Granadaland Conference Celebrating 60 years of Granada Television
Manchester Metropolitan University | Business School Saturday May 7th 2016
Welcome We would like to extend a very warm welcome to you to this conference celebrating 60 years of Granada Television. Whether you are a former Granada employee, an academic or simply a member of the public we hope you enjoy the sessions that we have put together and that it will encourage you to look at our website. We believe that the Granadaland project is of importance to the cultural history of the North West and would welcome your input and comments. Judith Jones Visiting Research Fellow Dr Stephen Kelly Visiting Professor Manchester Centre for Regional History, Manchester Metropolitan University
The Granada Television Company was the most independent and innovative of the 15 regional television companies established between the mid-1950s and early-1960s. Firmly rooted in the North West, it played a pioneering role in the history of British commercial television and many who worked for the company became major influences on arts and politics in the UK. ‘Celebrating 60 Years of Granada Television’ is a reminder of the distinctive contribution that Granada made to Manchester, the region and the wider history of television broadcasting; a history that is all too easily forgotten. The problem of dispersed or non-existent written sources is well-recognised among historians of broadcasting. The oral history project which Stephen Kelly and Judith Jones have initiated and developed is not only filling important gaps in Granada’s history but has also led to this day of discussion and celebration, which Manchester Metropolitan University is proud to be supporting. We hope that in highlighting Granada’s reach and significance, this conference will inspire many more to contribute to the Granadaland Project’s research into such an important part of broadcasting history. Professor Melanie Tebbutt Head, Humanities Research Centre Head, Manchester Centre for Regional History Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science Manchester Metropolitan University
Granada TV was founded in 1954 by Sidney Bernstein and began transmitting in May 1956. Its initial franchise was for ‘the north’, a region taking in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and parts of Wales. In 1968, the franchise was changed so that Granada lost its Yorkshire area. Since then Granada has transmitted to the north west of England (and parts of North Wales) and is the only commercial station to have held its franchise continuously since 1956.
Introduction Granada had a very distinct regional approach to television. Coronation Street was one of the first TV soaps and continues to this day. During the late 1970s/early 80s the The New York Times famously described Granada as ‘the best television company in the world.’ This was following the hugely successful dramas Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel In The Crown. Granada’s current affairs output was also ground-breaking with the investigative programme World In Action, its weekly look at the press What The Papers Say, the Seven Up series, the Granada 500, Union World and Hypotheticals. It also produced many one-off, award-winning documentaries. Granada also transmitted TV’s first by-election count as well as daily coverage of the annual party political conferences when they were held in Blackpool. Granada also spearheaded music programming with American rock and roll stars Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent in the studio during the early 1960s and produced a memorable American Blues outside broadcast as well as the famous Johnny Cash performance at San Quentin prison. Its regular presenters have included Sir Michael Parkinson, Lord Gus MacDonald, Gordon Burns, Tony Wilson, Bob Greaves, Ray Gosling, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. During the 1980s Granada opened a high-tech news studio in Liverpool, initially at Exchange Flags and later at the Albert Dock from where the This Morning programme was later produced. The 1990 Broadcasting Act coupled with a major executive upheaval meant the company changed direction during the 1990s with freelancing and outsourcing becoming standard practice. Granada was then involved in a series of takeovers in the industry to create ITV, the company that now controls commercial terrestrial broadcasting in the UK.
Welcome on Behalf of Manchester Metropolitan University - Professor Jean-Noel Ezingeard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Opening remarks - Gordon Burns Gordon will also act as host for the day.
Keynote Speech - Steve Morrison
The Granadaland Project Dr. Stephen Kelly and Judith Jones.
A Lifetime of Factuals - Leslie Woodhead OBE.
Factual Programming - Leslie Woodhead and Gordon Burns a question and answer session on Granada’s factual output with the audience.
