The big arrow points to tea-
For reasons best known to themselves cinema took a great interest in ITV. Their obvious purpose would have been to sabotage it as, if ITV had got its act together, it could have seen the end of cinema going in Britain. Rank had its fingers in Southern Television, ABC Television was essentially Associated British Picture Corp, while cinema chain owners the Bernstein Brothers looked at the contracts and decided that due to (among other things) Manchester's rainy climate, more people were more likely to spend time at home, so they decided to apply for the north of England franchise. Naming their channel after their Granada movie theatres it began broadcasting weekdays from the 3rd May 1956. Although Granada was known as Manchester's station for the first twelve years it also had to cover Yorkshire, so it also had a base in Leeds. For the first few years they also covered North Wales.
Although they had early success with music and variety shows like Spot The Tune,
and Chelsea at Nine it didn't necessarily target the younger audience. But they did
broadcast some early evening music shows like Here's Humph and Melody Ranch, but
they were the wrong side of 6pm. It wasn't until May 1959 that they tried a tea-
Granada had introduced Scene at 6.30 from 1963 which had many pop stars, while future
pop stars Davy Jones and Peter Noone appeared in Coronation Street, but again this
was still the wrong side of six o'clock. In 1967 the Firstimers talent show was broadcast
However, with the franchise changes implemented in 1968 they seemed to have a change
of heart about tea-
The one single, wonderful thread that ran through Granada's tea-
A number of the shows below are also covered in the A-
31st July 1968 -
A new beginning for Granada, this being their first proper tea-
1st November 1968 -
Covered elsewhere in the A-
Lift Off / Lift Off With Ayshea
5th November 1969 -
Basically Discotheque with a new name, but this time the hosting emphasis would be
on Ayshea Brough. Her co-
45 / Rock On With 45
4th April 1974 -
Hosted by Emperor Rosko this was another one of Muriel Young's shows, but this one would rely on new talent. Ayshea appeared on the second show, suggesting some kind of continuity. The first series appeared to fill in the gap between series of Lift Off. It would play host to the tail end of glam with appearances by Slade, The Bay City Rollers, Geordie, Gary Glitter and the like while the second series, now hosted by Dave 'Kid' Jensen kicked off with Supertramp, Ace and The Pretty Things, suggesting that the album chart was being targeted. This second series played on a Tuesday while Lift Off was on Thursday. But despite the talent on offer the show was not networked across ITV.
1st April 1975 -
Muriel Young in something a coup caught the Rollers at the summer of their success, but it only lasted the one series. It not only captured the deranged scream of Rollermaina, but also through embarrassing between songs patter revealed them up as the shy, or ego driven personalities they actually were.
14th October 1975 -
Hosted by Stephanie De Sykes and another show that lasted only the one series. This
2nd March 1976 -
Muriel Young, producer at Granada had been looking for a proper replacement for the
Bay City Rollers' Shang-
Get It Together
6th April 1977 -
This one looked like something of a step backwards, as the show seemed to target a much younger audience. The cheerful hosts sang the very jolly theme tune, and smiled throughout the whole show, like a pop version of Play School. Like Stephanie De Sykes and Ayshea before them the hosts also sang songs in the show. But it worked, and was on the air for over four and a half years, nearly outpacing Lift Off. But this was not the one you talked about the day after at school. Fred Barker and Ollie Beak were brought back, so that was worth watching.
24th August 1977 -
Maybe it was the intention to have two shows for two audiences. Get It Together was
aimed at the under teens, while Marc took care of the snotty, punk wannabee teenage
crowd. Bolan was back in the UK after his tax exile and American adventures and wanted
to place himself firmly where he thought he belonged, with the new wave. After all,
many of the punk bands grew up listening to Bowie and Bolan only five years before,
although they were too cool to admit it. He ingratiated himself a little by inviting
them onto his show, and tried to out-
Blue Jean Set
Described by Music Week in March 1977 as a "straight pop show", it never materialsied.
9th May 1978 -
There would be no second series for Marc, so another pop star had to be chosen to host the next show. To be fair to Paul Nicholas he had been approached in early 1977 to host a show, but had already agreed to appear in the movie version of the stage musical Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which meant he would be unavailable. His pop hits in the mid seventies, together with his stage and movie experience made him an obvious choice to host a show, but maybe he would have been better suited to an early evening series like Leo Sayer's. Another show, like Look Alive, that seems to have been forgotten about, and like many others it only lasted one series.
27th June 1978 -
The week after Paul exited the schedules, this showcase for new talent arrived. It wasn't a judged talent show, it gave thirty minutes to show us what they could do. Both Child and The Pleasers already had recording contracts, so they weren't all amateurs, but the public took no notice and the show was cancelled.
13th February 1979 -
An odd one here, produced by Muriel Young as usual, but directed by Michael Dolenz during his time in the UK when he directed many children's shows as well as a few straight dramas for both the BBC and ITV. Featuring Cliff on a few shows, but mostly dependable, but unsuccessful, white gospel poppers, rather than black gospel.
The Solid Gold Top Twenty Show
28th December 1979
14th April 1981 -
A bit of a gap until Granada's next tea-
13th September 1982 -
Shows like this would now come under the Children's ITV strand, but the ITV companies were still autonomous at this time, so Granada was still able to contribute. Filmed at Alton Towers theme park, it featured many big name chart acts, rather than just newcomers or some of the cheaper cuts from pops casting central. And when I mean big names, how about Public Image Limited and Iggy Pop? As you can see from the previous entries, Granada displayed a bizarre pattern of either allowing shows to run for five years or for just one series. Hold Tight deserved its long run.
Teach Yourself Gibberish
24th September 1982 -
Normally shows like this would be scheduled daytime during schools broadcasts, but luckily we all got to see it. Manchester based rock anarchists Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias performed sketches and songs based on a letter of the alphabet each week. Once again, a one series wonder.
Pop Goes Christmas
26th December 1982
Granada produced several one-
Pop Goes New Year
31st December 1983
The second of the tea-
Stop That Laughing At The Back
30th September 1987 -
A justly forgotten comedy show, which sounds a little like 1968's Do Not Adjust Your
Set, starring Paul Bradley later of EastEnders and Casualty, but instead of a band
like The Bonzos joining in with the gags, this show for some reason chose finger-
By this time Muriel Young was gone and the likes of David Liddiment had taken over. It had to end.