The Backstage Tour

 

 

The biggest draw of Granada Studios was always the backstage tour. It worked a little like the modern fast pass system, where visitors were assigned a time slot where they paid for their entrance ticket, and were free to explore the rest of the park until their time slot came up.
Once on the tour you were taken around different areas where you learnt about the making of TV shows. This included going into film sets, such as a room of giant furniture from a fantasy TV show, or a recreation of Number 10 Downing Street. I particularly remember this one for the actor playing the policeman's habit of pretending to be a mannequin until an opportune moment arose.
Between the sets you learnt about things like costume departments and special effects, where everyone sat on a large vehicle against a blue screen background, and saw themselves flying over different landscapes on the screen.
The tour finished towards the back of the park, where you were free to explore 2 large public sets, one a Victorian street, the other was the famous Coronation Street which I remember seeing used on Red Dwarf, Back To Earth, but many others will know from the famous soap opera.
I get the feeling a lot of stuff would be less interesting today thanks to DVD extras and the internet meaning much of what you learnt on the tour is more widely known. For the time though it was an interesting tour, and it was a shame to see it close in 1998.