Top positive review
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A very interesting book about the history of ITV
on 23 September 2013
**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).