Letter: The quality films that Granada has promised but failed to deliver

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The Independent Online
Sir: When Granada TV submitted its application for the franchise, it did not just say that it would make 14 films, as would appear from your reports ('Granada 'in serious breach of franchise' ', 25 February; 'Plenty of drama and no crisis, insists Granada', 3 March). It said, and I have a copy of the application in front of me as I write, that it would be making 14 specific films. The application lists them in the following way:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, adapted by Arthur Hopcraft; The Blue Room by Georges Simenon, adapted by Simon Gray; Therese Raquin by Emile Zola; Good Timing, original screenplay by Andy de la Tour; Code Breaker, original screenplay from Alan Turing's true story; The Calling, original screenplay by Ted Whitehead; Stinger, original screenplay by Jay Presson Allen in discussion; The Billy Tipton Story,original screenplay based on the true story; Beyond Reason, original screenplay by Philip Rosenberg; Voices, original screenplay by Fay Weldon; Earth on Trial,original screenplay developed with independent producer Gordon Freedman; I'll be Seeing You,original screenplay by Susan Silver; The President's Child, by Fay Weldon, adapted by Alan Sharp; The Eighth Day, by Thornton Wilder, adapted by Wendell Mayes.

Granada added in the application for the licence 'Granada has set up a separate department specifically to make high quality films for television. NDR in Germany, Hachette in France, CBS and HBO in America have joined this enterprise, designed to enable Granada to offer up to four major films a year to the network'.

Ann Clwyd, MP, shadow heritage secretary, in her dossier to Sir George Russell, Chairman of the ITC, said this of these 14 films:

Now we learn that the Films for Television Department at Granada has been dismantled. This makes it unlikely that any of the films will be made. Certainly none will be made this year. Against this background, Granada's promise looks sick.

David Liddiment, Granada's director of programmes, says (3 March) the company has more than 14 films in development. This implies that all the above films are being made. If that is the case, will Mr Liddiment explain who is directing and producing each one, who the principal actors are and when will they be finished? What budget has been set aside for each film? Why has there been no publicity about these spectacular productions in the making? Why does nobody at Granada, except Mr Liddiment, know about the fact that they are being made?

Yours faithfully,

ALICE MAHON

MP for Halifax (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

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