This is NEW Granadaland 

29 July 2018 tbs.pm/66978

At midnight on Sunday the North, largest of all the ITV regions, is to be split in two. Viewers east of the Pennines will be served by a new ITV company, Yorkshire Television. Those on the west — stretching from the Lake District down to North Wales — will continue to receive programmes from Granada, who will now be on the air seven days a week. Granada are already calling this area the New Granadaland. It is an area of distinctive character

by DENNIS JOHNSON


 

From the TVTimes Granada (West of the Pennines) for 27 July – 2 August 1968

NOT long ago the great social division in Britain was generally accepted to be between North and South, with the River Trent acting as an economic, cultural, aesthetic and even sporting watershed.

The North — more for the sake of argument than for the sake of factual accuracy — was conveniently black, badly housed, wet, over run by whippets, cursed by flat vowels and hopelessly proud of its history as the workshop of the world.

The South, by contrast, was douce and civilised, the seat of diplomacy and power, a place where the sun shone on suburban magnolias and ambitious young Northerners were given their final polish.

Although it was shot through with exceptions and half-truths, the argument had its uses. It helped to create the development districts, such as that on Merseyside, and it enabled innumerable writers who were short of a bit of grubby nostalgia to capitalise on the back streets of Lancashire and the lovable heartlessness of Yorkshire businessmen.

We were all, in the North, lumped together and tarred, as it were, with the same brush.

More recently the picture has been adjusted. The regional economic planning councils, for example, have begun to show that the North is not, and never was, one place, and that its tastes and problems vary from region to region.

The economic problems of the South West have been seen to be more difficult than those of industrial Lancashire.

A recent survey showed that incomes were rising faster in the North West than the national average, and that the region, far from being the final repository of backyard washhouses, owned, proportionately, more washing machines than anywhere else in Britain.

Now Independent Television has been given the opportunity of recognising that the North is not one big identifiable slab. On Monday, Granada, in the west, and the new company, Yorkshire Television, in the east, begin their new contracts.

Whatever the economic considerations which brought about the change, the new contract areas represent an important step forward in enabling television companies to reach the people among whom they live and work.

Granada-men move off to an urgent job

Although a bit fanciful, Granada’s name for its new domain — “New Granadaland” — is acceptable if it means that the area bounded by the Irish Sea, the Lake District mountains, the Pennines, the Peak District and Snowdonia, which historically shares common interests, can begin to achieve its own identity within the national setting.

From its headquarters in the centre of Manchester, Granada will provide a seven-day-a-week service to an area which contains eight million people, or 14.8 per cent of the nation’s population.

It has 2.7 million households, and 64 per cent of its people are concentrated in the central belt known to planners as the “Mersey Division”, consisting of the Manchester and Liverpool complexes, with Warrington and Wigan in the middle.

Dennis Forman, joint managing director of Granada, said: “The new seven-day contract gives us 60 hours of viewing a week, compared with 40 up to now. We start with a new generation of senior producers, with David Plowright, of World in Action, as Head of Programmes.

“We’re planning a lot of new projects—for instance, Gordon McDougall, who has been artistic director of the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, will be launching a new live theatre next-door to our headquarters which will also provide new plays for television.”

Granada will also have a new series of nightly television programmes designed especially for “New Granadaland”.

Executive producer of these new shows is Mike Scott. He said: “What we’re really after is to show the North West as it really is. It is not just a part of some old-fashioned picture of ‘The North’.

“It’s a place of great potential with its own special character. We think the North West has a lot to say—and we shall be saying it.”


… and here is part of it

by GRAEME KAY

Mike Scott, Granada Executive Producer, says: “I feel the time is right to swing into something new”

NEXT Monday Granada break away from the regular Monday-to-Friday magazine programme technique which has been the pattern for the last five years with Scene.

Instead, four new self-contained programmes will be seen on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, with a “double” programme on Wednesday.

They are It’s Trueman on Monday; Come Outside and Say That on Tuesday; On Site on Thursday; and At Last — It’s Friday on Friday. Wednesday’s “double” is made up of Put it in Writing and What’s On?

Mike Scott, executive producer, Northern programmes, said: “There is still a place for the regular magazine programme. It’s just that I feel the time is right to swing into something different.”

This is how the week will work out…

MONDAY: Brian Trueman, roving reporter, starts his own show It’s Trueman. Brian is an all-rounder who can play comedy sketches or turn his hand to serious interviewing and has a big following in the North.

In a series of 20-minute film reports, he will be at large in Granadaland, probing and interviewing. His first batch of films will be about people who are transformed by their passion for a spare-time hobby.

Brian said: “In the North there is this strong tradition of people taking up hobbies that dominate their lives. Southerners are not so single minded.”

His subjects include glider flying at Tideswell in Derbyshire, a film about soccer fans and a programme about the “death” of the steam engine.

A programme on ballroom dancing typifies the sort of item that he is seeking. He said: “It features women who lead boring lives as shop assistants but are transformed completely by night when they take the dance floor.”

