Derek Granger on his first Granada programmes

The very first programme I worked on was a programme called Sir Thomas Beecham at Lincoln’s Inn. And it was a programme I think which had been revised by Denis Forman, and Denis was my mentor then because he was teaching me to write for television, and I went in really as a researcher, that was my role. I was called ‘researcher’. And I worked on it very closely. It was a very peculiar programme. It was a programme half made up of music and half made up of interviews, really rather eccentric, with a wonderful interview with Thomas Beecham which I think Denis conducted himself. And then a lot about Lincoln’s Inn as well. And I worked on this, that was my first job, and I gradually learnt. And then the second programme I worked on, also as a researcher, was called Insanity or Illness, which was one of Granada’s early pioneering programmes and very representative of the social conscience of the company. It was the time when people were thinking that it was a cruel and wicked to incarcerate mentally ill people in these dreadful prison-like hospitals, and they should be out in the community, and that was the great feeling of the time, and this was a programme specifically about that with a lot of fairly senior psychiatrists and heads of hospitals and so on. And I wrote that with Denis very much at my side. We used to have long sessions together in the evening, when he’d finished in his office, where he really taught me how to write for television actually. And that was good, and then by that time, I was going to say ‘but I didn’t actually work on it’, they made a very another very socially pioneering programme called Homosexuality and the Law, which was fronted by Grimond, Jo Grimond, and unfortunately the BBC were doing a programme commemorating his time in Parliament, and alas I believe the programme is lost, which is a terrible shame, actually. And there we are.


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