Do you feel that Granada was more than just a television company in terms of its cultural identity?
It wanted to be. I had an argument when I was on news with the powers that be because I said that I thought all our reporters should have a northern accent, a north west accent of some kind, of which there are many, because I think it helps. But I never… I mean, although Tony Wilson was always going on about Manchester versus Liverpool and ribbing other people and that, and Roger Blythe was saying, “I’m from Liverpool,” etc., although that went on, I don’t think in Manchester we were that close to it – but we certainly were Liverpool and we were in Lancaster. They were, you know, Bob Smithies was in Lancaster, and he was Mr Lancaster by the time he left. And Carl Hawkins in in Chester, same thing. And so I think that that was inspired to have those outposts, which was probably not economic, but it was a very good idea. And it meant they came to places like Ramsbottom, which they never did otherwise. And it also meant that you could change the news agenda because it’s virtually every night always, Manchester or Liverpool are on the national news agenda one way or another, and the national sports agenda. And so you come after them and you’re following them. Whereas if you can get out more widely you can get more of a sense of region.
But of course what Granada did have was it had a non-metropolitan perspective, and that’s why – take an obviously example of Coronation Street – bringing on the northern writers.