brian Inglis, then deputy editor of The Spectator – moved to Channel 4 in 1982 and to BBC in 1990, ending in 2008

November  – Look Back in Anger, Drama – Granada claimed an audience of over 4m


November – Death of a Salesman, drama – Bernard Levin ‘the best (production of a) play since ITV began’

April – Man United v Real Madrid, European Cup semi-final, live OB from Old Trafford. First live football on independent television.

JuneThe Army Game, comedy – ran until 1961

June – Criss-Cross Quiz ran until September 1967

July – People And Places, regional news magazine programme (runs until January 1963)

September – Chelsea At Nine, 60 one-hour weekly international cabaret


February: first by-election result coverage at Rochdale by-election.

May – All My Sons, Drama


March – Searchlight – documentary series –  ran for 27 episodes until June 1960 with a mixture of film and debate.

September – Marathon 1959 – general election coverage

November – The Crucible


All Our Yesterdays, originally presented by James Cameron and then Brian Inglis (1961) running until 1973 – each programme looked back at events in the same week 25 years earlier.

DecemberCoronation Street begins


Granada’s Annual Report states that the region has the largest number of ITV homes with just on 3 milllion

The Younger Generation – eleven new plays about, written and acted by young people

Bootsie and Snudge  – a comedy spin-off from The Army Game that ran until 1964 with a follow-up in 1974


June – You In Your Small Corner, Play of the Week – adaptation of a play by Jamaican-born Barry Reckord and believed to include the first televised interracial kiss on British television.

September  – University Challenge first broadcast

October – The Beatles made their television debut on People and Places from Studio Four performing two songs including their new single Love Me Do

Granada building opened, designed by Ralph Tubbs – the first commercial building to be built in Manchester after the Second World War


January – World In Action begins

March – Emmy-winning adaptation of War and Peace – produced by Derek Granger. At nearly three hours long, the production was shown in two parts on the same night either side of the evening news.



Blues and Gospel Train

Little Richard at Granada

Jerry Lee Lewis at Granada

Johnny Hamp at Granada



January – The Entertainers – controversial documentary about Northern clubs


The State of the Nation


Franchise renewed

Mick Jagger on World In Action

Coronation Street – the viaduct disaster

November – Ten Days That Shook The World co-production with Soviet TV on the Russian Revolution


David Plowright becomes Head of Programmes

The Caesars – drama

Nearest and Dearest

August 1968 – Technicians strike forces ITV off the air for several weeks although management manage to launch a temporary ITV Emergency National Service with no regional variations.


April – This is Your Right

Stones in the Park, World In Action

Johnny Cash at St Quentin


A Family At War, 51 part serial (or 52 parts?)

The Lovers, Drama

Disappearing World

April – WIA Poulson

May – 27 day strike


Disappearing World begins

Sam – drama

Shabby Tiger – drama


Country Matters

Another Sunday and Sweet FA – drama by Jack Rosenthal



Granada’s nightly news programme is relaunched as Granada Reports. It had previously had a number of different titles, including Northern Newscast, Scene at Six Thirty, Newsview and People and Places.

July – The State of the Nation

October – Granada Reports


Sir Denis Foreman appointed chairman

February – Granada 500 Election programme

October – Granada 500 Election programme

The Nearly Man, drama

April – The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club – Variety show


Arthur Hopcraft’s The Nearly Man – drama

The Cuckoo Waltz


July – So It Goes with Tony Wilson

September – Three Days In Szczecin, drama documentary

November – Reports Action

December – Laurence Olivier Presents. Series of dramas.

December – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner


The Krypton Factor

October – Hard Times, drama

Autumn – The Christians, presented by Bamber Gascoigne


April – Granada opens a news base in Liverpool.

Mike Scott appointed deputy programme controller

August Clouds of Glory – drama scripted by Melvyn Bragg and directed by Ken Russell


Sidney Bernstein retires as chairman and hands over role to his Cecil’s son, Alex

Sir Dennis Foreman appointed chairman

David Plowright appointed managing director

Mike Scott appointed programme Controller

August 1979 ITV strike begins and lasts for ten weeks

Granada 500 Election programme from Bolton


Franchise renewed

World In Action – the Steel Papers

May – Liverpool studio opens

November – Life for Christine

December – Paul Scott’s Staying On, Drama


The Good Soldier, Drama

Brideshead Revisited, Drama


May – The Queen visits Coronation Street

November – Channel 4 begins broadcasting


King Lear, starring Laurence Olivier

Granada 500, General election special

The Spanish Civil War, six part documentary



The Jewel In The Crown, drama

Regional news operation begins in Albert Dock.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Drama


Birmingham Six, World In Action

August – Albion Market first broadcast


New electronic regional news desk moves to the Dock Office in Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

August – Albion Market cancelled


David Plowright appointed Chairman of Granada TV


February – Granada launches 24-hour broadcasting.

Granada Studio Tours opened

October – This Morning first broadcast

Game, Set and Match 


April, Prime Suspect, police drama starring Helen Mirren

Gerry Robinson joins Granada as CEP

Charles Allen become Chief Executive Officer, Granada Television.

Franchise renewed


David Plowright resigns


Death of Lord Bernstein

Cracker, drama starring Robbie Coltrane, written by Jimmy McGovern


Takeover of LWT


1 October – Granada Sky Broadcasting launches. It is a joint venture between Granada and BSkyB. The four-channel service consists of Granada Plus, showing entertainment programmes from the archives of Granada and its subsidiaries; Granada Good Life is a lifestyle channel split into four segments: Granada Food & Wine, Granada Health & Beauty, Granada TV High Street and Granada Home & Garden; Granada Men & Motors is a channel aimed at men and broadcasts for three hours each night, after Granada Plus; and Granada Talk TV is a daytime-only debate channel.

Hillsborough, drama written by Jimmy McGovern


Takeover of Yorkshire Tyne Tees


December – After more than 35 years on air, the final edition of Granada’s current affairs programme World in Action is broadcast. It is replaced by Tonight.


Granada Studio Tours closes

April –Tonight With Trevor McDonald begins


July Granada merged with Compass Group to form Granada Compass plc


Demerger with Compass. Granada becomes Granada Ltd

Granada Studio Tours closed

Steve Morrison appointed Chief Executive


February Charles Allen becomes Chief Executive Officer


Blackburn and Chester offices closed


Granada Dock office closed.

Charles Allen steps down.


Move to Media City