Steve on leaving Granada

In 1986 or 1987, something like that, I wrote a book. A publisher had given me an advance to write the official history of Liverpool Football Club. I was a big Liverpool fan. And they asked me to write a big coffee table book with lots of photographs, the official history of Liverpool Football Club.…

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Steve on Granada’s lack of diversity

Yes, Granada had an appalling record in terms of diversity. When I worked at Granada, I think we counted six black people in the company. Yes, there was just six, maybe seven out of a workforce of more than 1,000, which is a disgrace. An utter disgrace. A very good friend of mine, Wallen Mattie,…

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Steve remembers Granada’s commitment to the region

When I was living on Merseyside, back in Birkenhead in the 1960s, I distinctly remember programmes like People and Places, and Scene at 6:30, the magazine programmes that preceded Granada Reports. Strong regional identification. And there were also lots of half hour documentaries, which were about the north west, which might be slightly quirky ones.…

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Steve with fond memories of Jim Walker and Scramble

I was asked to go and do this major series about Islam, which was going to be based in London, because Granada had the London office. So the producer was in London, and it was really going to be based in London. And I was given the opportunity to go work on this major, major…

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Steve recalls life on the shop committee

I was a strong trade unionist. I’d had a trade union scholarship to Ruskin College at Oxford. So I’d been a strong trade unionist all my life, my father was a very strong trade unionist, and have been secretary of his local engineering union branch. So coming to Granada, I mean, yes, it was a…

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Steve remembering the Granada 500

Granada 500 was a major general election programme, which I think started with the ‘74 general election. Anyhow, I was there in ‘79 for the general election, and did some work on the Granada 500. It’s a really interesting idea and is, like many TV programmes, deserving of some very serious consideration and reflection. What…

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Steve remembers What The Papers Say

It was weekly, it went out on a Friday night. Regarded by many as the best job in British television. It was terrific. I loved What the Papers Say, I had a great time. It wasn’t over demanding to be honest. Lots of interesting people, journalists. But the routine basically was, you came into work…

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Steve talks about Hypotheticals

Yes, I worked on Hypotheticals from January 1982 until June 1982, and a series that was to do with the police, called The Police and the Public. Now, Hypotheticals is a really interesting idea that had been devised, I think, in the late 40s, early 50s, in America, at the Ford Foundation, and it had…

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Steve senses Granada on the cusp of change

I very much got the sense, particularly into the 80s – and this is one of the reasons why I left – but from the mid 80s onwards, Channel 4 had started, and Channel 4 had broken things up and introduced these production companies. And there was the threat of the 1990 Broadcasting Act. And…

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Steve remembers the Channel4 programme Union World

Yes, I think probably Union World. I was always doing the party conferences every year when they were in Blackpool, so we would have the TUC, the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. You wouldn’t get all three at the same time, you would get one or two in Blackpool, so I was working on…

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The World In Action culture

It was a very macho culture. I was trying to think of any women who worked on World in Action at the time, but I can’t think of any at all. Claudia might have been there or there abouts, I don’t know. I can’t think of any other women who were on it at the…

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Steve remembers World In Action

So after the six one-offs for Union Power, I was brought onto World in Action. The Labour Party was in the process of introducing selection and deselection of members of parliament. Prior to this, if you were a member of parliament for a constituency, you were there forever. So even if the party fell out…

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Coming up with programme ideas

One was quite regularly writing memos to Ray Fitzwalter or David Boulton, trying to persuade them to do ideas that you’d come up with, usually for World in Action. I hadn’t been at Granada very long, I’d only really been there about a month, and I wrote a memo to David Boulton and Ray Fitzwater…

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Steve remembers working on Union Power

Yes, that would probably be about then. Coming up to the general election. Weekend World, which was done by London Weekend Television, was a one-hour lunchtime programme, which went out on the Sunday. And during the summer, they had a break, so Granada was given those six one-hour slots. So Gus had this idea of…

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Steve remembers the 1979 strike

Yes, the strike was about pay. It was the summer of 1979. It was a strike that lasted for nine weeks. I remember being told about the strike, we were actually having a big lunch somewhere, I think with the Reports Politics team. I remember Gordon was there, and Jeremy Fox came in. Jeremy Fox…

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Steve recalls working on Reports Politics

Just before the strike, I went to work on Reports Politics, and worked on that for a year. It was a weekly, local political programme. It was a half-hour programme which consisted of something like a 10-minute film and one, maybe two studio interviews. It had a great team working on it. David Kemp, who…

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Steve talks about Granada as a left-wing company

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Granada was a left-leaning company. There was no doubt – I mean, Sidney Bernstein took the Labour whip when he became Lord Bernstein. After the 1979 General Election when the Labour Party got wiped out, Granada employed Brian Sedgemore, Labour MP, Jack Straw, who’d been MP for Blackburn,…

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Steve remembers working in Locals

I didn’t work on Granada Reports for very long. It was suddenly the summer, and in August, nothing happened on Granada Reports, they’d just put out an evening bulletin. It was great fun, because the bulletin would last about 10 minutes. And there wouldn’t be too many of us in there, because a lot of…

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Steve’s impressions of Manchester in 1978

I didn’t particularly want to go to Manchester. I had a life in London, I was very active in the Labour Party in London, I was chairman of the of the Hendon South Labour Party. I was very active. Things were great. I loved Tribune, but as I say, the pay wasn’t very good. So…

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Steve remembers the Granada boards

They did. I mean, I’ve been very critical of these boards, because you saw it the whole way through the Granada process, is that it’s very Oxbridge. And there was a lot of bullying went on in the board, and people trying to impress other people on the board rather than really focusing on the…

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Stephen Kelly talks about how he came to join Granada

I was working for the political weekly newspaper, Tribune, at the time. I’d not gone to university until much later in life, because I’d left school when I was 16 to work in the local shipyard, Cammell Laird, and I had become involved in trade union activities. I won a trade union scholarship to Ruskin…

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Judith Jones transcript

Interviewed by Stephen Kelly, 29 January 2021. 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…

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Judith Jones on leaving Granada

At what point did you decide to leave and why? Okay, so I got married in 1986, and wanted to start a family. And you married someone from Granada!  I married someone from Granada! So there were two of us juggling our careers at Granada. I was really looking forward to being a mother, and…

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Judith Jones on the gender challenges at Granada

What was it like being a woman at Granada? Okay, so at that time, the production assistant, you have to have secretarial skills, you had to be able to type, and to a lesser extent you had to be able to do shorthand. So, because of that skill set, although that was only a small…

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Judith Jones on Coronation Street and Rock Around the Dock

Well, as a PA, which was great, you worked across the whole range of programmes. So you’d do live programmes, you’d do documentaries, you’d do light entertainment, and you’d do drama. And I think drama was seen as the crème de la crème, and certainly the most senior PAs would get the really prestigious dramas,…

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Judith Jones recalls working on World in Action

And you had a stint on World in Action? Yes. All the PAs had to do – it varied, so sometimes it was 12 months, and for me it was six months – so you did six months on World in Action. Again, I suppose in later years, as the crew became smaller, I’m not…

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Judith Jones on the Disappearing World on the French Basque community

Well, also on the strength of me speaking French, another film that I did was a Disappearing World, which was about the Basques in the very south of France. Disappearing World, it was quite an unusual one for the Disappearing World series. So Disappearing World usually went off to remote areas, and with a very…

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