On becoming Political Editor and interviewing Margaret Thatcher.

I remember one of my first interviews was with the great lady, Mrs Thatcher, when she was privatising the water industry. And I said to her, “All they’ll be interested in is making profits,” and she pointed her finger right in my face and said, “Profits? Aren’t Granada Television interested in making profits?” And the press officer, who was a wonderful man who worked for the Press Association, and so he knew life from our side of the fence, said, “She’s had a long day.” I said, “Bill, this is a wonderful clip for Granada Reports, Mrs Thatcher and I having a ding dong.” So I was in post, ready for one of the biggest stories of my life, which was the fall of Margaret Thatcher. And the key thing about that was, and I was fully supported by the Granada, I think Sue Woodward may have become editor by then. And I should say, when I became editor, I moved back to Manchester more and there was the beginning of the end for the Albert Dock. Perhaps we’ll come back to that in a moment. But just to finish off on this, I knew that there were a lot of tory MPs in the north west, like David Trippier and people like that. Because I always thought most north west Tories were slightly different from the Shire, reactionary Tories, that they knew they had to sell the Conservative message in a particular way, in order to hold their seats in the north west. And that Mrs Thatcher, particularly towards the end of her time, was becoming unpalatable, and they could see they were going to lose their seats if she carried on. And I knew there was a group of Tories – David Trippier in Rossendale, Ken Hind in Lancashire – who were trying to get her out, but actually getting them to do interviews was extremely difficult. 

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