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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real inside story
A fascinating, intriguing and in some ways horrifying account of what was going on at Granada through the 80s, 90s and close to the present. Not so much behind-the-scenes as within the corridors of power.... the stories of the avarice and callousness of Robinson, Allen and co make chilling reading. I was there, but didn't know the half of it.
The book goes a long way...
Published on 12 Jun 2008 by Nick

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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One-sided insider's view of recent British TV history
The conflict at the heart of this book is the same as there is at the heart of the British TV industry; between the creative programme makers, convinced that they are on a mission to serve and enlighten the public, and on the other side, the money makers, who have to run the business so that everyone gets paid. The author, formerly head of documentaries at Granada, leaves...
Published on 22 Sep 2009 by T Westcott


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real inside story, 12 Jun 2008
By 
Nick (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dream That Died: The Rise and Fall of ITV (Paperback)
A fascinating, intriguing and in some ways horrifying account of what was going on at Granada through the 80s, 90s and close to the present. Not so much behind-the-scenes as within the corridors of power.... the stories of the avarice and callousness of Robinson, Allen and co make chilling reading. I was there, but didn't know the half of it.
The book goes a long way to explain the complete sorry, downmarket mess that ITV has become.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting book about the history of ITV, 23 Sep 2013
By 
Mr. A. J. Tennant "Metalhead" (Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dream That Died: The Rise and Fall of ITV (Paperback)
**THIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

"Ray Fitzwalter, the man who launched a thousand investigations for Granada Television's legendary World in Action series, has written a sobering and profound book - part investigative journalism, part cultural history. Read it - and weep for everything that today's ITV has been allowed to become!" - Paul Greengrass, feature film director.

A book written by Raymond Fitzwalter, The Dream That Died: The Rise and Fall of ITV is a unique insider account of the rise and fall of ITV, as seen through the fate of Granada Television, and the ripple effect on the standard of broadcasting we see on our screens today. The unfolding of the story of 25 years, in which "The best broadcasting system in the world" was turned into "Ignorance and self-interest, the idiocy and feeble mindedness that is 21st century ITV".
A book based on more than 90 exclusive interviews with key players who had their hands on the money, and the power, behind commercial television, but who saw politicians, businessmen and broadcasters convert high quality public service broadcasting into a ratings driven commercial wasteland, undermining the BBC and Channel 4.
Accompanied by a collection of original photographs, The Dream That Died is essential for anyone involved in, or learning about the broadcasting industry.

Although mostly one-sided as it mostly concentrates on Granada Television, The Dream That Died is an excellent book to read with very interesting facts about the rise and fall of ITV, a station which launched on the 22nd of September 1955 (and the first commercial station to launch in the UK as commercial television was originally an American idea). When reading the book and watching television, you can see how much the quality of programming on ITV has gone downhill in recent years. I would say that ITV started to go downhill in 2002 but some would argue that the station started to go downhill in 1993 when Carlton Television, GMTV, Westcountry Television and Meridian Broadcasting all launched that year after Thames Television, Television South (TVS), Television South West (TSW) and TV-am all lost their franchises in the 1991 franchise round (the franchise round to end all franchise rounds), causing them to cease broadcasting at the end of 1992. There seemed to be a pattern at the time in that all the franchises whose names began with the letter "T" (excluding Tyne Tees Television) had to go under the station's regulator at the time, the Independent Television Commission (or the ITC for short).

Overall, The Dream That Died is a very good book to read that I would highly recommend to anyone who has an interest in ITV (well, the glory days of the station anyway).
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One-sided insider's view of recent British TV history, 22 Sep 2009
By 
T Westcott (London) - See all my reviews
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The conflict at the heart of this book is the same as there is at the heart of the British TV industry; between the creative programme makers, convinced that they are on a mission to serve and enlighten the public, and on the other side, the money makers, who have to run the business so that everyone gets paid. The author, formerly head of documentaries at Granada, leaves you in no doubt about which side he stands on; much of the book is a hatchet job on Gerry Robinson and Charles Allen, the managers who laid off thousands of staff while personally enriching themselves and leaving Granada, as the author grimly concludes, "hollowed out".

That is my problem with the book: it's terribly one-sided, making little reference to the context of technological change which has had an impact on the TV industry. Some slimming down of broadcasting had to take place - ITV hasn't lost viewers just because it was badly managed, but because cable, satellite and digital TV (which is barely mentioned) came along, and guess what - given the choice of 30 channels, people watch less ITV. The section at the end of the book which tries to put ITV's decline in the context of incompetent British industrial management is not without a grain of truth, but unconvincing, bolted on.

Certainly worth reading if you are interested in British TV, and quite good on the regulatory context of the Thatcher government in the 1980s and 1990s (not as boring as that makes it sound). Probably a difficult book to get much out of if you don't know some of the people involved.
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The Dream That Died: The Rise and Fall of ITV
The Dream That Died: The Rise and Fall of ITV by Raymond Fitzwalter (Paperback - 7 Mar 2008)
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