Before I went into LE and worked for Steve Leahy, I had a spell working for Rob Caird in the features department as a researcher. I worked on network documentaries, the main one being Robert Millar – The High Life, which was a documentary about a Tour de France cyclist from Scotland who had been king of the mountains. We followed him for twelve months and covered the Tour De France, the world championships and other events and that was fascinating. Rob Caird was the executive producer and Peter Carr was the director, and I worked on a couple of other projects with them.
I had a really great time working with Peter Carr. Again, a completely different discipline, a different way of working, you know, observational documentary… and he did that in a very traditional way I think, in that he would wait until he got what he wanted and he would film quite long sequences and…
I’m pleased you said that about Peter Carr, who it’s worth giving a mention to in this project. I worked with him quite a lot. He brought a lot of intelligence to his filmmaking.
He did. I knew him by reputation because when I first started at Granada they were making the City film, which he made with Dave Drury
This is when Manchester City won the FA Cup? No, it was the Cup Final?
It was before they won the FA Cup actually, it was the period when Malcolm Allison had returned to City, Peter Swales was the chairman. Paul Doherty was absolutely integral to this. He negotiated a fantastic access agreement, the like of which had never been known in British football before, and he got Peter Carr and Dave Drury access to everything – dressing room, before games, after games, and during the period that they filmed, Malcolm Allison got sacked, John Bond was appointed, Malcolm Allison came back to City with his new club Crystal Palace. There was a bit dramatic thing. All sorts of things happened; it was high drama. It was absolutely fascinating.
It was a great film. I watched it as a researcher in the sports department and was really pleased later to go on and work with Peter, who directed that film and deserves great credit for its content. It stands the test of time – it’s worth watching today, it’s a fantastic bit of telly.
You can watch City here