David Boulton describes the ethos of Granada

Granada was built on the fact that there was a very, very close editorial connection between the people at the top and the people at the bottom. I mean the people in the middle, the producers worked directly to Dennis Forman, Sidney Bernstein and you made your decisions in accordance with what you felt they would agree with. …

So would you say that they did interfere?

Interference is a kind of very negative word. They didn’t interfere in the sense of saying, ‘I want you to do this’ or ‘I want you to do that’ but it was a very tight-knit company at the top. It was a company that was made by, developed by, formed by Sidney Bernstein and Dennis Forman. Both of them on the left politically. Both of them highly socially-conscious and they very deliberately chose around them people of the same outlook, the same view so that I can’t remember a single instance when they would say, ‘I want you to do this’. It was always ‘Shall we do this?’ ‘Could we do it?’ ‘Should we do it in this way rather than that way?’ This gave producers like myself (particularly when it came on to running World in Action) enormous strength because you knew that you had the top people in the company behind you. You knew, first of all, that you were working for journalists, programme-makers themselves, people who made films, made programmes and written journalism. You weren’t working for accountants and businessmen and even when we made horrible mistakes and there were significant mistakes that I made in my career, I might be called up and bollocked by them for making the mistake but they would defend us publically so interference is the wrong word but working collegially together was the way I experienced Granada.

 

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