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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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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Paul Greengrass transcript

Interviewed by Stephen Kelly, 5 May 2020. Let’s start at the beginning. Where were you before Granada? How did you come to join Granada? And when? Dates are quite important. I can remember when I joined. I joined in October ’77, and I was at university. I don’t think I was alone, I think, going…

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Tim Sullivan biography

Tim Sullivan joined Granada TV in 1981 as a researcher initially working on local programmes before move to light entertainment.  He became a director in 1984, later specialising in drama and left the company ten years later to direct the film Jack and Sarah.

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Alastair Mutch on how he came to join Granada

The wife’s godmother rang me one day and said, “Granada are advertising for an accountant.” I said, “Ooh, sounds more interesting than Nasmith, Coutts.” So I applied, got an invitation to go in and met the assistant chief accountant, who was Bill Dickson. 1965, so I must have struggled through that bit of the interview,…

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Alastair Mutch on programme budgets

A bit later on, I got put on the board. And then as company secretary, you did a legal report every board meeting, once a month, and you did a little piece, and spoke to the board about what was going on. It would be the late 80s by then. It was a fascinating time.…

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Alastair Mutch reflects on his Granada years

I think, overall, I was born at the right time. I think I was extremely lucky. Apart from the first few years of bombs, we had a long era of peace.I ended up at Granada, which was a fabulous place to work. Then three or four years with Ray (Fitzwalter) and Luise (Nandy) (at Ray…

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Alastair Mutch transcript

Interviewed by Geoff Moore, 6 May 2019. So take us back to your early life and where you grew up and so on. Early life was a long time ago! I was born in Wembley, right at the beginning of the war, so it was a fairly lively upbringing. Not that it bothered me at the…

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Glenda Wood describes preparing for a drama

What would be involved in working on a drama? Well, you get the first script – the first one was the white script, then the pink script came, then you got the blue script, which was the final one, and then you wrote down – they do it on a computer now, I believe –…

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Pete Terry on leaving Granada

I didn’t decide to leave. The writing sadly was on the wall. I took a redundancy, but it was becoming quite evident that finances were playing an important role, and it had become an unrecognisable company in many ways. We were then under the auspicious ruling of, I think, Charles Allen, and I think Gerry…

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Dorothy Byrne on working on Granada Reports

Granada Reports… was really, really a good programme, and within a very short number of weeks I was out making 10-minute films myself, and I just thought it was absolutely fantastic, and because we made, in Granada Reports, investigative films. I did a film investigating how bed and breakfasts in Blackpool were taking money from…

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Sidney Bernstein’s later years

Well, I think it was as well that a lot of that happened after he was really aware of what was going on. I think, you know, all good things come to an end. There were lots of external factors that were involved in the changes to the independent broadcasting scene. Not all of it…

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Sidney Bernstein’s legacy

  One aspect of his legacy which I have been personally involved in is the completion of restoration of the film that he began making in 1945, a documentary about the concentration camps, and there’s an extraordinary story there which is well covered in Andre Singer’s interesting documentary Night Will Fall, which was part-funded by…

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Andrew Serraillier recalls producing This Morning

Coming up to around 1988, that’s when Granada was commissioned to make This Morning, which was a 2 hour 10 minute live middle-of-the-morning programme. I don’t know if it’s just because I wasn’t doing anything at the time, but they made me the producer on that. Probably technically acting producer, but producer none the less.…

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Andrew Serraillier on Granada as a company

What I did find is that all the individuals I met might be divided into people who would encourage young people and others who’s kind of rough them up or resent them a bit. There were very few of the latter. I only met people who I thought were trying to help me. And the…

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Brian Park describes how he came to join Granada

I was at Edinburgh University. I had started a life as a perpetual student; I had done two degrees and was starting a PhD, but then I thought maybe I should try and get a proper job. In those days, the Guardian on a Monday had a strange thing called “Creative & Media Recruitment” and…

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Brian Park on the role of the promotion scriptwriter

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…

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