In the 60s, during the rise of Granada, its output ranged from Coronation Street to Laurence Olivier in King Lear, leading to this culture clash, as recalled by Maureen Lipman when interviewed by Michael Grade for On the Box:
“There was a fantastic moment when Laurence Olivier in the corridors of Granada encountered Doris Speed, Annie Walker. And he went down on one knee and he said, ‘My darling, darling Miss Speed. You know, over the years you have given us so much pleasure. I can’t tell you how wonderful you are, what a great actress you are in every conceivable sense. And Doris looked at him and said, ‘And the same to you Sir Laurence, many fold.’”
Olivier’s fabulous luvvie enthusings were rather dampened by Doris Speed’s steely reply, how very Annie Walker of her!
Michael Grade’s history of TV, On the Box, is on Radio 2 on Mondays.
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