David Highet on how he came to be employed at Granada

It was 1979 and I was 38 and I was Assistant Editor of the Liverpool Echo which was at that time probably the biggest regional evening newspaper and I was getting a little restive. I’d spent 20 years in local newspapers, local journalism, and I felt it was time for a move but I wasn’t quite sure what to do and I’d been on holiday and I came back and found lying on the doormat, a letter, from a headhunting company called Tyzacks in London. It had been there for 10 days. What the letter said interested me greatly! It said that their client was intending to open a television studio in Liverpool and they wished to appoint a General Manager and would I care to advise them? Now the phrase ‘would I care to advise them’ is head-hunter speak for ‘Are you interested in the job?’ And I thought, ‘Hmm, yes!’ So I rang them up and said, “Look, I’ve been on holiday (panic, panic!)…” ”No panic. Don’t worry. Come down and see us.’ So I went down to see them and we had what seemed to be a mutually interesting conversation and as I stepped out onto the pavement of their posh offices in Mayfair, I saw, running towards me, Rod Hull and his infamous emu and I stood back to let him rush past and turned to see him heading away from me and found myself staring down the lens of a television camera and I thought, ‘Here is an omen!’ And it took six months for the appointment to go through because Granada became preoccupied with the Autumn of Industrial Disputes. It was a bad year for Granada and its labour relations but eventually after being interviewed by virtually everyone in the company it seemed to me, I was appointed and I took up my post in February 1980. That’s how it came about!

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