Wallen Matthie describes how he joined Granada

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Let’s do this chronologically when did you join Granada?

I joined Granada in 1981. I was approached initially, I used to work for the BBC on a freelance basis, I did a bit of radio for them. And then the riots took place in the summer of 1981, which I covered for the BBC. As a result of that I was then approached by Rod Caird at Granada to have a chat with the possibility of me joining them. At the time I was working for an organization called MCCR, which is Manchester Council for Community Relations. I did a lot of work around race relations and whatever else, talking to companies about their employment policies. Rod and Steve Morrison came to see me and we had a chat. I was encouraged to apply for a researcher’s post with Granada and I went along and the rest is history. I was successful. It was a very strange interview actually because on the panel was Rod Caird, Steve Morrison – there were four people there – and there was this lady, this woman who was fairly senior in Granada, called Joyce Wooller, who sat there in the entire interview and said nothing at all, just looked and looked and smiled. I left the interview think, huh, not sure. Then I got a phone call literally the same afternoon from Rod Caird to say we’re going to hire you. So, as they say, the rest is history.

I started off working on regional programmes and then it was a pecking order. If you were good enough you’d be working on fairly prestigious programmes within regionals and then if you were really good enough you’d be working on networked programmes, the pinnacle was World in Action – if that’s what you wanted. There was a whole range of stuff there certainly at regional levels, whether the sports department or documentaries. So I did news for quite a while and then I moved over to do This Is Your Right for about six months.

 

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