Michael Ryan’s opinion of Granada’s political stance

People have said to me that Granada was unashamedly left-wing.

Yes, I think that’s true. I wouldn’t say left-wing, I would say anti-establishment. I can think of some individuals who were Conservatives actually. But the broad picture was what you might call the Labour Party consensus of the seventies. I think, in all, honest people who work as journalists, who could easily do something else if they’ve got qualifications, have some feelings that they might try to, if not change the world, then at least draw attention to certain problems. If you think about it, look at Ken Loach making Cathy Come Home in 1966. He hasn’t ever changed his opinions. He’s known for being and he is a radical left-winger. But then there was an explosion of shame and controversy about homelessness and particularly the shortage of housing. Now it’s sort of on page 7 with occasional notes. The mass media is not jumping up and down on the shortage of housing in this country at this very time. I think there has been a hardening of what I would call the public conscience anyway. It may be that there was a certain sentimentality about the way things were when we started but it was after all the sixties.

 And a lot of campaigning programmes.

A lot of campaigning programmes, yes. For example, on prison conditions, housing, health, mental health. The late Vanya Kewley made a brilliant film. She was trained as a nurse, and she got a job as a nurse at some dreadful hospital in, I think, Staffordshire – not the one that became famous in recent times. But she investigated it. It was called Ward F13. Her combination of her actual nursing skill and her – she was a bit like Sue Lloyd-Roberts who died earlier this year, she was the kind of woman who never took ‘no’ for an answer.

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