Stephen Kelly remembers Granada’s commitment to the region

When I was living on Merseyside, back in Birkenhead in the 1960s, I distinctly remember programmes like People and Places, and Scene at 6:30, the magazine programmes that preceded Granada Reports. Strong regional identification. And there were also lots of half hour documentaries, which were about the north west, which might be slightly quirky ones. And they would focus, in a half-hour film, maybe about a brass band, or I did one about football, about Tranmere Rovers and its American owner. Bruce Osterman. And I they were great films for documentary makers. The kind of thing a young director would do and have a wonderful time doing it. Slightly quirky. Anything you wanted: pie eating competitions, brass bands, whatever you wanted. And some of them were fronted by people like Ray Gosling. Although Ray wasn’t from the north west, in a way he identified with the north west. And yes, regionalism was really, really important. Granada had a regional output of at least 12 hours per week, specifically local programmes and magazine programmes, Granada Reports, the bulletins, Kick Off, the half hour football programme, Reports Politics, Reports Extra, This Is Your Right, Aap Kaa Hak, and so on. I mean, it was very regional. Although not everybody in the company was from the northwest. Denis Forman wasn’t, David Plowright wasn’t. Mike Scott wasn’t, I don’t think. Bernstein obviously wasn’t. But nonetheless, it identified with the north west, and it heralded the north west as a wonderful area. And I think Sidney Bernstein at one point talked about introducing a Granadaland passport, so strong was the identification with the Northwest.

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