Former Grampian Television Director Dies, Aged 81

A former director at Grampian Television for more than 30 years who also directed the Scotland the What? comedy show, has died, aged 81.

Friends and former colleagues of Alan Franchi, have been paying tribute to a “charismatic” and “considerate gentleman”.

In the Press and Journal newspaper, former Grampian and Scottish TV presenter, Jimmy Spankie, is quoted, saying: “From my perspective on Alan as a friend, one could not wish for anyone more likeable. From my perspective on Alan as a producer, one could not wish for anyone more considerate.

“He was very aware of the stress involved in the making of a programme. That awareness included his control room and studio colleagues and his presenters. He was always sympathetic to the problems of others.

“Alan was a ‘people person’ and was able to draw a little extra from his crew and performers. Perhaps above all, as a friend and as a producer, his mischievous sense of humour was always evident. That made working with him and having him as a friend very special.”

Mr Franchi, whose wife, Jane, is well-known as a former BBC Scotland journalist, worked at Grampian Television’s Queens Cross headquarters in Aberdeen, directing well-known TV personalities including Andy Stewart, Johnny Beattie and Harry Secombe.

There was a lengthy obituary yesterday in The Scotsman, which said: “He combined the best of Scotland and Italy and embodied their traditions and elegance with a very personal panache. His generous-hearted character, ease of manner and warm personality were hallmarks of Alan Franchi.”