Lunch, followed by choice of breakout sessions, each starting at 1.15pm Lunchtime Breakout sessions: Either 1. A Life Behind the Lens - George Jesse Turner interviewed by Chris Malone or 2. The Inimitable Ray Gosling: A perspective by Bob Dickinson
‘It beats working for a living’ - Johnnie Hamp (interviewed by CP Lee)
Panel Discussion on Granada’s Drama output - chaired by David Liddiment with Carolyn Reynolds and Sita Williams
Coffee Break Panel Discussion: Granada’s Legacy to the North West chaired by Sandy Ross with Cat Lewis and Don Jones Thanks - and next steps
More about the Granadaland Oral History Project The Granadaland Oral History Project was started in 2013 by two former Granada employees, Stephen Kelly and Judith Jones, who also have an interest in oral history and had previously published an oral history of Coronation Street. The idea of the project was to interview as wide a range of Granada employees as possible, taking in a variety of occupations such as directors, producers, make-up artists, engineers, editors, researchers, camera operators, secretaries and so forth. The project has also concentrated on the earlier years of Granada in order to ensure that their memories have been preserved. So far more than 50 interviews, all audio, have been carried out and transcribed with excerpts uploaded onto the project’s website. In due course both the full transcripts and the full audio recordings will also be uploaded so that they will be available for future researchers and academics, as well as members of the public. The full transcripts of their book on Coronation Street have been uploaded as well meaning that there are, in total, more than 80 interviews on the website. There is also a collection of photographs, mostly taken by former employees during their time at Granada, and these too have been added to the website. The project has received support from Manchester Metropolitan University, the Granada Foundation, Shiers Trust and Jules and Cheryl Burns. The website is at www.granadaland.org New material is being regularly uploaded to the site and we would welcome your comments and contributions.
Biographies Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard
Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University in October 2013.
A former Granada producer and presenter whose work at Granada ranged from World In Action to Reports Politics, Kick Off and The Krypton Factor. He was later the main presenter on the BBC regional news programme North West Tonight.
He is responsible for Strategic Planning, and has oversight of the University’s eight Faculties. Since his appointment he has led on the transformation of the organisation of research at the University resulting in the creation of 12 new Research Centres to address key societal and economic challenges in the UK and beyond. He is closely involved with some of the regional research and skills initiatives, notably Health Innovation Manchester and the growth of High Level and Degree apprenticeships at Manchester Met. Jean-Noël is an Engineering Science graduate from Ecole Centrale de Lille, an Engineering Grande Ecole. He later obtained an MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Systems and his PhD from Brunel University. Before joining MMU he was Executive Dean of Kingston Business School in London where he oversaw a £30m transformation of the School’s buildings, a significant growth in research activity and enhancements to teaching and the curriculum. As Executive Dean he continued to teach on the MBA programme and to supervise doctoral students. His early career was as a lecturer at Brunel University and Course Director for the Special Engineering Programme. He was then appointed as a member of Faculty at Henley Business School where he later served as Professor of Processes and Systems Management and Academic Dean (Associate Dean for Faculty). He researches in the area of technology management, applied to Information Systems, Information Assurance and Security, and Logistics Information Management.
Robert Dickinson A writer and broadcaster who has worked for Granada TV and BBC radio for many years. He was a friend and colleague of Ray Gosling, one of the most original British television and radio presenters.
Johnnie Hamp He joined Granada TV in 1956, having trained as a Granada cinema manager in the 1950s. His first TV specials featured American blues artists including Count Basie as well as programmes on Woody Allen and Burt Bacharach. His rock and roll concerts featuring Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis set new standards. He was the producer on the film programme Cinema, later becoming Head of Light Entertainment and is rightly acknowledged, during his time at Granada, as one of the most influential talent spotters in the world of entertainment.
Judith Jones Worked as a production assistant at Granada TV before entering Higher Education where her roles included Director of the Screen School at the Liverpool John Moores University. She now works as an oral historian and is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Manchester Centre for Regional History at Manchester Met, working on the Granadaland Oral History Project.
Stephen Kelly A former Granada producer who is now a writer and currently Visiting Professor in the Manchester Centre for Regional History at Manchester Met. He has written more than 25 books, many of them on sport, including a number of oral histories.
CP Lee A writer, broadcaster, lecturer and performer. Much of his work has been based on Manchester music-making, including books on Factory Records and Bob Dylan’s iconic performance at the Free Trade Hall in 1966. He was Head of Film Studies at Salford University until recently.
Cat Lewis A former Granada producer and now CEO of the Manchesterbased award-winning production company, Nine Lives Media. She is also a Manchester Global Ambassador, Chair of the Northern TV Skills Council and a former Vice-Chair of PACT, the influential Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television.
Don Jones Don has extensive experience of working in both television sport and news. He joined Granada in 1980 and worked periods at the BBC and as a freelance before he became head of Sport at Granada in 1998. He is now an Executive Producer at LFCTV, Liverpool Football Club’s television channel.
David Liddiment David Liddiment is Chairman of Fremantlemedia UK and was co-founder (with Steve Morrison and Jules Burns) of All3Media. He joined Granada in 1975 as Promotions Scriptwriter, becoming Head of Entertainment and later Director of Programmes. He was ITV’s Director of Programmes from 1997 to 2002 and a BBC Trustee from 2007 to 2014.
