MASTER OF HIS TRADE - Remembering Allan Littlemore

Issue 6082

COVID ROADMAP - Optimism at route out of restrictions

COMPOSER CAST - Christopher Bond meets Naomi Styles

Lights, camera, action

Sunday 14 February, 2021

Fifty years ago, the Granada TV Band of the Year Festival appeared on our television screens and introduced a new dimension to brass band contesting.

Band historian Tim Mutum charts the rise and fall of a series which captured the imagination of brass band audiences – and did much to showcase banding to the wider public.


Why would a well-established television company, once described as ‘the greatest television company in the world’ and boasting programmes such as Coronation Street and World in Action, suddenly want to get heavily involved with brass bands? That is exactly what north-west based Granada TV did 50 years ago in 1971, 25 years after its first broadcast in 1956. The simple answer is that Granada, a company listed on the Stock Exchange, went into takeover mode.

As one of the founding executives, the late Denis Forman was a major influence at Granada, backing high-quality programme making and regarded as one of the godfathers of commercial television. Arthur Taylor, then a young producer at Granada, was charged with bringing brass bands to the small screen and is pretty sure Forman was behind the spate of acquisitions that led him to a new role which saw him producing the Granada TV Band of the Year contest and writing two major books on brass bands.


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