You continued as a non-vision announcer for how many years?
Well I starred in ‘68 and I think they went into vision in the middle 80s. Granada never liked in-vision continuity. They never followed suit from the other companies who had a lot of in-vision. I mean, you might remember ABC TV up here, who did the weekends up here. So they had their announcers in-vision. I mean a big star I think was David Hamilton, was the big announcer here. So you had Granada out of vision Monday to Friday, and then ABC Saturday and Sunday where there were announcers in vision. And Granada weren’t that keen on that. Actually, when I first [started] you weren’t allowed to give your name out on the air. The closedown, you couldn’t say, “This is Colin Weston signing off.” You could sign off but you couldn’t say what your name was. That’s how strict they were when I first joined. But that was the, that was company policy.
So it was only in the mid 1980s that you went in vision.
Yes, we all went into vision, but it was very restricted though, so we did the lunchtime news at about half past one, and then you maybe did an intro in vision into children’s programmes, and then one at seven o’clock to introduce and welcome people for the evening thing, and then closedown – that’s all you were allowed to do. Because they thought it would be popular, but they weren’t that keen on it to be honest with you. They sort of thought, “Well, we’ll try. We’ll dip our toes in the sea and see what happens.” I never felt, you know, I had worked for other companies in vision, and that was the norm. But with Granada it was the exception, it was just… you know, “We’ll do it. We’ll tolerate it, we’ll do it and see how it goes.” But it was popular. We all got lots of fan mail from viewers, all four of us. So it worked, but the company… you see, it’s not the viewers that matter really I’m afraid, in some cases it’s what the management want. It’s a cat and mouse game with them. They used to say you could only do these in vision, by used to add some extra ones now and again and I got into trouble with that. Then I went back, and it was like a cat and mouse game with them actually. But it was popular.
How did you feel about going in vision?
Well, when I left Granada first time around – I was only there a year and a half and then they didn’t renew my contract – and then I went to Anglia Television in Norwich, where they were big on in vision, and I learnt my in vision from there.