Stephen Kelly on leaving Granada

In 1986 or 1987, something like that, I wrote a book. A publisher had given me an advance to write the official history of Liverpool Football Club. I was a big Liverpool fan. And they asked me to write a big coffee table book with lots of photographs, the official history of Liverpool Football Club. So I was asked to write that, I did it, enjoyed it, it was hugely successful, sold a lot of copies. Sold thousands and thousands of copies, and every year I would add a new chapter, add some more photographs and a new front cover. And that went on for years and years, and sold an awful lot of copies, made me a lot of money. And they then asked me to do another book on Everton as well. Give gave me a nice big advance. And I had managed to do the Liverpool book, only because I left. I was on Union World, and I knew that Union World was very demanding as a programme in terms of your time. And so I shifted on to a programme called Scramble, I’ll come back to that later, which was a lot more easy going, and I could plan my life. I knew I would be home by six o’clock, and I could go upstairs and write for three hours, and I could write on Saturday and Sunday, which I wouldn’t have been able to do on most other Granada programmes. So I shifted programmes, and that allowed me to do all that writing. But then they asked me to do a second one. And I’m in a pretty ongoing, still, you know, working and doing all that writing. And I was given another big advance for the Everton book. And then another publisher asked me to write a book about Victorian photography in the Lake District. And I’d got an advance of that as well. And I thought, “It’s time to go.”

I finally left Granada in September 1988, so I was there for 10 years. I think they were the best 10 years of Granada. They were great fun, lucrative, one has to admit that. But they were great fun, and we made some great programmes, and I enjoyed it. And Granada was a fantastic company. It was a family. Even now, 20 or 30 years on, people still talk about the family. There was still that bonding of having worked for Granada and having worked on wonderful programmes, and a pride in having worked on those programmes, in a way that you don’t get with many companies and many jobs. Now, if you work for an insurance company, there’s nothing tangible to feel proud about. At least if you work in a shipyard you could feel proud of the ships that you helped construct. If you work in a television company, you could feel proud of the programmes you made. But in a lot of companies, a lot of industries, there’s not a lot to feel proud of. But you certainly felt proud of working for Granada.

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