Julian Aymes

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19 Feb 1992
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BEHP  0240 S Julian Aymes synopsis



Born Cambridge 1917, educated locally, went to Cambridge University to 'do' classics', then changed to read English, joined the Mummers. Came down 1939, exempted from Military Service because of eyesight, offered a job with  repertory company in Frinton as actor/Stage Manager, was called up in 1940 joined the Pioneer Corp. applied for a commission in1942, became 2nd Lieutenant sent to Orkneys, then volunteered for overseas service, joined East African Corps in Cairo; talks about his war experiences, finishing as a Major demobbed in 1946 went to Stratford as an Actor where he stayed for 3 years, playing ‘old men. He then went to Birmingham Rep and in 1951 saw an advert from the BBC asking for trainee TV Directors!

He applied, he describes his interview and the "board!  Accepted and offered the 6 week course, after which he was attached to various staff directors, he stayed with Ian Atkins for 6 months and was re-employed on rolling contracts until 1956. He worked on The Prisoner with Andrew Cruikshank (this was his first production)’ then a John Buchan serial 4 episodes The Hostage, then Dial M for Murder, His first solo production was The Deep Blue Sea, written by Terence Rattigan. He left the BBC in 1956 to direct a film The Hill in Korea for British Lion which he enjoyed. He was then offered a job with the Rank Organisation and he describes this episode of his life as a very unhappy one, having to turn down bad script after bad script. He did one other film, Miracle in Soho. Then moved to Granada Television on a three play a year contract then in 1960 went back to the BBC to produce and direct No Wreath for the General; 1963 went back to Granada as Head of Programmes, Manchester working as number two to Sir Denis Forman, joining the Board in 1970, he talks about his work on labour relations and getting a change in the Pension Scheme with options for retirement at either 60 or 65, then in 1977 he retired and went back to the BBC, directing on a freelance basis, also produced for Thames: Rumpole of the Bailey.


He talks about the scheme to go to the States to direct in the Theatre.

This was a scheme backed by Grahada. He relates that the most enjoyable period of his career was producing the Classic Serials. He then goes on to talk about the “stupid” franchise scheme dreamed up, he feels that quality will get lost and more and more
slot filling will take place, and he is far from enthusiastic about the future of Television.

He then goes on to talk about the changes which have taken place at the BBC since the arrival of ITV.