Chris Malone He joined Granada in 1985 and worked initially on World in Action as a production manager, later becoming a director on the programme. For almost 15 years he was a producer and director in factual programmes where his credits included Savage Earth. He left Granada in 2009 and has continued to work as a freelance.
Steve Morrison A former Granada producer who joined the company in 1974 and rose to become Director of Programmes and Chief Executive in 2001. He later founded the successful independent production company, All3Media, now one of the UK’s largest media companies. His production credits include the Oscar-winning film My Left Foot and numerous episodes of World in Action. In 2015 he was elected as Rector of Edinburgh University.
Carolyn Reynolds She joined Granada TV in 1981 and initially worked as a production assistant, later becoming a drama producer. She left her role as Granada’s controller of drama in Manchester - and Coronation Street executive producer - in 2004 and was appointed chief executive of Mersey TV (now Lime Pictures) the following year.
Sandy Ross Former Granada producer who worked on a wide range of regional and networked programmes at Granada, including the much-loved Scully written by Alan Bleasdale. He left Granada in the mid-80s to become Head of Light Entertainment at Scottish Television and later became Director of Programmes and Managing Director. He has also chaired the Salford Media Festival.
George Jesse Turner Former Granada cameraman and BAFTA award-winner who worked on World In Action from 1966 until the programme’s end; and the Seven Up series.
Sita Williams An experienced Drama producer whose credits at Granada TV included Crown Court, After the War and Reckless. In 2009 she set up RSJ films with Jimmy McGovern and Roxy Spencer. Based in MediaCity the company produced the multi-award winning series Accused.
Leslie Woodhead He began his 40-year career at Granada TV in 1961. He worked as a Producer and Director on World In Action, later becoming its editor. A pioneer of the development of drama-documentaries he also made documentaries for the Disappearing World series. He is one of Britain’s most distinguished documentary makers and winner of many international awards, including a BAFTA for his “Outstanding creative contribution to television”.
The Manchester Centre for Regional History The Manchester Centre for Regional History (MCRH) was set up in 1998 with the aim of building upon the Universityâ€™s research strengths in the history of Manchester and the NorthWest of England, and has a particular commitment to community history. The Centre organises events, which bring together history scholars, practitioners and enthusiasts, and encourages collaborative, multidisciplinary projects with a broad range of institutions, groups and individuals who are interested in innovative research into communities, localities, and regions. The Centre is keen to promote activities that bridge the gap between academic history and the public, through links with schools, colleges, local history organisations, museums, archives and libraries, and develop research initiatives
that meet the needs of communities in the north west of England. The Centre has particularly strong expertise in oral history, and provides training and support to groups undertaking oral history projects. The Friends of the MCRH was launched in 2003, and complements the aims and activities of the Manchester Centre for Regional History. It holds regular presentations and talks, guided walks and visits, and offers a friendly and stimulating focus for people of all backgrounds who share a passion for research into their localities and region. The Friendsâ€™ regular informal meetings are held at the Universityâ€™s campus on Oxford Road, Manchester, and anyone interested in our regional history is welcome to attend.
Manchester Centre for Regional History
mmu.ac.uk/hpp/mcrh/ Humanities Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University
Granada Foundation The Granadaland Project would like to gratefully acknowledge the on-going support it has received from the Granada Foundation. The Granada Foundation was established in 1965 (known as the Northern Arts and Sciences Foundation until its name change in 1972) to encourage the study and appreciation of the fine arts and sciences and to promote education, with a particular interest in activity in the North West of England. The Foundation encourages and promotes the study, practice and appreciation of the fine arts, including architecture, literature, music, drama, cinema, and the methods and means of their dissemination. Chaired by Sir Robert Scott, the Advisory Council meets at regular intervals to consider applications looking for imaginative proposals that will in some way make the North West a richer and more attractive place in which to live and work. There is more information about the Foundation at www.granadafoundation.org
The Shiers Trust The Granadaland Project has also received funding from the Shiers Trust Award scheme. The annual award is managed by the Royal Television Society and is named after George Shiers, a distinguished US television historian, who was a long-standing member of the RTS. Before his death in 1983, he and his wife, May, provided for a bequest in their wills to support the publication of work on any aspect of the history of television. There is more information about the award and previous recipients at the RTS website www.rts.org.uk
We are intending to continue the development of the project, although this is dependent on funding, and would particularly like to interview former members of staff who worked at Granada TV in the 1950s and 1960s. We are also keen to assemble other related material such as photos and production paperwork, either as a donation or on loan. Finally weâ€™d like to encourage you to visit the Granadaland project website at www.granadaland.org both to enjoy the content and to add your own memories and comments. If you would like to write your own memories, please use the blog section of the website. Contact us at: email@example.com
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