It was serendipity: I was reading a magazine called Wireless World – which doesn’t exist anymore – and I just happened to open it at the adverts at the back, and there it said, ‘Granada Television is looking for trainee audio engineers’. I’d always been interested in high fidelity; in fact, I’d written my dissertation at university on high fidelity.
So I applied, got an interview and then got through to a second interview. They said to me, ‘Why are you applying to be an audio engineer? Why not a video engineer, because that’s much more complicated, much more interesting?’. So I said, ‘OK, I’ll be a video engineer’, and they offered me a job as a trainee video engineer.
In those days, they had a wonderful training scheme. They knew that people like me, who came in with a degree in electronics, would know nothing about television, or very little about television. For nine months, they put you through every department in the building, including make-up, wardrobe and set design. You would only get a week perhaps, but at least you knew how it fitted in to the overall picture of television. Obviously, most of the time was spent in studios in VTR, telecine and outside broadcast and things like that. I have to say, in that nine months as a trainee they paid me £400 a year more than I was earning as a professional designer. Within twelve months, I’d more than doubled my income. This was 1969-70.