Arthur Taylor recalls the programme On Site

I was a researcher on a programme called On Site. I should have said I was very lucky at the time, because Mike Scott had just been made executive producer of local programmes, and had torn up the old system and wanted to create it in his own image, and completely changed everything. And there was a specific programme, Monday through to Friday, and On Site was one of these programmes. And this again was one of his pet programmes. Because Mike, in those days, was a big believer in taking television to the people, and that’s precisely what On Site did. You went out to a town for each programme, you found people with complaints against authority, whether it was the local authority or the utility company or whatever, you got those people onto a kind of hustings, outside broadcast, outdoors, and the people who possibly could solve their problems, or answer their problems, would be in the studio. And in the studio they were hosted by a very suave Scots guy called John McGregor. Out on the hustings, there was this lovely guy called Ray Gosling who I got to be… Ray was a great friend after that for years and years, up until very recently. And poor Ray would be out there in a dirty mac, usually in the pouring rain… I mean, it was structured so that everybody’s sympathy was with the people outside, and not the people who were in the nice warm studio with John McGregor. And apparently it was a very successful series. So that was that. That was my introduction to television. And the first thing I did as a researcher was to go down and research a programme with people in Liverpool, and they put me up in the Adelphi Hotel with a private room with a private phone, and I loved going out and meeting people and chatting to people, I loved watching the way that the programme was put together, it was just magical. Outside Broadcast unit, this, that and the other, literally within a week, and I was 28 or 29 years old, I had never known what I wanted to do, but now I did. I did. And I wanted to be a producer; I wanted to make programmes. I joined in the summer of 1968, when they made this first series.

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