John Huntley describes what Granada was like to work for as a company

Looking back it was a fantastic company to work for, and I really do think it was. And the people who have gone on to do extraordinary things, I mean, extraordinary things, many of whom started work there. I mean, yes, without a doubt. I’m not too sure towards the end, I think it wasn’t towards the end, and whether David Plowright’s vision if – ironically, media city, there is one now – was sustainable, I don’t know. But yes, I mean… it was great.

A very paternalistic company?

Yes. I can only speak about my own experiences, but I think they were very kind to people. I think they were very understanding. If you had a problem, if you needed time off, certainly in my… I tended to do that in management as well, that was always perfectly okay. I think one of the problems was it wasn’t just Granada, but management entered into these agreements with the trade unions, that were really… I mean, and some of them were shocking – I’m sure we’ve all got stories to tell, you wouldn’t want to bore people with it, but things I wouldn’t dare tell my father, I mean, they were absolutely awful. Having to have electricians when we didn’t need them, all of this – but it was management’s fault. I don’t blame the unions; it takes two to tango. As long as it was a licence to print money. And I think that made life very difficult. And I think one of the things a lot of people didn’t realise was that the ACTT – our union – was making life difficult was making like difficult for members of the ACTT. If you were on the news, for example, there were restrictions on how much you could shoot, the fact that you had to have a choice of hot starters at lunch… I remember as a researcher, and I don’t know if you experienced the same, Steve, as a researcher I was more worried about the lunch for the crew than I was about the story, which is crazy.

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