Panorama Scientology documentary is a ratings winner

Panorama reporter John Sweeney losing his rag with a Church of Scientology spokesman helped the BBC1 current affairs programme rake in its biggest audience in its new Monday night slot.

Monday night's edition of Panorama, called Scientology and Me, was watched by 4.4 million viewers.

The documentary saw Scientologists turn the tables on Sweeney, filming him as he made the documentary.

Scientology member Tom Davis accused Sweeney of going easy on a Scientologist critic in an interview.

This sent Sweeney into a rage, who jabbed his finger at Davis and shouted: "You were not there at the beginning of the interview! You did not hear or record all the interview!"

A video of a red-faced Sweeney ranting at a Scientology member appeared on YouTube, and a "documentary of the documentary" has been made available published by the Church at bbcpanorama-exposed.org.

A spokesman for the Church of Scientology told Press Gazette that the Panorama documentary was nothing new.

He said: "It is the same old things we have been hearing for years. If these allegations such as brainwashing are true, then how come we are expanding and helping more people that ever?"

Sweeney himself was tight-lipped about the affair late this week.

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