BBC governors to probe documentary

By Hamish Mackay

BBC governors have ordered an investigation into claims that a BBC
Two documentary on life in the Scottish town of Campbeltown was
“deliberately dishonest and misleading”.

The programme followed the lives of four disillusioned teenagers
drinking alcohol and driving fast cars to relieve the boredom of living
in a place allegedly devoid of opportunities or entertainment.

The BBC initially insisted that the 50-minute documentary represented the personal view of London-based film-maker Paddy Wivell.

However,
the corporation’s editorial complaints unit has already admitted that
the way the programme was billed and its title “all suggested that the
particular circumstances were more than incidental”.

It found that the programme was flawed in its portrayal of Campbeltown, which was unfair and negative.

One
viewer was not satisfied with that response and contended that the BBC
had not examined the specific complaint that the programme had been
“deliberately dishonest and misleading”.

The BBC governors’
programme complaints committee (GPCC) has now upheld that complaint and
agreed the documentary had followed Wivell’s “predetermined agenda”.

The GPCC has ordered the BBC’s editorial complaints unit to examine the documentary again.

The documentary was commissioned by the BBC’s factual department and broadcast last August.

Wivell has declined to comment on the GPCC judgement.

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