David Bernstein talks about the penthouse at Granada.

Yes. So if there was a board meeting or something happening up there, he wouldn’t be with us in London, he wouldn’t be with us in Kent – Jane and I went to school in London from the age of seven or eight. So I was both in 1955, so… 1963, we would have been based in London during the school week, and if my father wasn’t there it’s because he was in Manchester and he would stay in the penthouse, and other directors – my Uncle Cecil, Denis Forman and others – Victor Pierce, Joe Wharton, Bob Carr – they all might, at various times, had use of the flat in Manchester. I remember going there, and my sister Jane remembers the menu that Miss Thorne served more clearly than I do, so I’ll just leave that as a teaser for your interview with her.

Well, my father’s homes, and all of the business premises that I knew of, had a similar look and feel, and in hindsight, and a little pejoratively, some people called it ‘eau de Nil’, but it was a kind of grey-green, rather inoffensive, and nothing too strong in colour, but at the same time my father was definitely a manqué architect, and loved getting involved in jobs of any sort, whether they were his business or not. There was always a modern line, so something clean, functional, practical, about all the projects he was involved in, but nothing in terms of colour or design that would distract, interfere or annoy. So no busy, loud prints. Soft, quiet colours and tones, but practical modernity as it was, and you see that just in the building of the Television Centre I think, in the styling of it, against the rather – am I allowed to say ‘bleak’? – industrial architecture, without that sounding too southern, pejorative… I don’t mean it that way at all. But something striking and modern. Was he called Tubbs, the architect? (Ralph Tubbs) I don’t remember. He enjoyed that. Later on, when I was a bit older, I was very aware of him getting involved in design features of the motorway service stations, which was when I was a bit older and I was aware of what was going on there, and also what happened around our homes and his private life, but one of the things that I admired about my father, and I think Granada benefited from, was that he didn’t see any reason why any of the commercial operations he was involved in should have anything but the best input in terms of design and style. And similarly, in the history of the television station that we both worked for, you would know that when he wanted to put on drama and Shakespeare, he went to Laurence Olivier – he wanted the best, and he didn’t see why the viewers at Granada shouldn’t have the best.

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