I joined in August 1980. At the time, I had been working for BBC Radio Merseyside, where I had been very happy for five years. But Chris Kerr, who at the time, was involved with Merseyside Arts, used to come into Radio Merseyside and do short items and reviews on arts in the Merseyside area. He told me one day that Granada was setting up a studio in Exchange Flags, and they were looking for secretarial staff. He himself was going there to be deputy manager. He said ‘Would it be worth my while putting my name down? It hadn’t been advertised in the press. I’m not sure, well, if it had, I had missed it. So I went along for an interview. I was interviewed by Mrs. Margiotta. Did my typing test. They offered me the job. I started in August 1980 as the secretary for Granada Reports, in that office in Exchange Flags.
What was the job defined as?
It was defined as newsroom secretary, if I’m right. I have to say, because I never saw the advertisement, if there was an advertisement. Chris had said to me, “They’re just looking for secretaries.” So I was assigned to the newsroom. I think that was my title, Newsroom Secretary.
That was a fairly simple interview?
Yes, straightforward, in that the sort of interviews you had in those days, because we were then, obviously, it was not computerised. We didn’t even have electric typewriters. It was shorthand and typing. The usual things about what you had done in your previous job. I think it counted, the fact that I had worked at Radio Merseyside, so I was used to a certain amount of pressure, odd hours. I think that helped. I was familiar with certain ways of life, really. The way a newsroom operated. Also, that news isn’t 9-5, as we know.
You were in there right at the very beginning?
No, not quite at the very beginning. I think it might even have started a few months before I arrived, but because I was in this job at Radio Merseyside, the Radio Merseyside manager, who was a man called Rex Borden, knew David Highet, the manager at Liverpool Granada. They had known each other from The Echo. They decided, between themselves, when I should start, when Rex would let me go, and when David was okay to take me on board. So I wasn’t there at the very, very beginning. It was already up and running when I arrived.