I was about 25 or something like that (when I started at Granada), so I wasn’t a young thing. Because I had travelled a bit, all Australians do that, you know, and I had done a bit of a hippy trail thing with a, you know, buying a Volkswagen van, outside the American Express office in Amsterdam, and going around Europe with a bunch of Aussies and stuff, I’d done all that. Worked in a pub up in the Lake District in ’73, ’74, something like that. Yes, so I had done other things, but I’d just decided enough was enough; I had to have some sort of job that hopefully I would enjoy. And I still at that point, I mean, being in the film library wasn’t it.
But just down the corridor was it, because there were this bunch of guys who said, “Listen, we’re going for a drink in Salford and we’re going to play some darts. We go every lunchtime, you should come down.” So it’s people like Bob Morton, Jack, and the rest of them that said, “Look, you really should seriously think about joining in, because we need assistants.” And, you know, “We’ll speak to Bill Lloyd.” But I think my first attempt at getting out of the film library wasn’t anything to do with Sylvia, it was Stan actually told me that, you know, “You’re in the film library, mate – that’s the job you should be doing, and you’re going to have to stick it out a bit longer.” And I thought, “Well, I don’t really want that.” There was an absolute desperate need, because assistants were attached to editors mostly, so you kept the same assistant for some years. So for instance, Andy Sumner would have been working with Don Kelly, Roland I think was assisting Jack Dardis, and that sort of thing. So once they lost an assistant, that editor would be short of having an assistant. And there was an editor called Alan Ringland who had lost his assistant, Paul Kelly, who became a floor manager, or one had become a floor manager. So there was a desperate need for there to be a new assistant, and Bill Lloyd called me up and said, “You’re starting in the camera room on Monday.” Yes. That’s how quick it was.
And there was no interview or anything?
No, not at all! I was showing enough interest, and obviously all the editors were saying, “You’ve got to get this this guy,” you know, “Because he’s interested in it.”