Maurice Leonard

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14 Oct 2013
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Maurice Leonard started late in Television. His previous job was a book jacket writer for a medical publishers. Alongside him at the time was the authoress Jilly Cooper. Started as a Television Researcher for Granada TV in Manchester. Then worked on This is Your Life for Thames TV when Eamonn Andrews was the presenter. Andrews was a very correct man and Maurice recounts the problems this sometimes caused.. Rose to producer on Childrens TV and finally to producer for the likes of Michael Barrymore.

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 Maurice Leonard interview 14th October 2013 Maurice Thorogood    interviewer

John Harwood History Unit Camera

How did you get into television?

Canadian temp said to him would you like to write scripts for Granada TV. Interviewed by Granada TV go on short list. got job after no experience payed £11 per week moved to Granada land to flat.

First jobmaking trailers for TV. Had to be explained what video tape was. 2 inch Videotape he used in the editing and in colour.

Anecdote about Ena Sharples of Coronation Street 1968. Tell us of journey from presentation assistant to producer? Boarded by Thames as promotion Scriptwriter and got job.

Wrote for David Hamilton and Philip Elsmore TV announcers.

Bob Tyrell ex ITN was This is Your Life Head and offered him job as researcher on a 9 months contract. Audience then was 22 million. worked on This is Your Life for 10 years.

ACTT was very strict refused Maurice Leonard membership for a long time. Producers did not have to be ACTT but researchers did.

Union membership was advantage because it demanded 1st Class Air travel and 1st class hotel.

Crew of nine essential stipulation, goes on to describe so called restrictive practices by ACTT crew working in the USA.

Question The crew were highly skilled and could demand good conditions.

Question about job of researcher on This is Your Life.

Talks about Eamonn Andrews the presenter being very strict about the morals of the people being interviewed.

Eamonn Andrews had complete control over who was interviewed. Question about costs.

Maurice Leonard says here he never was questioned about budget seemingly it was a bottomless pocket. Talks then about many big movies stars Ginger Rogers Gloria Swanson.

- - stars entertaining knew no restriction money was no cost in dealing with them.

Star guests were asked on to show.

How many years to get top of researcher list?

roughly about 10 years.

This is Your Life demanded great secrecy from press and papers. talks about the TOIL and DOIL system in ACTT Union.

Worked on Whose Baby Show.

What was your first Producers Job.

Not offered to him on live TV shows.

Julian Mountford offered him a job on Childrens TV Family Tree. Philip Jones offered him job as Producer of Whats's my Line.

Question Whats is difference between Associate and Full producer.

recounts story about people on What's My Line.

Producer of What's My Line could choose panel members to some extent but Eamonn Andrews would insist on being consulted .

Question How do you book the stars to appear.

He says usually direct through contacts or sometimes through agents. but very difficult to book stars he said who were not normal people but ones with inflated egoes.

Question what came next after whats My Line.

Did some writing and odd jobs then got small job looking at an American show called Strike it Lucky.    Was then asked to suggest a presenter for the UK version. He then suggested Michael Barrymore. Talks about how show.

Mistakes made on the show were mostly left in. Barrymore got £1000 a show at very start.

Was luck a big part in light entertainment?

States how there was always a    slave camera constantly on Barrymore which played a very big part in editing.

Question The the Barrymore Show was formed.

Here talks about PM Margaret Thatcher playing a part in losing Thames the TV franchise over Death on the Rock Documentary.