Joan Riley describes her impressions of Granada as a company

Was Granada a paternalistic company?

I think so and unfortunately I think the unions, in a way, stopped a lot of that because we used to get two bonuses one in May and one in October. There was one strike so they stopped one bonus and then another strike and they stopped another bonus. They had a Dove plane, that the top brass used to use and when it wasn’t used by them if people wanted to have a trip to London they could go in it. How many companies would do that? Of course if we went to London, ladies got first class travel, until the men objected!

In a way the unions didn’t have much to grumble about because we were relatively well paid. They got a lot of perks for us but they went too far, like the newspapers. That killed a lot of it….

So was Granada a family friendly company?

They used to have a Christmas party for all the children. Bill Grundy was quite a gruff man really but when he was at parties he came into his own, he loved kids.

Also we had yoga, we had a yoga teacher. In fact I’ve got a photograph somewhere; they had a programme on how stress affected different people. They had hypnotism, biofeedback, a cup of tea, yoga and something else I can’t remember. Gordon Burns fronted it and Mrs Reedo, the yoga teacher, was asked if she would do yoga on this programme. She asked me whether I would do the things with her and I said ‘Yes’. So I got my old leotard on and she went through a lot of the exercises with me. Then I was geared up, like an operation, when you have all these things attached to you. I did my exercises and then the lights went out. The lights had fused so they went to the generator and tried to find out what it was. It was me apparently, there was a bad connection, I think it was me because I was doing exercises, everybody else was taking it easy. They found out that a cup of tea was the best, then it was biofeedback, then yoga, hypnotism and the other one. They were trying to find out how quickly you recovered after a stressful situation. They had an announcer who was suddenly told that there was a big story coming through and they tested how his reaction was. Of course I had to do these exercises and then relax to see how soon I recovered. That was very good.


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