Kim Horton describes how he joined Granada TV

I think I should start by saying that I grew up in Australia, and probably had not much of an idea about what Granada stood for and what sort of country it was, although growing up, which was just even scooting back before that, we went out, we were ‘Ten Pound Poms’ to go out to Australia, so we were there from about ‘59 and I came back to the UK in ‘73. But growing up I kind of had seen a lot of Granada’s output, certainly the early days of Coronation Street and some of those programmes like The Army Game and stuff like that.
And anyway, just to jump forward, I had worked in Australia at a state film centre, which was a government-run lending library for 60mm programmes, feature films and what have you. So I thought that when I came to live over here I thought that I should perhaps apply to television companies to get a similar position. And I wrote to various companies – HTV, as I was in Bristol, Central and Granada Television – and the only thing I knew about Granada Television that I had seen Stones in the Park, and actually had a picture on my wall back in Melbourne of Mick Jagger releasing the doves and dressed in white, and I remembered Granada from that picture. So I applied to all of those companies, but I think none of them actually replied other than Granada. But the letter that I wrote didn’t give away what sex I was. So the letter came back, as I still get to this day, as Miss Kim Horton. ‘If you’re interested – and this was in 1977 – if you’re if you’re interested in applying, we’re having interviews.’ And the invite was for an interview and it gave the day in March, I think, in ‘77 and it said, “You will be interviewed for this position in Tony Brill’s office,” whoever he was. And I came to Manchester, I think I’d only been once before to Manchester, for the interview and I was shown upstairs into what must have been Tony Brill’s office, although it could have actually changed to the Personnel Office, because the people that interviewed me were the head of personnel, which was Bob Connell, Harry Urquhart and possibly Keith Thompson. I think he was involved with management of library, or was about to take over Harry Urquhart’s job. And of course, the head of the film library was Sylvia Cowling, and they all had a look of surprise on their faces when I arrived, because they thought I was going to be a girl! And I think knowing that the, a bit later on, that the film library was nothing but women, I think they were determined to keep it that way.
So anyway, we went through various things, and they thought that I was possibly right for the job, but they would let me know. Usually, you didn’t sort of get to hear anything immediately, and I certainly had to go back home to Bristol. And I think it was a couple of weeks and I was told that I actually hadn’t managed to get the job, somebody else had got the job – and that was that. And then another couple of weeks I actually got – it wasn’t a phone call because I didn’t have a phone – but I got another letter saying if I was still interested in the position that the person who had thought that they’d take the job had decided not to take the job. And as I found out, that was a girl who decided not to take the job. So there I was, employed as a library assistant, was the title.

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