Trevor Hyett describes how he joined Granada TV

Basically, I knew Gus MacDonald socially. And I was working for the TV Times and persuaded the features editor – I was doing the billings for the London region, you know, ‘7:00: Crossroads’ kind of thing, and I persuaded the features editor that it’s important to have a feature on World in Action because they were about to launch their torture season, which doesn’t sound very sexy but it was a very important series of programmes. Torture around the world in all kinds of different cultures. And I said, “I know Gus, I’m sure I can persuade him to do an interview, so he said, “Okay, he’s a new boss of an important programme, go and do it. So I did the interview and it went well, it was a two-page spread in the TV Times at the beginning of 1974. And Gus had known me through left wing and folk music circles anyway, and I performed at a number of gigs that he’d been at. And even though he knew that my politics was different from his on the left-wing spectrum, he knew I was no sectarian. And thought, “Okay, he’s a journalist, he’s a show off, let’s test drive him as a reporter.” Because he’d just taken over local programmes, having made a success of World in Action, and having made his mark there he persuaded Plowright, and presumably Forman as well, that he should take on the local programmes.
So I went up there, did a screen test, and John Slater, who was then running local programmes for Gus, said, “You look like you’re going to buy the street rather than save the street”. So my test report was from Salford, on demolition, down… I can’t remember the name of the road now. And I was there with a pinstripe suit and relatively long hair… Slater said, “You look like you’re trying to buy the street, rather than save it.” Anyway, I got the job, Chris Pye rubberstamped it, and that’s how I got in there.
Prior to that, I’d worked for the Morning Star, and prior to that I was… when I was 21 I was editor of the Young Communists paper, a monthly broadsheet kind of thing, and I’d taken – and I’m very proud of this – I’d taken the circulation from 9,000 a month to 25,000 at peak. So that’s where I cut my journalistic teeth. And then I went to the Morning Star and worked on the sports desk, did that two or three years, and then I went off touring Europe playing music, and then had got a proper job – kids, that kind of thing. You can’t be a young man forever. And that’s how I got to work at the TV Times, that’s how I got into the feature on World in Action, that’s how I got to meet Gus, who then said, “And ….these fucking carpet baggers from the south,” trying to build a career on the back of working at Granada. So he put around all these myths. Well, not myths, but he overblew my credentials. I was born in Wigan, but he said, “His grandfather was the Labour mayor of Wigan.” Well, it was my great grandfather who I think was the first Labour mayor of Wigan. So to him, that was all-important that the people who are rooted in the area, or at least who weren’t southern carpetbaggers.
And so Tony was already there then, Bob was there, Bob Greaves, Gordon Burns was there, and that’s about it I think for the on-screen people, then I joined, and shortly after, in terms of on-screen stuff, Anna Ford joined, and that was kind of us at the time. And that was my route through. So I joined Granada when I was 30 years old as a reporter, I was quickly made into a presenter.

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