Gordon Burns talks about the emphasis on quality within Granada

What I would say is that there was all that high energy of young people wanting to make a career in television, wanting to shine or wanting to become, if they were researchers, wanting to become producer or director, or indeed a presenter. And that actually gave the programme (Granada Reports)… it might have had is naivety, but it also was very creative; you got some wonderful films made by these youngsters trying to shine, and that’s what I thought made it stand out. It had energy, it had creativity and it had quality. Because the big thing about Granada, why I loved working for Granada Television at that time, in those days, and I think we were all lucky to be there in those days, is that they cared desperately about quality.

So from Sir Denis Forman and David Plowright down, they wanted the very best; they wanted high quality and they wouldn’t tolerate anything beneath that. And whatever style it as, whether it was in drama with Brideshead Revisited and Jewel in the Crown, both massive plunges by Granada Television, if you like, with huge budgets etc., but high quality, if you went from there, even if you went to the soap – Coronation Street – it had to be a high quality soap. If you came down even into quiz areas, they wouldn’t do most quizzes. When they did Krypton Factor it was because it was up market – and that shone through everything you did. It had to be quality, the pressure was on you to produce quality, which is why the programmes were so good in those days, and that’s why I love working for Granada – because I just enjoyed that belief that it had to be top quality.



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