Jon Woods on the changes made by Charles Allen and Gerry Robinson

And you say everything changed after Compass.

I think in the end, they’d probably had enough and they realised things were changing, that the monopoly – which it was – was going to go.

The good times had gone.

They were on the cusp. They hadn’t completely gone, but fiscal control was going to be a much more major part of what we did, and money then started to dictate to the programme how it was going to be done, and what programmes were done, and what you could do, and how many hours you could work. It had an immense… also, I think, it upset a lot of people in Granada, for no other reason than I think it felt like… I use this… it sounds rude, but everybody referred to them as ‘the caterers’ have taken over… and that’s rude, because they were shrewd businessmen, you know, Charles Allen and Gerry Robinson, two superb businessmen, but knew little about television. Well, you may not need to know much about television to run a business except that, but the ethos… it was like one door had closed and a slightly smaller, less important door had opened. And I remember now, sitting in Studio 8 or 12, with several hundred other people being talked to by Gerry Robinson and his team with their view of what was going to happen to Granada. And I know it upset quite a lot of people, because it felt like commercialism was going to be the bottom line, that money was going to be the thing that demanded it, as opposed to art – it’s awful saying art for art’s sake – but a lot of what we made was because it was an interesting thing to make, not necessarily a fiscal or commercial thing to make.

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