Luise Fitzwalter on the programme Union World made for Channel 4

David Boulton, who was a dear friend of mine, ours, really, really took the cream of people who worked on Union World, exactly at the point that he put me in there to run it, to go into his new news organisation in Liverpool. And therefore I struggled from the start with Union World. It was a very interesting concept, to have a programme speaking for the unions and about the unions, but at the time I didn’t like trade unions. I believed in trade unions utterly, and I’ve always belonged to whatever trade union that was going for me, but the trade unions were very destructive at Granada at the time, and the trade unions were quite destructive nationally. And the sexism! I mean, the trade union leaders were awful. I mean, awful. And they couldn’t believe that Julie Hall was going to front it and that I was going to produce it! I mean, at one point we had to produce the Union World conference from Channel 4 in London without going to the conference, because our ACCT had forbidden us to go. I mean, there was that kind of nonsense. And so… I mean, probably it was my unhappiest time at Granada, Union World, because I didn’t…

The only programme I was really proud of was the one where we went to Wapping to watch what was happening, and Brian Blake was producing it. But it was a nightmare, because Gus had gone, you’d gone, I think Dorothy was about to go, all sorts of people who should have been there were gone, and therefore the people on it… and then David put Brian Blake and Mike Walsh in to try and sort of pep things up, which was very helpful because they had good ideas and they could be… Brian especially could be trusted to go off and, you know, come back with a film. But it was really difficult. And I mean, I think its glory days finished with Gus, don’t you?

Yes.

Yes. And at that point they should have pulled the plug. And I was left sort of burying it, which was not good news.

 

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