Leslie Woodhead describes what he believes was the ‘defining texture’ of Granada

Also I think there’s one of your questions about the defining texture of Granada, and I think… I have thought a lot about this. First of all, an awful lot of us worked together for a long, long time. I mean, some of my colleagues over there all those years were people I had worked with for a quarter of a century – the same people. Obviously they had grown up – Plowright had moved from being a local programmes producer to being controller of the universe, Denis was in the stratosphere and all of that – but there were a lot of people who knew one another very, very well and had worked together across a variety of programmes, and I always thought that it gave us a kind of telepathic sense of shared purpose. And strangely, that went across genres. So in other words, in some ways I felt that when Derek Granger and Charles Sturridge were doing Brideshead, they were fired up by the same corporate enablement as I was – we were in and out of each other’s editing rooms and all of that – unlike the BBC, which stratified these things. First of all, it was a fairly small group of people; at its most it was 1,600, something like that, Granada, not 25,000. We knew one another very well; we had worked together on various things… I mean, I first knew Granger when he was series editor on World in Action, God help us – what a bizarre piece of casting that was! But there was that long shared history. I mean, Mike Apted worked on World in Action before he became a feature film director. So that long understanding of what the other bloke was doing, and bumping into people in that building on Quay Street, and bumping into their edit rooms and seeing how they were doing it, and getting to know the people they were doing it with, gave it an extraordinary cohesion and, as I say, a sense of shared purpose that seems to be, looking back on it now, unusual and crucial.

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