What about Granada’s position within Manchester? How important was it to the region?
Oh I think hugely important, I really do. Granada Reports, very important programme. I think people identified with it, I think people identified with people like Bob Greaves and Tony, Trevor Hyett and who was that lovely man, erm, he had been a photographer…
Bob Smithies, yes. I mean I think people felt that they knew these characters even if they probably didn’t. And of course, Coronation Street was a massive influence – the fact that it was so successful and Manchester felt it had been recognized in some way was really important. I mean I can remember as a child living in the South, well my father was a Scot but my mother was a Londoner. She wouldn’t let us watch Coronation Street as kids, she thought it was too common. And I just found that hilarious and when I started working on it of course she was incredibly proud of me. Guess what my daughter’s working on, Coronation Street. But I think that whole thing of the local presenters doing local stories plus Corrie plus maybe the location as well. Everyone knew where Granada was, well I say everyone pretty much everyone did. I don’t know if it would have been the same at Anglia or somewhere like that, maybe, but it was integral to city life to me at the time.
I know when visited other of those regional stations back in the 80s they were very small, they didn’t seem to have a presence whereas Granada was big on the Manchester skyline. Right at the top of the building the Granada sign could be seen from miles away.
Yes you could. The only other one I had any connection with was Thames at Teddington. Well I suppose that seemed quite, it didn’t have the same impact at Granada, maybe that’s London and its main offices were in the Euston Road and its studios were in Teddington but it all seemed sort of Home Counties to me. But Granada, I think because of its political edge as well it felt to me as though it represented quite a large proportion of the population here and I was proud to work there. It was also something to do with the fact that it was just on the edge of the Irwell, Salford was only spitting distance away whereas the BBC was on Oxford Road and that was a whole other ballgame. But it sort of felt right that Granada was where it was, I thought at the time.