John Birt was born in 1944 into a working-class Liverpool family. His father was battle-scarred by World War II and the household was run essentially by his mother and grandmother. Birt's grandfather, himself shell-shocked by the Great War, used to race pigeons and encouraged his grandson to perfom odd misdemeanours like peeing in his shoes. Educated by the Catholic Irish Christian brothers, Birt established a strong sense of duty early in life. After school he went to Oxford and experienced a profound culture shock, but by good luck he arrived just as Liverpool was becoming the trendiest city in Britain (post-Beatles). Joining the Granada World in Action team he quickly discovered his calling - and this book is about how he went on to use that ambition to become one of the most influential media figures in Britain. It's also full of colourful characters and anecdotes, from members of Birt's own family to Paul McCartney and Tony Blair. Far from being the grey man portrayed by the media, this book reveals Birt as a likeable, humorous man with a gift for self-deprecation and a vision for the future of broadcast journalism.