Obituary: Bill Grundy

William Grundy, television presenter, broadcaster and producer, born Manchester 18 May 1923, married 1946 Jane Nicholson (four sons, two daughters), died Marple Cheshire 9 February 1993.

YOU HAD to see Bill Grundy at home to understand the man whose hold upon celebrity is very sadly based on his televised invitation to the Sex Pistols to vocalise their obscene thoughts, writes Andy Allan.

His technique with Johnny Rotten was his technique with life. He liked nothing more than daring people to qo a bit further than they ever intended. That's the way he treated his children at lunch, foreign secretaries in studios, producers in offices who begged him to behave, but mostly himself.

Grundy - few television practitioners ever bothered with his Christian name - was a consummate broadcaster, probably the most talented interviewer of his own and the present generation. When firing on all cylinders Grundy had the very best journalistic instincts and skills. He was at home in the interviewer's chair like no one else, his honesty and integrity used as a blunt instrument upon those who sought to prevaricate or pretend in his presence. On one occasion Grundy was interviewing Mickey Rooney and giving the aged Hollywood star a tough time on his marital record. 'Oh come on, Bill,' Rooney said, 'you and I go back a long way . . .' 'Cobblers,' Grundy said, 'we only met in The Green Room 10 minutes ago.'

No television journalist over 40 is a complete person without a quiverful of Grundy anecdotes. Certainly he was invited to leave an ITN party conference reception at Blackpool, and there is every truth in the story that he was put to bed one hour before a live transmission but made it back to the studio to conduct a stunning interview with Lord George- Brown. He was the El Cid of ITV - never a BBC man - strapped on his horse and passing into legend. He could be rude, he was occasionally cruel, but we all went back for more because Dr Jekyll was never more than three hours' sleep away. A marvellously descriptive writer, dogged interviewer and a frequent giggler, this geologist turned broadcaster was as multi-layered as the Pennines he adored.

(Photograph omitted)

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?