Love in the two-and-ninepennies

Mike Scott of Granada’s Cinema and his wife Sylvia

TVTimes masthead
From the TVTimes for week commencing 31 July 1965

THE young Army lieutenant took no notice of what was happening on the screen. Instead he watched a girl two rows in front of him.

His chances seemed remote. She was the sergeant-major’s daughter and he was a poor subaltern. But today Northern TV personality Mike Scott is married to Sylvia, the girl he saw in the two-and-ninepennies.

On Friday, he takes over the commentator’s chair in Cinema, and that early real life cinema drama sticks in his memory.

It happened in 1952 when the then 20-year-old Scott was on National Service with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, at Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Mike and Sylvia Scott
They met in a cinema: Mike and Sylvia Scott

“At first,” Mike recalled, “it seemed I could never bridge those two rows between us. Then a mutual friend introduced us.

“All went well until I fell foul of the Army authorities some months later in that same cinema.

“I was orderly officer, and rather foolishly slipped off to take Sylvia to the pictures. There was a disturbance on camp and I was caught red-faced holding hands in the back row.”

Mike and Sylvia were married in 1956 and have a five-year old daughter, Julia. Scott is 6 ft. 2in. tall, angular, with classic features and has a humorous outlook on life. He’s a popular fellow, drives a 1932 vintage Lagonda, has done a “ton” in a Mini Cooper, and believes that cars are for driving and not just looking at.

Born in Earls Court, London, he has a flat in Kensington, but lives in Bowden, Cheshire. “I came North eight years ago and I love it,” he said.

“After public school I worked as a film extra while waiting for a production side union card which I never got. I wanted to be a film editor. I knew that most of the creative work was there and assumed I would rise to director.”

Mike worked for Rank for a spell and joined Granada ITV in 1956, working up to programme director within a year.

He made his screen debut on Scene at 6.30 in 1963, and made a big impact in the recent series, A Slight White Paper on Love.

Of his new charge he says: “I have been eyeing Cinema for some time. Like the previous presenters, Bamber Gascoigne and Derek Granger, I shall write my own scripts.

“I am not interested in being just a front man. My taste in films? I love Gene Kelly musicals, suspense films of ‘The Wages of Fear’ calibre, and colourful epics in the ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ mould.

“The essential thing in Cinema is dramatic entity. It’s no use showing a clip which doesn’t resolve itself. If it ends before the climax of the scene it merely frustrates people.”

I asked Scott if he would like to see any radical changes in the modem cinema. “Yes,” he said. “I’d like to see more leg room for people like me.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *