Trevor Hyett defines ‘Granadaland’

The thing I liked about Granada generally was its non-metropolitan attitude and that’s what I think gave us distinctiveness was the fact that Sidney started off in the very beginning, “We will not be London-based, we will never be London-based.” I had a little office in Golden Square but essentially Granada was Manchester, much to a lot of people in Liverpool’s disgruntlement. But again, that was addressed eventually. But its that non-metropolitan attitude, and also it had a broader view of the world. It wasn’t a confined straightjacket view, which is a clear contrast… going from a newsroom at Granada to a newsroom at Thames was huge. I’ll talk about that in a minute. But it couldn’t have been more different.
We were encouraged to kind of go look for… I remember Andrew Cockburn and Richard Belfield dug up this scandal at Birkenhead Market where the inspector on behalf of the council would take backhanders to get more favourable slots for the stallholders. So it was like their mini… it was almost like an audition for World in Action. So we would do those kinds of things, but equally we’d do items like ‘the meanest butty in the northwest’ with the smallest amount of filling in the sandwich, which is something of course that Bob shined at, because he could do it. He was such a good man of the people out there. We did very briefly a Granada Reports weather, which was our own, and there was a bloke called Bernard Clark – remember Bernard, he went off to set up an independent company for Channel 4 eventually – but he was a good presenter as well, a good reporter, but he was tasked with doing the weather, with Slater’s collusion. The first time he came on, “Here’s Granadaland!” I thought, “Hmm, okay, Granadaland,” and it was the outline you would imagine, and Bernard said, “Well, actually there’s no other word for it – tomorrow’s weather is going to be boring.” And slapped on a stick-on doodah saying BORING. And that was the weather report! It was absurd. But the fact that that kind of thing was thought about, you know, it could be iconoclastic, and send ourselves up, if you like, or send up the genre to some extent, whilst at the same time we could be serious as all hell when it was necessary – and it frequently was. So I liked the iconoclasm.

Leave a Reply