Jane Houston remembers working on The Jewel in the Crown

The biggest thing for me about Jewel in the Crown was communication, because of course there were no mobile phones or computers in those days. And I ran the office in the UK for most of the time when they were in India. So just everything was done really by telex. Of course, there was quite a big time difference as well. And we at Granada basically worked nine-ish until five-thirty. A bit of flexibility. So there was quite a time difference. So I can remember sending long, long telexes and the telex roll with all the dots with the holes cut out. And sometimes they wouldn’t go through. So I had to keep the telex roll and try and send it again. And on Valentine’s Day, the company said that everybody who was in India could send flowers to their loved ones back in the UK. Of course, Muggins has to organise it all. So I got this list and the telex roll was about that wide of all the various requests and messages and that. But I went to Rodgers, the florist in Chorlton.

Oh my. And woe betide if you missed anybody out.

Yes, well, quite, yes!

And then you went out there.

And then I went out there, yes. And it was just incredible, really, because it was… Well, I’d never been abroad before, apart from anything else. That was my first foray abroad, which was quite an eye opener. And my lasting impression of India is the noise, bustle, and colour. That’s what I would always remember. But very different way of working as well. We didn’t have any photocopying, nothing. I remember typing the call sheet on a stencil and having to push down the Gestetner machine and turn the handle, which was so alien. But I was more there on holiday than working. But I did obviously get involved because I’d been working on the show. So, yes, I got involved, but just an incredible experience. And I was very lucky at nearly 21 to go to Kashmir, which of course you can’t go to now. Absolutely beautiful, stunning part of the world.

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