Events > FAC 318 Flying Start Exhibition Stand

Flying Start
Flying Start - Opening credits [pic credit TV ARK]
Flying Start
Flying Start - Tony Wilson [pic credit TV ARK]


An exhibition of Factory Records artwork at a Flying Start exhibition in the North West in May 1991. Details of the exhibition itself are scant but Flying Start was a television game show based around the world of business in the Granada Television area.

The show is described as "Business enterprise competition, in which local businesses and businessmen prese nt their ideas for new products and services to a panel of judges, and compete to win a top prize of £25,000." at the Film and Television Database.

David Nolan, in his book You're Entitled To An Opinion..., explains more about what Flying Start was:

The day the news broke about Factory, Tony was at work at Granada recording one of his favourite shows; one whose message he could have done well to heed.

Flying Start was a studio-based teatime programme that was a forerunner of the kind of business-related TV shows that are common currency today. It was a competition to find successful North West businesses. Tony always lobbied for Flying Start to be recommissioned every time a series came to an end. 'He got the value of the entrepreneur to our society way before it became fashionable,' says Granada's David Liddiment. 'That's a little bit of Granada and an awful lot of him.'

Tony's Granada colleague Rob McLoughlin: 'Just look at a show like Flying Start. Trying to make business sexy and connect with people. He was totally committed to it. Before The Apprentice and Dragons' Den, when did you ever hear anyone talking about cash flow and business plan? Mind you he should have taken some of his own advice...'

In every episode, Flying Start would have a guest from the business community to judge the entrants and their companies. One week the guest was Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson. After the recording, Branson, who was aware of Tony's work, took him to one side and gave him some advice: 'You know Tony, you'll never make money unless you focus....'

- extract copyright © David Nolan; used with permission


Many thanks to David Nolan for the book extract. Thanks also to TV ARK for permission to use the images of Flying Start.

Factory forgot that they had already allocated FAC 318 to Classics in Motion.