What are the highlights looking back over these times? What are your highlights of your time at Granada?
Well, I don’t know. If I look back on it and I sort of couldn’t have had a better progression in life. I mean I suppose the norm for many people is that you hit your peak and then you jog along or you… I don’t know. I was just getting bigger and bigger and newer jobs always, but if you want a slightly frivolous answer to the most thrilling thing is when we had to produce a defence document for the City and Denis Forman said, “Well, the money men can do the thing. I’m making a film about how terrific Granada is,” and he did. He went ahead and was getting pretty close to submission time and the lawyers came in. He showed them the film and one of the things that we were doing at the time and it came about from me meeting some Americans during the satellite imaginations, I’d come across this outfit called Hubbard Broadcasting. It was a private third generation family broadcasting firm in Minnesota and we had various discussions and this guy, Stanley Hubbard III said, “Well, why don’t we do something together? Why don’t we sign a kind of agreement that we will put together some mutually agreed projects?” I had mentioned this at the group board and said, “Yes, seems like a good idea.” You can speculate now. All the old stuff is going down the tubes, so that was put in motion and Denis had mentioned it in the film and then the lawyers looked at it and they said, “This joint venture with Hubbard Broadcasting, can we see the agreement?” We said, “We haven’t got one. We’re just started a relationship. It’s been negotiating.” They said, “We won’t do it. You can’t put anything in this document or film that can’t be documented,” they said. Denis said… much of my life has been about what Denis said to me. Denis said to me, “Give your friend Stanley Hubbard a ring. Tell him quite frankly what we’re about. Then go to America, sit down with him, produce a heads of agreement.” I said, “Right.” We’ve got days in which to do this. I rang Stanley. He said, “Fine. Well, I’ll be I’m Florida for the next few days.” I said to Denis, “I don’t know how I’m going to get to Florida, sit down with Stanley and a lawyer. We had American lawyers. I’ll have to pick up a lawyer in New York.” Denis said, “It can be done. Get on Concorde.”
Did you go?
So I did. I got on the Concorde. 780 miles an hour or something to New York, got a cab straight to the New York lawyers, went to another airport somewhere in New York, got on a plane to Florida, had the meeting, and reversed the process, got back and did it… got there, signed the heads of agreement, utterly meaningless, but it was on paper and back in three days.