Seeking the foster parents is not a narrative that I would have pursued for The House I Grew Up In but Smita Patel the producer felt it valuable to the programme, a discovery. Smita informed me of the “discovery” and instructed that if I refused to interview Mrs Greenwood for The House I Grew Up In, the entire programme would be shelved. What had I done to cause such caution? Here’s my reply. Jean who is mentioned in my reply had pulled out of an interview.
Really pleased you’ve found Mrs (Catherine Greenwood and I’m looking forward to meeting her but after speaking to Jean on the telephone Jean pulled out of the interview so I don’t think it’d be wise to speak to Mrs Greenwood beforehand. We don’t want her to pull out of the interview. I would be happy to speak to Mrs Greenwood at Osborne Road or in Ashton in Makerfield for The House I grew Up In but not at her home in Southampton.
My projects manager Gil Lloyd of Artsadmin was concerned for my safety and sending her own correspondence offered a surprisingly journalistic addition later in the day
We will only be happy for Lemn to interview Mrs Greenwood with the Social Worker present – as he was witness to events at the time – otherwise I feel that Lemn will be placed in a compromising and difficult situation. I realise that this is all very powerful
for your programme but it has to be done in a way that respects Lemns’ incredible story and acknowledges the truth.
Wasn’t this in itself a fair and balanced approach. I called the social worker who now lives in Chester who as an independent government representative remembers the concerns he had at the time. The idea of the programme The House I Grew Up In is that I return to 2 Osborne Road Ashton in Makerfield, The House I Grew Up In. It is a series of six programmes, of which mine would be one. But my central reason for agreeing to the
programme is because a boy who was brought up in the care of the government has
the right to own his memories just like anyone else does.