Maggie Coombes on Granada as a regional company

I’m from the south myself, but I’ve lived most of my adult life in Manchester, and I think what was so refreshing about Granada was that it wasn’t a London satellite. It really wasn’t. And when I first went there, and sort of into the ‘80s, people were actively… they were expected to live in Manchester if you worked for the company, and you were staff, you were expected to live in the north west. Quite rightly. I mean, there were people who commuted, there are always exceptions, but mainly, even people from the south like myself were happy to come north, and I think that was an important part of who the company was. And the atmosphere was to do with being in Manchester, and not being in London…

(Granada) gave the region a sense, or reflected the region’s own identity, back to itself in a very positive way. A lot of other companies, regional companies, tended to make things that, you know, I don’t know… dramas for instance. “Let’s pretend we’re in London.” Why? Whereas I think Granada celebrated the fact that we were not London, we were Manchester, and we do things differently here, and we are different.

Sam is a good one – that was very much a north west set drama, and it was about this region and the people here. I mean, Coronation Street, for goodness’ sake! It couldn’t possibly be London or Birmingham – it’s Manchester.

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