You were expected to work on the full range of programmes. If there was a lot going on, there were certain things you wouldn’t work on. So there might be a couple of researchers working on darts and someone else working on snooker, and then we started doing crown green bowls. We even did some equestrian stuff. At one point, I think at the behest of David Plowright, we did a croquet tournament, which was quite extraordinary, and nobody really understood.
There were all sorts of things going on. We did network indoor bowls, in what because the Coronation Street indoor set. That was a big arena at one point.
Most of them were regional. We did some network things and we did some semi-network things as well.
What did you do for the network then?
One of the things was that bowls thing. We also did a marathon. The London Marathon was becoming a huge thing, so Doherty said, we’ll do our own marathon. And to be honest we were ill-equipped to do a marathon. We did it in Bolton, and it was an absolute nightmare and something of a fiasco. We did it twice, actually, so we didn’t give up.
Why was it a fiasco?
I think technically we were just stretching it. If you’re doing a marathon in London there’s loads of plug-in points, and I think even in those days there was enough in place to make it technically easier. Trying to do it around Bolton and Winter Hill was very, very difficult. There was money spent on it, we had two helicopters in the air and celebrity runners, but the whole thing was really really difficult. At one point both helicopters were grounded at the same time, which was a complete fiasco. I’ll never forget, I was in a VT van and Doherty was shouting, “Where are the celebrities? Where are the fancy dress people?” But I can remember Doherty saying, where’s this person, where’s that person, where’s Superman, and I said to the VT operator, I don’t think even Superman can help us now!
But you know, this was his tremendous drive and ambition to do something that a lot of people wouldn’t have tackled.