Letter: Paul Watson obituary

Paul Watson clearly revelled in being one of television’s great maverick programme makers, particularly enjoying, he once told me, a review which noted: “He comes with trouble as Rod Hull came with Emu.”

One of his first big rows was while a student at the Royal College of Art film school in the 60s. His tutor, Iris Murdoch, told him bluntly that she would fail him if he submitted his proposed thesis on “The Cruelty of Tom & Jerry”. Which, of course, he duly did.

A pioneer of TV’s so-called fly-on-the-wall technique, he always wanted to have as little baggage as possible between the camera and the subject. He explained it to me thus: “I banned lights on any of my productions from 1972, which got me into hot water at the time. ‘We’re turning people into actors,’ I’d say.”

So, it was just him and the camera’s gaze. ‘“It means I can sit on the floor, faff about, make a cup of tea for the subject and me, and just wait for things to stew and happen.” Which they almost always did.