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Terry Kinane - A Directors Life

Terry  as a very well respected director aswell as being an avid lover of Goodnight Sweetheart and one of the show’s original producers very kindly agreed to take a minute out of his busy schedule to take part in a small interview detailing life working in a goodnight sweetheart world  and about his life as a director.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN....


I joined ITN as a researcher at the age of 18 in 1975. I wanted to work on the technical side in a creative capacity, and I set my mind on becoming ITN's first ever trainee vision mixer. In order to accomplish this, I needed to change the mindset of the company. I therefore created an accurate drawing of the studio 1 vision mixing panel on a huge piece of cardboard, and every night at home when News At Ten was transmitting, I would sit on the floor in front of the tv and do on my piece of cardboard everything that the vision mixer was doing in the studio 1 control room. After several weeks of doing this, I walked into the office of Peter Ward, Head Of Production Engineering', and said......"Peter, ITN has never had a trainee vision mixer. It's time that you did, and I'm your man." Peter was completely taken aback at this kid walking into his office telling him that he could cut live News, but he called my bluff. He set up a mock newscast with a full crew plus Gordon Honeycombe, and then it was up to me to show him that I could do it. That ten minute mock bulletin was without doubt the scariest time of my life. I knew that my life journey would be decided in those ten minutes. I passed the test and thankfully cut the newscast perfectly, and at 19 years of age I became the youngest vision mixer in the history of British television.


At the end of 1976, I was approached by the senior vision mixer at LWT and asked to join her team at LWT. I jumped at the chance. I joined LWT in early 77 and worked on a wide range of programmes. I mostly enjoyed Drama and sitcom, and during that time, I found myself working on a new sitcom called 'Holding The Fort', written by a talented new writing team called Marks and Gran. I became a Director in 1984, and a few years later, I found myself directing a sitcom called 'The Two Of Us' starring a certain Nick Lyndhurst. Nick and I got on like a house on fire from day one. 


In 1990, I was approached by Marks and Gran to come and direct for them at their newly founded ALOMO productions. They had a BBC show called 'Birds Of A Feather', and the cast were not easy to manage and control. Lo and Mo felt that after the success of The Two Of Us, that I'd be a good fit. I directed six seasons of 'Birds' plus a Christmas special. During that same period, I directed Ray Winstone, Larry Lamb and Kate Winslet in another ALOMO sitcom called 'Get Back'. It was during that time, that Lo and Mo invited me to direct on Sweetheart. The show had started while I was working on other Alomo shows, and I wasn't free to join until series 3.


The rest as they say is history. 

The Interview....


Shaun:   What/who gave you the inspiration and the biggest influence to want to

               make a career out of directing?


Terry:  Hmmmmmm. Difficult one. The show M*A*S*H showed me that good situation

            comedy should really be drama with laughs. So, I wanted to direct good

            actors in a character driven environment.



Shaun:    What was the first show you worked on?


Terry:   The first show I directed was an LWT entertainment show called It'll Be

             Alright On The Night presented by Denis Norden.


Shaun:  When you were asked to work on goodnight sweetheart did you ever expect

             it to of been the success it was?


Terry:   Honestly....yes. It had all of the required elements for success, including a

             fantastic cast. 


Shaun:  When you began on goodnight sweetheart was it the first series you had

             worked on with such big names or had you worked with big names before?


Terry:   I had worked with Nick before on The Two Of Us. I had also directed the cast

             of Birds Of a Feather, Kate Winslet, Ray Winstone, Larry Lamb, Richard

             O'Sullivan, Denis Norden, Cilla Black and some others.


Shaun:  How many episodes did you direct and which was your favourite and why?


Terry:    Number of episodes? I honestly don't know....quite a few though.Favorite.....

              probably 'When two worlds collide' because it brought Phoebe and Yvonne

              together and shook Gary's world. 


Shaun:   Out of all the episodes which if the storylines did you find the hardest to

              direct?


Terry:     I think the very last episode, because none of us wanted to end the series

               that way.


Shaun:    What is your most memorable moment working on the show?


Terry:      So many to choose from, but I think that watching the raw footage of a

                scene in an episode that Robin directed set in an Indian restaurant. The

                poor guy playing the waiter completely freaked out in front of a live

                audience, and went wandering all over the set with his plates of food. On

                the talk-back system to the crew, all you could

                hear was Robin shouting...."What's he doing? Where's he going?!"  I was

                aching with laughter. Nick and I laugh about it to this day.


Shaun:     When you were told that season 6 was to be the last I understand it was a

                few episode from the end of that series was it a shock for you and how did

                you feel?


Terry:      It was a bit of a shock, and I think that we were all a bit disappointed that

               there wasn't time to end the show as we'd have liked.


Shaun:    Finally if you could go back and start again is there anything you would of

               changed on any episode you  were involved in?


Terry:      I think that some writers were more suited to the show than others, and

               there were episodes that could have been stronger with more time and

               better writing.

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