Jules Burns on the arrival of Gerry Robinson and Charles Allen

Well, Robinson was appointed first. I think Alex Bernstein. I think he was the Chief executive of Granada Group at one stage, and then moved to be the chairman, and I think Robinson was brought in.

It was a group. Wasn’t it?

Yes. Robinson came into group, and Robinson brought in Charles into group, and then moved him into Granada when fell out with Plowright.

That’s right.

Because, Plowright, I think, as I understand it. I wasn’t in the room. Unlike Ray who claims he was in every room on every decision. I wasn’t in every room.

I’ve been reading about Plowright’s dismissal and according to the book (by Ray Fitzwalter), they just did not get on, these two. Robinson and Plowright.

I think it was simpler than that. They certainly didn’t get on. I think Robinson said, “I want more profit.” And Plowright said, “No.” Believing that he was invulnerable. And, Robinson just chopped his head off.

Was there a revolt about Plowright.

There was a lot of noise, but there was never a revolt.


It wasn’t really a revolt. It was a cry of anguish. It wasn’t as if people were going to down tools and refuse to work. Gerry just put Charles Allen into the company.

Their backgrounds were not TV or broadcasting or anything like that, making programmes. Pure business. Occasion companies…


What did you make of these two and how they run things?

I didn’t really see much of Gerry. I think that he was very much group rather than television. Charles Allen, it’s hard to… He was a complete alien when he arrived, and he worked very hard, I think with a lot of help from Steve, to quickly understand television and to create relationships with the rest of the network. I’m sure they found him rather strange as well. Because, everybody else sitting around the network table, the chairman’s table, had a television background and he didn’t. But Charles is a very hard worker and works hard to work with people. Both he and Gerry were, I think, quite brutal in a lot of the things that they did, and certainly Charles Allen’s first go at Granada was very brutal. They were businessmen. Not the sort of people we were used to.

But you survived.

Yes. I mean, I owe Charles Allen a lot, personally. He was the one who persuaded me to be the joint managing director of Granada and go on… He saw me through my career at Granada. I’m not sure he was good for everybody, but he was good for me.


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