‘Union World’ was a very good grounding if you wanted to work in current affairs. Obviously it was at a time when trade union politics were very important in Britain. In fact I’d barely started working at Granada when the miners’ strike began. That kind of dominated the time I worked on ‘Union World’, which was end of ’84 and through 1985. That was a good grounding; we were given a lot of room to do current affairs but it had to have a trade union slant.
Sometimes it was tricky because there wasn’t always a fresh angle or a union angle to put on a story. Sometimes I would be quite frustrated by it or disappointed to find that even the trade unionist we were interviewing didn’t even watch the programme. That was quite disappointing.
I remember one miners guy from Scotland who came down, George Bolton, President of the Scottish NUM. He’d been flown down to do some interview and he was quite anxious to get his flight back on the Saturday.I said, “Don’t worry we’ll get you back in time for the programme to go out. He said, “I don’t care about the programme, I’m going dancing with my wife!” That was a bit dispiriting but on the other hand it was a good grounding. We were given a great deal of freedom as researchers.