While being isolated due to coronavirus John has been busy adding to the blog on his website – and finishing his Autobiography in the hope that a publisher may take it on.
Looking out of the window on the best summer we have had in many-a-year has reminded him of the summer of ’76
Re-reading his fascinating book, A SENSE OF PLACE, (Lez Cooke, Manchester
University Press) I am reminded of how my search for a background to a
television series commissioned by Granada Television resulted in me locating it
in the area in which I was then living.
This was the countryside surrounding the very attractive market town of Settle
set on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. I had just completed 39
episodes of one of Granada’s most popular television series, SAM, the setting
for which was the South Yorkshire coalfields set in the former Yorkshire West
Riding. While the scenery which was the background to the drama was quite
different, the people had the same friendly and versatile qualities of the
county they shared. This included a strong attachment to the family concept
which is a feature of most of my work.
I think Sir Denis Forman, then managing director of Granada , was slightly
concerned by the cultural differences which would be obvious. “Don’t
worry,Denis,” I said, “if the scripts don’t fulfill the audiences expectations, the
scenery will be absolutely beautiful”.
We shot it in the summer of 1976 when the sun seemed to shine every day.
We gave it the title “THIS YEAR NEXT YEAR”. The photography was
outstanding. No indication of where the locations were was given. Uniquely the
Granada switchboard was jammed with viewers desperately asking, “Where is
it? Please tell us where it is. “