Claudia Milne’s thoughts on Granada’s links with the North West

People like Plowright were very proud of its links with the north. I don’t think that came from Forman as much as it did with Plowright. I might be wrong. As far as I know Forman never lived in Manchester and Plowright did live in the North West. I don’t think he lived in Manchester. But I think that they did resent the metropolitan bias of the establishment and I think that was why there was this sort of questioning attitude, and not accepting the status quo attitude.

You mentioned Dave Jones, the Liverpudlian presenter. Were there other presenters from the north?

Oh yes. Bob Greaves, Bob Smithies, they all were, virtually, apart from Sue Woodford who was a presenter or Granada Reports.

My perception of World in Action is that it’s the one programme that did straddle Manchester and London. Was there a tension between essentially Granada being in Manchester and there also being a London office?

Yes, there was a bit, because quite a lot of people in London really resented having to go to Manchester and had never worked in Manchester, so yes, I think there was some tension. Also in terms of the union, because the London shop was dominated by production people and not by technicians, very often the London shop was passing resolutions and doing things which they really objected to in Manchester.

And did that affect the stories that you did?

No, I don’t think so.

I suppose you were looking nationally and internationally.

I’m sure that there were more stories rooted in the North West that we could have done anywhere but we decided to do them in the North West. When there was the Liverpool docks thing about stuffing and stripping containers… actually that’s a bad example because it started in Liverpool. But I think with industrial things, we did a lot of programmes and we tended to do those in the North West.

Leave a Reply