Trevor Hyett on trade unions and what he was paid

I was in the NUJ; I’d been in the NUJ for a long time, since I was 21 when I was editor of that paper I mentioned earlier. The ACTT of course were the union with the muscle, and I always found actually… Gus would take the mickey out of us because every now and again we’d hold a bit of a picket or come out in solidarity with an ITV strike somewhere, and Tony Wilson and I would be standing on the steps of the main entrance there, probably not even with a banner, but maybe just saying like, I can’t remember what we would have said, but… and we did once join in at… was it a national NUJ? I can’t remember, there was some action, which was for a pay rise, and we got it. But I wasn’t at the sharp end of any of that stuff, I wasn’t involved with the ACTT, and I don’t really have many memories of it particularly, apart from… the only person I remember really in my sphere was Richard Belfield, I think he was involved somehow or another. All the heavyweights, you know, the kind of studio camera operators and the camera operators, I knew better than to mess with them at all. “Oh, okay, Freemasons, are they? Fantastic.” … I would be way out of my depth, way out of my league; I’d have been eaten up and spat out before I even knew it. So I can’t really tell you a great deal. I was very happy with how things were, I didn’t feel exploited. I knew people were being paid a lot more elsewhere, as I described in terms of Thames, as a presenter there, I became a presenter at Thames within about four months of me joining them, and I was getting three times what I was getting at Granada. But to me it was all funny money, but I felt that actually Granada was such a good company, what they do is so good, none of us are starving, it didn’t bother me. Maybe I’m peculiar, but that was my thinking, I just thought I was lucky to be doing that for a living, dead lucky. I couldn’t believe that some of the times. And of course like everybody – I don’t know about everybody, but certainly many – I thought, “One day they’ll find me out and that’ll be it.” So I never got myself in debt, I didn’t think it was going to last forever, which meant in the end, because I was frugal, I wasn’t a spendthrift, it meant, yes, I had a long life in telly, but it means I got this house. I mean, I wasn’t into fast cars, I wasn’t a fashion victim, as you can see, you know… I spent all my money that I spent on books and music, that was all I did. Other things didn’t interest me particularly.

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