Tony Garnett

Steve Hilton Today

Steve Hilton’s defence of capitalism on Today was the mirror image of those Stalinists defending socialism in my youth.  He should read Adam Smith:

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices”. – Wealth of Nations, 1776

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Tony Garnett - The Boys

On Performance

Although performances have been my life, or at least my profession, I have no answers. The idea of performance is slippery and mysterious to me.

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Don’t blame the old Etonians. Some of them are even good actors.

Don’t blame the old Etonians. Some of them are even good actors. Why shouldn’t they, and other posh and privileged, be free to choose a career?

When I became an actor in the 50s all actors were posh and if you spoke Brum, like me, you did your best to disguise it. Not just because the whole business had its nose in the air, don’t you know, but because nearly all the roles were of posh people.

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Crisis – Ending Homelessness

I was brought up in Birmingham and now live in London, so I went to Edinburgh with some humility, remembering that from the great Enlightenment thinkers on, Scotland has so often led the way in thinking about social policy. But even there the problem of housing and the homeless persists. I feel privileged to support Crisis’s new policy. A novel ambition. It wants to abolish itself through solving the homeless crisis. I spoke in support at a conference this week,

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Sitting with my granddaughter, 3, happily watching Bing. What, never heard of him? Well, you’re not a parent, a grandparent or around 3, are you? I never miss Bing.

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The Aneurin Bevan Memorial Lecture, 2060

New technology wonder – just arrived, from the future. How do they do that? Here it is:


The founder of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan, died one hundred years ago.

Under him, after a long struggle, at last Britain had a health service free for all at the point of delivery. It was 1948, just after WW2, and it was a miracle.

The second struggle was seriously engaged around 2020.

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The Day The Music Died


Upcoming book launches, screenings and signings with Tony Garnett

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Barry Hines 1939 – 2016

I worked on four films with Barry. We began our friendship in the mid-sixties. It survived intact through his last long illness.

His character and his writing were all of a piece. Direct, simple and honest. HIs simplicity was hewn out of a close analysis of others and their place in a society riven by class interests.

To the end, he knew which side he was on. He had been born to the sound of clogs,

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Tracking Changes – BFI Interview 2014

‘I’ve never got locked up in the idea of “art cinema”. That’s masturbation.’ Never mincing his words, producer Tony Garnett reflects back over his groundbreaking work in television and film, as a two-month celebration of his career – from Cathy Come Home to This Life – plays at BFI Southbank.

Chris Fennell
Updated: 27 January 2014

Born in a working-class suburb in Birmingham, Tony Garnett was one of the first of a generation of revolutionary TV creatives who sought to address serious social and political issues in their influential BBC dramas of the 1960s and 70s.

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Battle of Orgreave


Orgreave? Never heard of it, sorry. Under 40, why would you? Here’s why you need to know. It’s your fight too.

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Google Tax

Jan 31 imminent. The day we own up to the tax man. But did you know MPs don’t even claim all their allowances? It’s immoral, apparently. Tax avoidance, joining illegal tax evasion, as unacceptable behaviour.

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Clement Attlee

Corbyn and Attlee

A man of quiet dignity, courteous to everyone, but a poor public speaker, whose voice does not carry. His intimates swear he has a warm sense of humour and his charm is sincere.

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Football is about family

I wrote this seeing my granddaughter in an Aston Villa shirt. Aila’s three. I wish Barry Hines had read it. He would have understood. Why do so many of us give pain to our children? We knowingly condemn them to suffer, year after year. Then watch this pain with pride. Are you one of the guilty parents?

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Tony Garnett was born in Birmingham and read psychology at University College, London where he spent most of his time acting in the Drama Society and on TV.  Describing himself as a Jack of all trades, helping to make dramatic fiction for the screen, Tony has had a prestigious and varied career as an actor, script editor, screenwriter, director and producer. He has spent his life telling other people’s stories. Now,

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On Success and Failure

I’m starting the interviews now, in anticipation of the publication of a memoir. I’m repeatedly told that my life has been one long success and various films and TV series are used as proof. I’m stumped.

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Kids Company

So Camila and Yentob aren’t going to jail. Fancy that. If it wasn’t such a tragedy for slum kids, it would be a farce.

Kids’ Company worked for years – for kids. Simple as that. Kids were leading lives straight from a Victorian slum. And Camila came along and gave them love and helped them to love life and some of them even, against all the odds, got educated and joined the rest of us privileged people.

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3rd Draft of The Day The Music Died

Writing your story

I’ve been surprised, delighted and moved by the response to my memoir. In the last month so many people have written to me, and talked to me at book signings. They each tell variations of the same story.

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Off-Cut: Kes – the football scene

After my last post, ‘Football is about family‘, I was asked ‘Do you have any memorable moments from filming the football scene in Kes?’ Here’s my answer…

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CBI and Mussolini

Has the CBI become a socialist pressure group? Maybe MI5 should infiltrate. Its boss, Caroline Fairbairn, should beware seductive undercover detectives.

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