Judith Jones on the importance of the PA to Granada Reports

So Granada Reports was the local half-hour live news programme in the evening, generally had two presenters, usually had at least one interview, and would also have lots of film or VT inserts into it. Because it was a live news programme, and because people were, for example, editing their film right up to the…

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Judith Jones describes her training to be a Production Assistant

So the role as a production assistant, it’s always a problem because it gets shortened to PA, and people always think of it as secretarial. It’s basically the organiser of the programme, and one of the good things about being a production assistant is that you are involved in the programme from the pre-production and…

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Judith Jones on how she came to join Granada and her role

How did you come to join Granada Television? Well, in 1980, Granada opened a news base at Exchange Flags in the centre of Liverpool, just behind the town hall. Part of the rationale for doing that was that they wanted to ensure that they still had the franchise in the Granada area; they had been…

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Jim talks about his colleagues at Granada

Well, Tony, I hope it doesn’t sound too schmaltzy and so on, but I miss him every day. I was not a visitor to The Hacienda, that wasn’t my thing. I didn’t know much about Factory Records and all that sort of scene. But I did know about was if anybody encapsulated the north west,…

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Jim Hancock on the night of the long knives

I don’t know how personal you want me to get here, but obviously… Luise Nandy was my producer, and towards the end of my time I used to present specials from the party conferences, and Luise Nandy was my producer. Obviously she was in relationship with Ray Fitzwalter and Luise was in despair, and Ray…

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Jim Hancock talks about Gerry Robinson and Charles Allen.

I said to you that I hadn’t enjoyed the sixth floor because David Plowright had all these political connections and didn’t need my services very much. But Charles Allen was not experienced in the political world at all. We’d actually stopped having receptions at party conferences, David Plowright phased them out a bit in my…

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Jim on the canteen

You would sit down on a table and you’d be next to someone from World in Action, and somebody else from Brideshead Revisited. I mean, I said I’d talk about that aspect of it. But no, I just think the Old School, which literally was an old school, it was just across from King Street…

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Granada and the world of politics

Occasionally I was asked to sort of step out of my role as political editor, particularly when the franchise round came up in, I think it was ‘89 or ‘90. And trying to find out what the government were going to do when they launched that extraordinary auction of franchises, and to try and get…

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On Granada’s politics

World in Action was a programme that was based on a radical and general investigation. And I think that that helped to define the personality of the company. But it was broader than that, I mean, you know, we haven’t talked conceptually about Granada, but I think it was, and its enduring image is of…

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And not forgetting North Wales

I should’ve mentioned this before, because it was relevant, at the Granada editorial map, they’d include, to some extent, North Wales. They had a lot of viewers in North Wales because a lot of them were Mancs and Scousers who’d moved out to North Wales. In fact, if you went to  Mold and places like…

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On becoming Political Editor and interviewing Margaret Thatcher.

I remember one of my first interviews was with the great lady, Mrs Thatcher, when she was privatising the water industry. And I said to her, “All they’ll be interested in is making profits,” and she pointed her finger right in my face and said, “Profits? Aren’t Granada Television interested in making profits?” And the…

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Jim on covering north west politics

My brief, and it was something that I felt very strongly about, was to report politics in the north west, and that particularly meant local government, as well as what the MPs were doing, but also go to Westminster. I had operated briefly in the BBC under a system where they had a Westminster reporter…

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Jim remembers Granada’s Liverpool office and ENG.

Very soon after I joined Granada, I was re-based over in the Albert Dock because – and there was quite a story behind this – Granada was criticised in Liverpool for being very much Manchester orientated, and as you probably know, Liverpool is a proud city and indeed a very interesting city, both culturally and…

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Jim Hancock explains how he came to join Granada.

I’d been president of Manchester University Students’ Union. And in the course of that job, I bumped into a chap called Norman Quick, who ran a big Ford car business in the north west. And he’d been made a director of the soon to go on air commercial radio station, Piccadilly Radio. And he said…

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Sylvia Cowling describes her union activities

The union, we had two shops, the live shop and the film shop. ACTT it was called in those days, the Association of Cinematographer and Television Technicians. Golly, I didn’t think I could remember that! And of course, it was a closed shop, so you joined the union when you joined Granada. Didn’t bother me…

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Sylvia Cowling on leaving Granada

At what point did you look to leave, and were you made redundant? No, no, I wasn’t. I moved on to other jobs. I moved down out of the library entirely in 1998. And that was when I became the project manager for PARIS. And then that evolved into being involved with database transfer. You…

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Sylvia Cowling on some of the famous people she met

Real relationships were set up. Sometimes people would actually come from London to view. They’d come, they’d stay overnight because they wanted to view a lot of your material. And I remember Tony Palmer came up. He was writing the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love, and making a series of programmes about it for…

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Sylvia Cowling recalls the technological changes in her role

Lynn Lloyd, who has now died, unfortunately. I remember when she was shop steward coming in one day and saying, “I’m going to America.” Oh, yes? She and somebody from the newsroom, whose name I can’t remember beyond Eleanor. I think she may have been one of the live shot people, but in the newsroom.…

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Sylvia Cowling on the role of the film library

The staff in the library were good, we got on well together and we had… people came into the library. We weren’t isolated. We were down the end of a corridor past the editing suites. But you see, editing, I think… editors and the directors used to get fed up with sitting in small rooms…

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Sylvia Cowling describes how she joined Granada

I joined in June 1970. It was my first proper job. I’d had vacation jobs before as a student and they’d been mainly, in fact wholly, in academic libraries over in Leeds, where I come from. Because we had a friend at our church who ran the art college library in Leeds, and she just…

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The Stables Theatre

I’ve got to mention The Centre Players. They were a group of Granada employees who’d got together to perform at The Stables Theatre in the mid-‘70s. I produced two productions there with the Players: Old Time Musical 1974 and the following year, Whatever Happened to Pantomime? Peter Moran was our magician and the barbershop quartet…

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Remembering Sidney Bernstein and David Plowright

I’ll always remember Sidney doing his rounds and looking for dust. Sidney just used to just show up without warning, so everything had to be kept neat and tidy. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, management were a delight. They didn’t always agree with you, but they always listened. Until we won the franchise and Alex…

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John on taking redundancy

I had applied once previously and they said, “No, no, no, you’re too valuable. We can’t let you go. We want you to stay.” The attitude changed completely once I became shop steward and became a troublemaker. So they decided that, “Well, maybe we can let you go.” I said, “Yes, but I want a…

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John on becoming a lighting director

In 1980 I got my own crew. Or ‘79, ‘80, I got my own crew, with certain people on it, and it took me until 1988 to get a job as a trainee lighting director. I applied three times. Well, the first time they wanted two, because they were going to train new lighting directors…

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John’s early years at Granada

I started on October 4, 1964. Tom Price was the head of cameras, and I was put on Les Chatfield’s crew. Les, at the time, was still working as a senior cameraman. Shortly afterwards, he had back problems, and he was taken off and he was put on a director’s course, which was really good…

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