I knew nothing about television. I hardly watched it. No, I mean I had management background because in the garage when I worked I started as a petrol pump attendant but I was manager of the garage after a couple of years.
Oh right, I see. Okay.
I sort of found I could do it quite naturally.
So what was your experience in discovery of local programmes and people?
Well I was shocked by television. I thought these incredibly bright, haphazard people who were living a very high life on expenses. And indeed I was very grateful for Chris Pye’s expense account for the first year when we moved up. I was given a salary… I remember, and enormous salary of £4,500 a year. Which is took me 12 months to discover wasn’t enough to live on. Because we had our first child nine months after we moved up. So I was grateful for the expense accounts.
Yes. Because local programmes was a bustling little enterprise at the time.
Oh it was fascinating. And you had Tony Wilson… I was after Mike Parkinson but Brian Trueman, there were some wonderfully big people there. It was really exciting. I didn’t quite know where it was going to lead me, this is the first formal job I’d had apart from working in a garage. And I remember Bill Lloyd telling me that he really didn’t think I had a future in television and I should think about moving on. And then I was… Joyce Wooller asked me if I’d like to come and work upstairs on the sixth floor and help her to run programme services. So I think I started as head of researchers.
Sixth floor, sure.
Yes. And gradually got involved in negotiating contracts so I think the job evolved into signing directors and researchers and negotiating writers’ contracts and directors’ contracts.
So by the end of the 70s you were upstairs?
Yes, ‘79 I went upstairs.
Working for Joyce and then increasingly with Mike Scott and David Plowright.
And that sort of secretariat area.
Yes, it was a… Mike Scott was one of my favourites and…
Oh he was a lovely man.
I thought they were all wonderful people. I thought television was incredibly privileged both financially and in what they were paid to do. I thought it was a… I never really felt part of it but I thought it was a fascinating process. An industry stacked full of interesting people. So it was good.