Brian Park on moving into drama, producing September Song

And so I gave up entertainment and I did a show called September Song with Russ Abbot and Michael Williams. And then, again, the great thing about Granada was – I ended up, because the producer of Prime Suspect, Paul Marcus, also late, wanted to, he got given a chance to direct, so they needed…

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Brian Park describes the ethos of Granada

The canteen was the great democratisation. You would see Denis Forman with his tray looking like one of the doorman. And they would make a point of sitting next to plebs and we would then have indigestion for half an hour! There was a feeling of a slight democracy about it, whether that was true…

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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,…

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Brian Park’s move to produce Coronation Street

After September Song, I did Prime Suspect. And then I spent a year with Granada Film trying to do strange set-ups. I remember shooting around Australia and Korea of all places. We tried to set up a film, but… and it was in the midst of that that the call came – and I think…

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Brian Park on ‘shaking up’ Coronation Street

I’ll put it this way. As with all these things, and you learn these things as you go, it’s like, “Oh right Brian, we want you go in and shake it up a bit” and when you start shaking it, they’re like “well we don’t want you to shake it too much though…” So you…

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Brian Park on why he was called “the axe man”

You mentioned that sometimes you had to be slightly ruthless. I remember the phase “the axe man” in the papers. Does that apply to both scriptwriters and cast? The thing that’s probably changed from then to now is that in those days, the huge interest that the papers – particular tabloids, the Sun and the…

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Brian Park on how he left Coronation Street and Granada

Did you enjoy it? Did I enjoy what? Working on Coronation Street? Oh, yeah, I really loved it. It was great having that amount of… it was like having a toy box and you just… yeah, we took risks, but… inevitably, with any job you do, I discovered, you have to stick your head above…

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Esther Dean describes how she came to join Granada

This is going to be quite a long story! I was always very stage-struck. I was brought up in Manchester. Even during the war I can remember going to the Robert Atkins, the open-air theatre from Regent’s Park coming up to the Whitworth Park. I think I was six and I saw Merchant of Venice…

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Esther Dean on her responsibilities once in production

Once you were in production, once you were filming or in the studio, what were your responsibilities then? Well, I liked to be around when the filming was going but obviously I couldn’t. But what I always liked to do was if there was an actor and they were wearing a new dress that hadn’t…

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Esther Dean on how costume brings out a character

  I think when we were talking about Hard Times, I don’t know if it was the same for Jewel, but you used costume as a way of placing someone in terms of time and perhaps their background, but also their position as a character, or how they felt. I always used to feel that…

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Esther Dean on the awards she received for her work

When I got the BAFTA for Hard Times, there hadn’t been craft awards before. I remember being very excited watching the awards when it was Country Matters and Derek Granger got the award for the best series, and we were jumping up in the air. I was in my flat but leaping round cheering that…

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Esther Dean’s memories of Sidney Bernstein

Bernstein used to walk round the building. He always used to walk round the building in a white shirt with rolled up sleeves. So all the managers used to walk round the building with white shirts and rolled up sleeves. He always used to eat in the canteen. Most places had a posh place for…

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Claudia Milne recalls the early programmes she worked on

It was a light entertainment programme called Nice Time. It had Kenny Everett and Germaine Greer, and Sandra Gough who was a Coronation Street star, and Jonathan Routh who had done a programme called Candid Camera, I think. It was very popular. It went out on a Sunday afternoon and they were hiring because it…

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George Turner on the ethics in filming

Did you ever feel that we were exploiting people? Well it depends who they were. Some of them probably deserved to be exploited, I would say! [laughs] No, I mean I think at the end of if you’ve got two ways to look at it. You’ve got obviously the professional people like politicians and things…

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