Brian Park on Granada’s legacy

I think Granada’s legacy as a television company… you were very aware of its history and its achievements. ….I think it imbued a certain esprit de corps that… you certainly were proud to have gone through the ranks, and you know, I was there for 18 years, so this was quite a long time. Again, by my time, that idea that you moved on – because when we were there, there were people who had been there like Jim Walker who’d been there for years and years, and certainly from the technical side, people assumed they had jobs for life. When we were there, the influx of that freelance mentality was starting to come in, but I think we were all there at a certain time when there was a huge transition in terms of union practices and the makeup of what was television. ….

And the thing that those seismic shifts that you had where ITV, Granada ate up all the other companies eventually… the fact that nobody expects a job for life anymore. The fact that even within drama, the advent of Netflix and Amazon has just completely changed [things].

It’s a very shifting world that we’ve gone in. And I think it’s an apt thing for us to do this, because I don’t think people will understand that sort of “homo Granadicus” – remember Denis Forman’s title? – I think that era has gone. The BBC still has it to an extent, but Granada always was the BBC of ITV. It’s probably been said before. And the fact that it did give you a label that you were happy to accept, that you were a Granada person, and I do genuinely feel that you were aware of its traditions and its histories, and you were proud to have learnt… it schooled me, it absolutely schooled me. There was no way about it that I learnt something there, some sort of values…

Also, at its worst, it could leaden you, and I suppose like all institutions it could carry people in its day, but if you think of the people who went through it and went on to bigger, greater things, I think everyone has a fond memory of Granada and the fact that you got to experiment and jump around and do things, whether it was in our cases going from entertainment to serious documentaries, and local shows to network shows.

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