Steve Leahy on the creation of The Krypton Factor

Which other shows did you create?

Well, the first one I was ever involved in creating was Krypton Factor, which was Jeremy Fox’s idea. This was while we were on regional programmes, but Mastermind had started, and ITV wanted to counteract that. It was deemed that the right calibre show would play as adult education in peak time, which we’d then get huge brownie points for. So Krypton Factor never had a commercial break, because it was adult education, which the public didn’t obviously realise. It was Chris Pye, Jeremy and myself. Jeremy’s idea was the “krypton”, the idea of mind and brain, and then we contributed the other bits. The “factor” part of the title was mine, and different things like that. I went off and found the assault course and talked to the army and got all that going. It was great fun. So that was the very first. Thereafter, Granada, whenever they wanted a quiz, said, right then, we’re not paying, buying an American show in. I wrote 19 network quizzes in the end for Granada. And of course, didn’t get paid a penny extra. If I’d written a drama I would have. It’s quite funny. And they wouldn’t give me credits because they thought it might be contentious for a claim of some sort.

Some of those 19 shows, can you name some of them?

Oh, gosh. There was a lot of children’s ones – Runway wasn’t children’s, it was Richard Madeley’s first foray into network entertainment, that was a morning quiz show. Runway, Busman’s Holiday, Connections, which was done with a staff producer at Granada who worked in regionals with us.

Did you say you created 19 quiz shows that all got on air for Granada? Various shows, daytime, evening?

Yes. A couple may not have been quizzes. They may have been network series, entertainment shows.

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