A friend suggested I should type in my name on my Internet search engine. I did, hardly believing it would produce anything. The first item it produced related to a John Finch who was a highly thought of London clockmaker in 1765, which might remotely connect, I thought, to my obsession with punctuality.
The second declared that I was represented by an agent I had acrimoniously ditched months before. I was a little concerned in the unlikely event that anyone should ring them in search of my few talents. The response would hardly be enthusiastic. A dismissive “No longer with us,” might be the least harmful of these.
A reference which, followed forward, listed me as one of the ten top television writers ever to have served on Coronation Street sounded suspiciously like a demotion, though I was described as one of the most influential of the early producers. I was, in honest fact, probably the worst.
The one that impressed me most gave the background to a Saint John Finch who resided in the area of Lancashire from which my father originated. Excited by the possibility of status- elevating ancestral connections I read on, only to discover that he was hanged at Lancaster in 1649.