Anne McGarry on what made Granada distinctive in its early years

There were two aspects to it. Firstly, there’s Granada as a working environment, and secondly, there’s Granada’s reputation, I suppose, as a television company. Firstly, compared with other companies I’ve worked for, before and since, during my time at Granada, I can own only describe the environment as being friendly and comradely. There was of…

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Anne McGarry on how Granada extended its programming in 1964

Now, in the autumn of 1964, Granada as well as the transmitting Scene At 6.30 began to really emphasise its commitment to the North of England introducing what it called its Granada in the North concept and this involved two or three minutes of newsy features which were meant to supplement or replace the continuity…

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Anne McGarry’s memories of Bob Greaves joining Granada

He (Bob Greaves) came to Granada, he replaced Terry Dobson as news editor. I think he was about 30 years old, although he was married and he had two children he gave me the impression of being a little older and more mature for his age. He was a lovely and pleasant and down to…

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Anne McGarry on a typical day on Northern Newscast in the 1960’s

At the beginning, it was called Northern Newscast and it was a five-minute… sometimes it was little bit longer, sometimes they might give you six or seven minutes. You just had to take what they scheduled you on. So, my job description was that of secretary to the news editor, but the setup in the…

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Anne McGarry’s memories of David Plowright

David Plowright was the news editor. He joined the company two years before. I had no idea what he’d eventually become, of course. And he was a 30-year-old man who was very energetic and confident, I’m even tempted to say charismatic. He was a friendly, no-nonsense type of a guy, who insisted on first name…

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Andre Singer on how he joined Granada

How did you come to join Granada? Because I don’t think you set out to be a filmmaker, did you? Not at all, absolutely not. I knew nothing about film whatsoever. I was a potentially bad academic at the time, and finishing, or writing up, a doctorate at Oxford and worrying about what might have…

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Andre Singer describes his director’s training

I then got frustrated and said, “I really want to make these myself.” You know, I’ve now learnt enough about what it takes to want to make these kinds of films rather than just keep feeding another director each time. And unlike Chris, who went straight into directing because he had done current affairs and…

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Andre Singer on the reaction of other anthropologists to Disappearing World

You’d come from an academic background, and I wondered what your fellow academics made of Disappearing World? Oh, they hated it! Initially. It was seen as populous television then. I mean, it’s changed dramatically ever since, and now it’s almost a staple in every anthropology department around the country. That change has been quite phenomenal,…

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Andre Singer recalls the challenges in making Disappearing World

Were there any countries that you couldn’t get access to? Was there anywhere that you wanted to film but for various reasons you couldn’t? Or was it always usually quite straightforward? Yes, I was a bit stymied with my own area of interest, which was Iran. And I’d done my fieldwork in Iran, and I…

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Jim Grant describes the role of a Transmission Controller

The structure of ITV back then was, any one day of the week, because London had two companies – Thames during the week and London Weekend from Friday night through Sunday night – there were 15 companies in total, therefore, but 14 on the air at any one time, of which five were majors and…

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Jim Grant talks about his writing career as Lee Child

I should have said also that it shouldn’t surprise people that I’ve never written anything before, because most writers… I mean, a lot of writers, sure, from seven years old, they’ve got like exercise books and they’ll draw little compositions in or whatever. But fundamentally you don’t do anything. What you do is read. You…

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Jim Grant’s initial impressions of Manchester

I was very aware of joining something that was changing, moving away from the past. That Manchester talking truth to London thing, was starting… it was very 50s and it dissipated in the 60s. And it was on the way out in the 70s. The idea that Britain was so regionally divided, but it was…

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Jim Grant talks about how he came to join Granada TV

I just loved entertainment.  I loved the idea of putting on a show, that collaboration, that sort of intense relationship with other creative people. I’d always been exhilarated by that. So, I knew there was no question in my mind, I wanted to work in the field of entertainment. Theatre seemed, to me, to be,…

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Jim Grant remembers the Granada company as a family

I walked in there as a new trainee, and my boss was David Black, head of presentation. And his boss was Joyce Wooller, who had a seat on the board, reporting to the board chairman who I think, at that point, was Cecil Bernstein, maybe Sydney, maybe. Maybe David Plowright was effectively the top guy,…

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Jim Grant remembers the unions at the start of his career at Granada

Many things by coincidence from the beginning of my career to the end and were a progression. And those 18 years were really an arc for the union. It started out when I joined, it was absolutely all powerful. It was an old-fashioned traditional trade union, a fascinating thing actually, because fundamentally the structure and…

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Jim Grant on how Granada began to change

The old days were great at Granada, especially because, as I said earlier, Granada had been this brave documentary producer. But I sensed when I got there that they were getting a little weary of that, a little scared of it. The British Steel episode, which I’m certain the archive covers extensively, have been… you…

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Jim recalls his long working hours at Granada

If we were properly staffed five and five – you know, five pairs of people – if we were properly staffed, it was a relatively okay, sort of around about a 37-hour week, and antisocial hours of course, but not too bad. And we had, what they called notional weekends, so that your weekend might…

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Jim Grant describes how he became more involved in the ACTT union

So yes, the union situation was super formal, and the committee meetings were all run to Robert’s rules of order, super formal, proper minutes, all of that kind of thing. I was used to that culture from having grown up in Birmingham, but I did love the north west flavour on it. Like I say,…

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