Tributes paid to former TV chief Sir Denis Forman

Sir Denis Forman with actor Michael Redgrave, in 1954. Picture: contributed
Sir Denis Forman with actor Michael Redgrave, in 1954. Picture: contributed
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TRIBUTES have been paid to Sir Denis Forman, who helped bring Coronation Street and celebrated 1980s drama The Jewel In The Crown to the screen, who has died at the age of 95.

As chairman of Granada Television Sir Denis, who died at a nursing home in London on Sunday, was involved with other groundbreaking television programmes including current affairs show World In Action and period drama Brideshead Revisited.

Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, described him as “one of the great pioneers of British broadcasting”.

“He made a lasting contribution to quality drama and investigative journalism being at the helm of Granada Television for the commissioning of Coronation Street, and responsible for programmes such as World In Action, Seven Up, Jewel In The Crown and Brideshead Revisited,” he said.

“He was a remarkable man and will be sadly missed.”

Sir Denis, who lost a leg at the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy in 1944, joined Granada at its launch in 1956 and served as its chairman from 1974 to 1987. He was deputy chairman of the Royal Opera House during the 1970s.

The 1999 film My Life So Far was based on his memoir of growing up in Scotland in the 1920s.

Alan Yentob, the BBC’s creative director, said: “Denis Forman was one of the great figures of British broadcasting.

“It was Denis’s visionary leadership that helped to establish Granada Television as a civilising force and one of the pillars of public service broadcasting here in the UK.

“He was an inspiration and a pioneer.”