How Granada TV chairman Sir Denis Forman changed my life

Producer and director Michael Apted pays tribute to the former Granada TV chairman who died last week

When I joined Granada in 1963, I was part of a small group straight out of university (which included Mike Newell) chosen by Sir Denis Forman, in his role as head of programmes, to train at the company. It was the place to be – ahead of the field in current affairs, drama, light entertainment and comedy. I doubt any of us has any idea of how lucky we were to be asked to join.

Granada was a small company, with neither the space nor resources for serious training, so ours was on-the-job. I did news, some small documentaries, football matches, church services, World In Action, then on to Coronation Street and eventually into drama, working with some to the best writers of their generation: Jack Rosenthal, Arthur Hopcraft and Colin Welland. In those early years,
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