Arthur Taylor’s memories of Mike Scott

Fantastic enthusiasm. Very creative. I think an absolute top notch interviewer – one of the best. Either one to one, or interviewing a hall full of people, he was terrific. He used to empathise with people, and he wanted to create something different at that time in local programmes, and was willing to take risks with people who didn’t necessarily have any TV background, so that was good. I was very friendly with him, but he couldn’t be exasperated because as I said, he was he was very easily distracted. He had a Lagonda that he was having restored in Stockport, and he kept taking me to see this bloody car, and I wasn’t interested at all! And of course, his wife Sylvia had an antique store on the Portobello Road or something. So he would go around antique places in Manchester, auctions, and buy stuff. And of course he was a terrible womaniser, so he was always off with… he was easily distracted, let’s say. But we got along very well. I think he was slightly annoyed with me because I married his secretary, and she was his secretary when I met her. So I liked Mike. And I remember I think when he was programme controller he called me and said, “I want to show you something.” And he took me to a building opposite where there was a whole set being built for a new series called Albion Market. And he was convinced that this was going to be another Coronation Street, you know, and I don’t know why, I don’t know why, but I thought, “This is not going to work. It’s not going to work.” The cast maybe is not strong enough, they don’t have the writers that Coronation Street had, and the rest of the companies aren’t going to let Granada do another Coronation Street. Of course, in those days everything had to be argued in a committee in London, because there were lots of different companies pitching within the commercial network, pitching for different things. And I guess you had to be quite ruthless. Scott was… he was certainly not ruthless. He probably wasn’t a ruthless guy. So I didn’t think it was going to work. And it didn’t, did it?
I met him after he left Granada altogether. He was still doing a thing called The Time and the Place, do you remember that one? It was kind of an afternoon chat show. And he was doing it on a freelance basis. Now, I’m not sure how it worked, whether he had a company or whether he worked for a company, but he actually asked my wife Jean to come and work for him. From home. And she came back and said, “There’s something wrong. He’s not the same guy.” Now, she didn’t elaborate, but she had known him very well when she was his secretary in ’68, and she saw that there was something. Strange, isn’t it? Strange. So yes, I was terribly, terribly, terribly sad about that, because he was fundamentally a nice guy.

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