We caught up with Paul Donoghue, a former cast member at Granada Studios Tour. We asked him what it was like to work on those famous cobbles.
What was it like to be a cast member?
The tours were scripted and timed to be able to co-ordinate the amount of people moving through each area. We averaged around 60 coaches a day plus the general public who didn’t book ahead. We averaged 4 to 6 tours each a day, but delivered each one was delivered in your own personal style – that made each tour a personal and individual experience, no tour was ever the same which was obviously great for returning guests.
How long did you work at the park?
I started off at the Tours in 1990 as a guide which was great fun. Then, a few years later I was promoted to a supervisor on Coronation Street, the place of the Gods as some thought! It was certainly the attraction that most of the guests came for.
How did you feel when you heard the attraction was closing?
I actually left 2 years before the tour closed so I didn’t actually experience the closure first hand. Some of the friends I stayed in touch with were heartbroken as I would have been. It was not just a job but a way of life, unlike nowhere else I’ve ever worked. I know there was a feeling of “How can it end?!” but as most good things do, it had to at some point…at least we all have our own personal happy memories of the tour days we will never forget.
How many people can say after a hard days work they were in no rush to go home.? We always hung around at the end of the day and even went to the Granada old school bar afterwords where we would sit and mingle with the cast and anyone who were in a Granada production at the time…amazing!
What is your single favourite memory from your time at GST?
Well there are so many notable memories and experiences, not only having had a great job, friends, the street, visiting celebrities, parties, events etc. I think the absolute best for me was meeting and chatting with Tony Curtis. He made a commercial on the tours, dressed in a guide uniform, he was great a true Hollywood star.