Jim on the canteen

You would sit down on a table and you’d be next to someone from World in Action, and somebody else from Brideshead Revisited. I mean, I said I’d talk about that aspect of it. But no, I just think the Old School, which literally was an old school, it was just across from King Street where you’d go for a drink afterwards. Or you were in the canteen during the working day, you went there for your lunch, and you could well be sitting next to Paul Greengrass, or Andy Harries, people like that. The opportunity to chat to them. You did feel it was all part of the thing, our job was to cover the regional news. Their job was to produce world-class drama, World in Action was doing investigative stuff, and we were all a team. Having these physical places where you could come together and talk, and people developed their careers as a result of it, which was absolutely fantastic. 

It’s fairly petty in the great scheme of things, but Charles Allen, I think he was associated with a catering company. In fact, John Cleese of course made a rather salty observation about Charles Allen’s connection with a catering company. But he came in, and Compass Catering came in, and the whole thing was simplified and it was slowly wound down. That was the change in philosophy that he was going to take over the ITV network and change it. Therefore, it is what it is today, with the exception that I still think that people talk about Granada when they refer to ITV in the north west. I don’t think they talk about ITV1 or whatever it’s meant to be called. I still think the name Granada lingers on in the minds of people. It will fade of course, because the younger generation don’t necessarily remember it. But at the moment, when you say to people even of a younger generation, “I worked for Granada,” they still remember that. And the philosophy of having strong regional ITV companies was abolished. 

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