I was working for the political weekly newspaper, Tribune, at the time. I’d not gone to university until much later in life, because I’d left school when I was 16 to work in the local shipyard, Cammell Laird, and I had become involved in trade union activities. I won a trade union scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford, and then I went to the London School of Economics, and then on to Tribune, because I’d been writing for Tribune for some years. So I’d been there about five years, and I loved working on Tribune, but the pay was abysmal. So I was looking around, and I was quite interested in telly. I’d had an interview at Weekend World, but didn’t get the job there. I was going out with a girl called Sue, and we were going to the theatre one night, and she suddenly rang up and said, “Oh, my cousin’s just dropped in. He’s driving back from France, and I mentioned that I was going to see you, and he said, ‘Oh, Stephen Kelly, works for Tribune.’ And he said that he’d like to see you.” So she brought him round, and I literally only met him for about 15 minutes. We chatted about various things, and off he went. I thought no more of it. He told me his name was Steve Morrison, and he worked for Granada Television where he produced locals. I just didn’t understand what he meant by locals.
So this is this would be June 1978. Then I got a Monday evening phone call from Sue, who said, “Steve would like to talk to you about a possible job. Can he ring you?” I said yes. So we made contact. And Steve said, “Look, there’s some jobs going at Granada. We’ve had a few problems here, and we desperately need some journalists in. Would you be interested?” I said yes. I mean, I’d never thought about going to Manchester. So he said, “Well come up for a day and see a programme Granada Reports, a magazine programme, see it being put on.” So I went up, saw the programme going through, sat in the studio, sat in the post-production meeting afterwards. And Steve said, “There will be some interview boards.” I’d never anticipated that there were going to be interview boards, but anyhow. A couple of weeks later, I was asked to go in for a board. So I went to Manchester for the board meeting, which I was a bit taken aback by.