Paul Greengrass remembers his early days as a sports researcher

And so, I literally travelled up in the next day from memory, and I was put up in a pub, I’m sure it doesn’t exist now, it was down at the back of… If Quay Street was one side, then you got at the bottom of the old Granada Studios. As you looked at the Granada Studios, it was at the back, off to the left where they subsequently built the Rovers Return, all that. There used to be a grotty pub there, I can’t remember the name of it now. And I was put up in there, it was an absolute shithole, and told to report for duty the next day, which was a Saturday. So I came up on the Friday, came into the office in the morning, met Paul Doherty there. How can I forget, he said, “Okay, we’re covering…” I want to say it was an Oldham game. He said, “We’re covering, it’s the Granada Match this weekend, it’s Oldham versus so-and-so.” It helped that I was a football nut, you know. “And you’re going to be editing back at base,” I went, “Oh, really?” Okay, how does that go? And he said, “Bye.” And off he went in his big Granada car, Ford Granada, not Granada, Granada. And I was left to find my way down to VT where all the blokes who were into football were, and you had to watch and create a log of the game. You were just given this pad and you logged it up. And talk about full immersion, I loved it.

Was there anyone there to help you in VT?

No! I was completely alone. I mean, there were VT engineers who were there, absolutely super fellas, but talk about being thrown into the deep end. And so, I did a year on Kick Off and related sports programmes. And when I look back, it was the most tremendous start in life and work and television, and actually in film, generally. And I owe a tremendous debt to Granada, I owe an unbelievable debt, and all the people there.

Leave a Reply