Steve Anderson on the early days of Granada in Liverpool

So there was a lot of interest in the region, not just representing Manchester, and Granada had to respond to it in some way, didn’t they? They couldn’t ignore it.

Correct. Yes, yes. So John and I were essentially getting at least two pieces on Granada. We normally were in the news, so we were normally in the Bob Smithies news. We didn’t really make the three-minute features. We were always doing… Also, it was the Winter of Discontent. The strikes were on. It was the fall. It was the beginning of the fall of the Callaghan government. And it was also the terrible winter. We had snow on the ground for three months, at a time when they couldn’t even bury the dead in Liverpool. So it was a hell of a time to be joining. But of course, I was 20, but when I went on screen on 16mm film, I looked about 12. So I’d be standing outside a picket line, just a 12-year-old. Andy Harries and I went on screen together for the first time on the same night.


So what was your first job title at Granada?

I think I was just called a journalist. I was just called journalist. Because I wasn’t in the ACTT (The Association of Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians), I couldn’t be called a researcher. So I was just a journalist.



In Liverpool?


As a reporter based out of Exchange Flags?


Right. Who was the editor of Granada Reports, then?

Rod Caird. Well, it used to alternate each night. It would be, Rob would produce it one night, and Steve Hawes would produce it the next night.


Rachel Hebditch was the news editor.

I didn’t know any of that, and I should do. So Chris Pye’s job was to be, sort of, Mr Liverpool, to the outside world?

Yes. Yes. And often the Bernsteins would just drop in. They took a big interest in it. I remember… was it Sidney? I think Sidney did drop in one afternoon and then said to John Toker, “Take me around Liverpool.” And then John rang Rachel, because he was supposed to be doing a story. And he said, “Well, Sidney Bernstein…” And she goes, “Fuck Bernstein. You’ve got a story to do.” He went, “With respect, I’m not going to.”


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