Derek Granger in conversation with David Grindley

Eastbourne College has thriving departments of Drama and English. Their summer Creative Arts Festival has presented cultural events that the school’s most illustrious old boy could only have dreamed of during his time there in the 1930s. Now, on the day after his 101st birthday, Derek Granger has shared an hour of his time and some candid anecdotes of his extraordinary life as a ground-breaking arts journalist, TV and film producer, script writer and philanthropist.

Derek Granger David Grindley

He was gently prompted by David Grindley, another very successful theatrical old boy half his age, with the aid of some evocative photographs. Highlights were the recollections of launching the pioneering Arts page of the Financial Times; of establishing ‘Coronation Street’ with Tony Warren as a beloved national institution; of his time with Kenneth Tynan as they assisted Laurence Olivier setting up the National Theatre.

A whole hour could have been spent just on the drama productions for Granada, and another hour for that career-defining masterpiece ‘Brideshead Revisited’. Award winning films too were produced and much effort given to supporting Crusaid and Chickenshed. Fascinating, well-prepared conversations like this leave me wanting a fully-fledged biography.

Apparently, living beyond 100 years takes no real talent – it just happens. Who’d have known? Mr Granger has just been too busy and too involved with life to retire completely. I wonder what his next project will be.

Birley Centre, Eastbourne
24 April 2022
Rating: ★★★★★
Andrew Connal

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