TUESDAY: If you feel passionately about the North, you will be stimulated or outraged by Come Outside and Say That.

The programme is based on the belief that most Northerners are so proud of the region that they are blind to its faults.

Mike Scott said: “It is rather sad in some ways that Northern folk aren’t more demanding. If they were, the authorities would have to give them a better deal.

“Instead, the attitude is: ‘If it was good enough for my father, it’s good enough for me…’”

Granada have invited seven critics to prepare criticism of the North. “We don’t necessarily subscribe to their views,” said Scott, “but we are not putting the reins on them.”

The first two “attackers” are Clement Freud on Northern hotels and food and Sheelah Wilson, who runs a model agency, on Northern men.

Writer John Braine, who left Yorkshire for the Surrey stockbroker belt two years ago, will criticise cherished Northern illusions like “What Manchester does today, London does tomorrow.”

Brian Trueman can turn his hand to many things. One of the programmes in his new series will deal with glider flying.

WEDNESDAY: “This will be a public duty night,” said Scott. “Viewers; opinions about our more controversial productions will be aired in Put it in Writing.

It is the sequel to the highly successful Scenepost. Another postscript, What’s on? will be presented by 30-year-old Belfast-born actor Maurie Taylor.

He became a current affairs interviewer six months ago as Scene’s man in London.

Maurie said: “This will be a personalised look at what’s going on in the North West.

“We might preview a cricket match, but it is more likely to be a village green needle match, than Lancashire’s next county championship game.”

The idea is to feature the little publicised events that normally 200 people would support, but which might pull in 2,000 if only they knew about it.

THURSDAY: Granada will take on the role of television ombudsman in the North West with the series On Site, which plans to help people with “small passionate grievances”.

Mike Scott said: “This is television in its most basic form, the medium which can shorten the distance between people who are miles apart, both physically and socially.”

Each week, an outside broadcast unit will visit a Northern town. A producer and a team of researchers will move into an hotel and open an “office”.

Then they will invite people who have a grievance to approach the team.

Scott said: “It might be a complaint about the local education system, or a fault in a new car. We shall do what the man in the street cannot do. Go to the top and confront the person with responsibility — be it a Cabinet Minister or top industrialist.”

The complainant might be a cloth-capped miner standing in Wigan market place and presenting his case from a television link to a man in a studio at the Manchester TV Centre.

They will argue by means of television. Programme link men will be situated in Wigan and Manchester to ensure fair play and help the layman to put his case.

On Site should really make our presence felt in the North West, because we’ll be visiting 52 different towns in 12 months,” said Scott.

FRIDAY: The past seven days’ news and events will be examined in At Last — It’s Friday.

“We shall look at the news with passion, where we feel it is appropriate,” said Scott.

“But because so many news stories turn out to be less serious than they seem we shall be ready to be light hearted.”

You Say

2 responses to this article

Paul Mason 31 July 2018 at 10:22 am

The M-F 6.30pm pattern didn’t last long, except for On Site where a local grievance would be aired. On the OB would be a young Ray Gosling, and in the studio with the “defendants” chaired by announcer John McGregor,who would often admonish RG with,”That’s enough Gosling”. Put It In Writing and What’s On became elements in Scene’s replacement Six-O-One Newsday, a title which has surfaced many times. Inevitably the start time couldn’t be adhered to so it became just Newsday with “Miles Stones” by Miles Davis as the theme tune. I’m not sure when Six-O-One etc began whether it was 1968,1969 or1970. After the transmitter changes in ’68 we had to rely on Granada for local news. Granada Reports didn’t start until 1973.

nhewit 22 November 2018 at 3:48 pm

Was this the time when an abbreviated news bulletin at 6Pm was followed by the Beverley Hill Billies, or Gilligans Isle? For serious
Regional news, you had to tune to Channel 12: BBC Northwest; unless of course you had an old TV set like my Grandma, which could only receive Channel 2 from Holme Moss, which by 1969 was transmitting Look North from Leeds. I can well remember watching an item on that set about the last day of Bradford’s Trolley Buses ! Incidentally under the VHF system, no less than three Regional/National BBC services could be received on Merseyside: BBC North from Leeds on Channel 2, (Holme Moss), BBC Wales/Cymru from Cardiff on Channel 6, (Llandona) and the local BBC North West from Manchester on Channel 12( Winter Hill). Once UHF was introduced then it was ITV which provided the choice of Regions with Granada from Winter Hill, HTV from the Moel-Y- Parc Transmitter, closer to our neck of the woods than Winter Hill, also from 1975 ATV/Central was receivable from across the Cheshire Plain at the Wrekin in Shropshire.
I can remember the Thursday successor to On Site, ‘Campaign’, presented by Chris Kelly, some of its topics verged on typical ‘Granadaland’ agiprop, for example when the Campaign Outside Broadcast unit parked up outside Chester Town Hall. By contrast certain editions of the programme were the product of well researched and effective journalism, particularly the three consecutive episodes about pollution in the River Mersey; I can still remember the large glass tank of Mersey water in the studio and the unedifying ‘suspended solids’ that the tank contained!

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