David Highet on Granada’s first premises in Liverpool at Exchange Flags

The premises had been found in what turned out to be the most unsuitable location. The studio centre was in Exchange Flags, which is a set of very fine office buildings set on a piazza, the other side of which is completed by Liverpool Town Hall and the centre of which is dominated by what I think (and I should know) is the Nelson Memorial. It’s a very fine public square and not the sort of place where you should put television producers who make a lot of noise. The tenants who worked in Exchange Flags (Derby House one side and Sefton House, the other) tended to be the professional classes – lawyers, accountants, insurers, marine underwriters – that class of person and in the lease that we had and they had was a clause that said that ‘we all had a right to the quiet enjoyment of our tenancy’! Well that didn’t last very long once we got Mike Short and other producers in there! The studio was on the ground floor. We had a Green Room on the ground floor, offices (editorial and management) and a canteen on the first floor and in the basement we had the loos and other things of that nature and Chris Kerr, my management colleague, and I pretty well started from scratch. Once the building had been secured by Granada Property we were told to get on with it. All the techie stuff was done by the techie people in Manchester (of course!) but we did the rest and Chris and I, who was a Deputy General Manager, would often remark once we got into full flight in the operation of the centre – “it was really good before we let the people in!”

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