Leslie Woodhead describes how easy it was to get the go-ahead for programmes during his period at Granada

It was possible to go through one door and talk to one man and get something okayed. I remember going to talk to Plowright about that Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia film, and saying, “Here it is.” “Okay, go and do it.” I thought, “Really?” I mean, that was over a quarter of a million pounds.

So you had the resources and the budget?

Yes. To just do it. And the same happened when Mike Scott okayed the Solidarity drama doc. So it was then possible – one of the defining things about Granada was that there was that very immediate access to people who could make the choice. It’s so unlike the world that we live in now, with the galleries of execs and commissioning execs, and who knows who in the pyramid, who have to agree or stick in their idea. It was a very straight and clean process by which things got done. I hope I don’t sentimentalise it, I don’t think I do, there was much that was maddening about Granada but it worked wonderfully in those terms.


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