I’ll always remember Sidney doing his rounds and looking for dust. Sidney just used to just show up without warning, so everything had to be kept neat and tidy. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, management were a delight. They didn’t always agree with you, but they always listened. Until we won the franchise and Alex Bernstein passed the reins onto Robinson and later Allen, why after all the years of loyalty, didn’t Alex pass the job on to David Plowright? A true TV man, and not bad at table tennis either. Used to play table tennis with him when we used to stay at the Imperial in Blackpool doing the conferences. David was always game for a game of table tennis in the evening, especially when we were having a few drinks. Robinson and Allen seemed to make a mess of everything they touched, from the LWT takeover, followed shortly by Forte Hotels and Crest Hotels, the debacle of On Digital, the running down of Little Chef by over-pricing… I mean, I could go on.
But I’m glad I left to go freelance in late ‘98. I couldn’t face being part of the constant destruction of Granada. John Cleese was spot on. Fortunately, we’d all worked for a great company. If anybody went sick, they always got paid, often full money for many years and not just for the minimum period. Granada must have been the best company ever to work for and I deem myself so lucky to have got that job in ‘64.