Steve Leahy describes his move to being a researcher

Got into Granada, arrived very green, as a trainee assistant transmission controller, which was a nine-month training programme. And I did it in three months, which is astonishing because it was mind over matter, I can’t push buttons and do things, I really can’t, I had to just learn it. I was determined to learn it so that I stayed in the business. But I was fascinated by what was happening in telly. I didn’t wish to become a controller and aspire to work in that area. I wanted to get creative and join in shows and things. And after two years working in there, a researcher’s job came up on local programmes, and I wanted to apply. And they were horrified because they’d invested in training, and you just don’t leave where they are. It was seen as going from pseudo-engineering to creative, which was not heard of, so they told me I had to resign to be considered. I had to say, “I’m leaving now” and then they would give me a board to become a researcher. I didn’t mind because I was fully qualified and working for the biggest TV station virtually in the country, which meant that there were 13 or 14 other stations who would be desperate to have somebody totally trained to walk into their control rooms. So there was no question I’d have got a job anywhere. That was fine. And I thought, oh well, sod it, yes. So I now have two Granada pensions. One was for the few years as a baby and then the next one kicked in when I joined staff again.

So you had to resign to apply for the researcher job?

Yes. And then I did the researcher board, which I remember Chris Pye was on, I can’t remember much else about it, and I got that, and then I was again training and on a contract, and then when you got your union card, you became staff then. I was just cock-a-hoop. Wonderful.

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