I am sure you have either read or heard the ‘story’ that Gerry Anderson has often told, saying that upon telling Lew Grade that Supercar would cost £3,000 episode, that Lew Grade jumped up and said, “£3,000 an episode! I can’t pay that for a kids’s show”.
Gerry then goes on to say he went away and worked on the budget all night, cut the number of cups of teas per day to one per crew member etc and went back to Lew the next day saying, “I could only reduce by a third”. Thus, making it £2,000 an episode. With Lew responding “ok, you got a deal”.
Here is the ‘story’ from his Authorised Biography, dated 1996
Well guess what viewers, that’s all it is, a ‘story’; and one worthy of an episode of Jackanory! it appears to stem right back to this autobiography; This of course has gone on to be quoted in interviews, books and magazines ever since and taken for gospel.
Now I can’t blame people for using the quote as there has never been anything to contradict it, until now that is.
I could not find any reason for Gerry telling this ‘story’, maybe it was an idea from his writers? or maybe it was for ‘Hollywood effects’?
Anyway, during extensive investigations, I have found out the actual price paid by Lew Grade for Supercar; and it was NOT the fabled ‘reduced’ £2,000 an episode, nor even the £3,000 ‘original’ price quoted to Lew Grade.
So was it 50% less, 33% less, well no.
You can see from this excerpt from the production agreement below for the first series of Supercar that it was in fact a much higher figure at £3,450!
So why the ‘story’ was made about the cost of Supercar and the ‘story’ about reducing the price by a third is anyone’s guess.
I wonder how many more of these well-known ‘stories’ are also dubious? well, just watch this space; all will be revealed.
Another first from Lady Penelope Investigates.