Kim Horton describes how his career progressed

Gradually, as it was meant to be, you would get other duties, other jobs, and that usually started with cutting the news.
And this would be you on your own.
Yes, this would be me on my own. I would be given the first… and it was film, so we’re still talking Steenbeck and it was a pressured job, because this stuff had to be shot, processed, cut and spooled up for telecine, ready for six o’clock, you know? And it had to be made up into a reel because each programme, all these stories, had to get played in by telecine – and again, lo and behold, if you got those stories out of order, and these things did happen – it would be shocking if you were the person responsible. Even being late with a story, I mean, that was the other thing. And I’m sure it’s the same case now when you are editing news stories and stuff, but there was extra pressure because it was on film, you know… and yes, there were some extraordinary moments. And also they would go out and film football matches on film, whereby they didn’t run all the time and they would only run hopefully to pick up the goals, but journalists would come back and they’d say, well, there were four goals but we’ve only got two of them. So we’d just talk through, you know, they’d write the story up so that it didn’t matter that you didn’t see the two goals, but you had to hopefully have these moments covered in a way that was going to be suitable for the journalists to write the story around.
So you’re still an assistant at this stage.
I was given more jobs to do and that’s how it kind of went. But then, after Alan… I think there was some reason where I had decided I’d quite like to work with another editor, and the next editor I worked with, who’s become one of my best mates of all time, is Oral. And Oral is Oral Ottey, who is one of the most entertaining of friends you could ever have. But like Alan, you know, a very instinctive editor, no previous training, no kind of background for editing at all, but was a brilliant editor. We then worked on other sorts of programmes. We did an Emmy award-winning documentary about Ken MacMillan’s ballet, which was directed by a great British TV director called Jack Gold, who did The Naked Civil Servant, and it was produced by Norman Swallow who, you know, pretty much discovered Ken Russell and had worked with Denis Mitchell… terrific kind of background of documentary… and Steve Morrison I think exec-produced that. I remember when the Emmy was won, I think it was Steve Morrison who was there to pick up the Emmy, and I don’t think it ever got back to Jack Gold! And in fact, Oral and I were rung up one day, and Steve Morrison said, “I’ve got the Emmy, and you can have it for 10 minutes!” and it came down to our cutting room and we had to borrow a Polaroid camera to take a picture of me – I’ve still got the photograph – and Oral holding the Emmy. Yes. So from there on, we did some fairly big shows. We did something called Rich World, Poor World (A New Deal) that we did with John Sheppard, and Oral was very encouraging. He used to give me work to do, and then I was actually then doing, just about doing, yes, I was doing kind of a load of programme stuff. We all did Down to Earth, inserts for Coronation Street – they were the first things that young editors would get to do.

Leave a Reply