Daphne Hughes on her technical knowledge

You must have built up a great technical knowledge?

Yes. Well, I mean I’m not a technical person as really, but I knew where people were. Again, just to go back to Tonight with Trevor, because we were in Manchester, but even when I went down and worked in London and the ITN office, I used to get, rather than pick up the phone, say to somebody, “Can you help me with this?” I used to go in person and I’d go and say, “I want to arrange, let’s say, I want to arrange this satellite fee from Washington. Let’s talk through how we can do it.” I did that in Manchester. I used to go down to the area where the technical support people were. I’d go down there. Some of them were a bit touchy, but I would also sit there and wait while the material was fed from London or wherever, I’d sit with them. I’d take the tape. If I needed a copy making, I’d ask them most politely. You have to be very diplomatic. I did always make a point of not trying to be too much of a show off or anything like that or being unpleasant to them because someone them of them would be a bit of angsty about it. I always made that point, so I didn’t necessarily have the knowledge, but I knew who to go to and say, “Help me with this, talk me through this. I’m not a technical person.” I got results by that rather than picking up the phone and shouting at someone saying, “Why didn’t you do two copies when I asked you for two?” Just little things like that.

Was it a problem being a woman?

No, I don’t think so. No. Because I never felt that. No.

Right. It was more techie than gender.

More techie. Yes, more techie. I wasn’t techie, but I was never afraid of asking a question and I never pretended. What I’m trying to say is I never pretended to know something. I’d hold my hands up and say, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

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