So when you went for the Manchester interview for the promotion scriptwriter, what did they ask you and how did that go?
It was very casual. I think in those days they prided themselves on- they wanted to see a sparkle of personality or individuality, someone who’d fit rather than… Because you couldn’t really… you know, you didn’t know what a promotion scriptwriter was, really, apart from you know, you’d looked it up – unlike an assistant transmission controller’s job, I did actually get the job description right, vaguely, and it was making trailers and promotions. Which was, I think, ultimately, because Trish Kinane went through that, Andy Harries went through that, David Liddiment went through that, and it was a great opportunity to understand the nuts and bolts of the television building, in a way, because you had to trail down to the film- you had to work with film editors because you had to edit films in those days. You had to go and see the ATR, the sound guys, and you had to see the tape room, you had to understand how the building worked, and you made many films. You know, you had to condense – you got a drama or a documentary and it was going out tonight on Granada at 8 o’clock, it’s blah blah blah. Therefore you honed a skill of condensing the essence of a programme into a minute, or even 30 seconds. And then you had to work with the transmission controllers, a job I should have had!
So it was a very good discipline for a year or so. Then the progression was that you went for a researcher’s board, and I think I stayed in promotions for about 18 months, and then got a researcher’s board, and got it. I think the first thing I worked on was Trish Kinane producing Live from Two. And so that kicked me off in that world of chat shows.