Boost to television station's future

One of the most powerful figures in British broadcasting has thrown his weight behind Anglia Television's future as a producer of daytime programmes on the back of its success with the Trisha show.

One of the most powerful figures in British broadcasting has thrown his weight behind Anglia Television's future as a producer of daytime programmes on the back of its success with the Trisha show.

Granada TV chairman Charles Allen, whose company owns Anglia, outlined his vision for the Norwich broadcaster's future in a welcome boost for Trisha Goddard, host of Anglia's flagship show.

Ms Goddard has recently courted controversy by admitting to taking Ecstasy and appearing to label Norfolk women as unintelligent in a national newspaper - a charge she denies, saying her remarks were taken out of context.

But Mr Allen said that Anglia's “daytime TV centre of excellence” and the top-rating Trisha show would play a key role in the future of a unified ITV.


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He said Anglia had won the contract to produce a second series of lunchtime celebrity talk show Loose Women, which will be broadcast live to the nation from its Magdalen Street studios from the end of this month.

He also sought to reassure Anglia staff who might be worried about potentially more job losses in the drive to cut costs in a leaner ITV infrastructure.

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“Quite the opposite; I would like to see Anglia growing as we develop the centre of excellence,” he said. “I hope that we would see more production jobs created in future. The consolidation of ITV will have no negative impacts on the regions.

“Anglia is already the biggest daytime producer in the country with the Trisha show and I think the growth will be a gradual process in the next couple of years.”

Anglia spokeswoman Lisa Mungham-Gray said the two shows were evidence of the growing role played by Anglia in the network.

“Trisha is a massive success for Granada and Anglia and a lot of its success is down to how smoothly it's produced by the team here,” she said.

“Winning the contract for Loose Women again is a real coup for Anglia and we are absolutely delighted.”

Mr Allen is in the process of trying to complete a £2.4bn merger with fellow ITV broadcaster Carlton, but it has been referred to the Competition Commission, which is due to report on June 25.

He said the merger would strip out overlapping layers of administration at Carlton and Granada and divert money towards programming.

“From an ITV perspective, we want to cut out all the duplicated overheads and the overall objective is to put that money on to the screen.

“We aim to take out all that wasted infrastructure and get people to focus on what they do well. Anglia has brought a breadth of talent and fantastic people who play a key role in ITV and drive the regional agenda.”

Mr Allen was in Norwich to meet Anglia staff and he hailed the company's success in creating programmes for international markets, such as hit US show Animal Precinct, as being vital to the future.

And he added that Anglia was central to Granada's plans for developing broadcasting talent.

“We have made Anglia the home of the Granada Academy, and we have people who have come through only seven months ago who are now a cameraperson or a director.

“That's the way that TV should be driven.”

Ms Mungham-Gray said: “Anglia is at the heart of creating talent for the whole network. We are bringing it on for everyone else to benefit from.”

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