BBC ‘censored' truth about Catholics' experience during Troubles former executive reveals

BBC ‘censored' truth about Catholics' experience during Troubles former executive reveals

A NEW show documenting the history of the BBC and its reporting over the years has revealed the broadcaster “censored” the Catholic viewpoint during the Troubles.

That claim has been made by former BBC senior executive Sir Paul Fox, who talks candidly in the documentary Shooting the Rapids.

The Guardian reports Mr Fox’s statement to the programme, where he claims the truth of the Troubles period - and the experience of Catholics in Northern Ireland at that time - was kept from the British public because “the bloody Protestants were running the BBC in Northern Ireland”.

Mr Fox was the controller of BBC One at the time and also the editor of the channel’s investigative documentary series Panorama.

In the show, which is due to air on BBC Four on March 3, he goes on to reveal “the censorship” of the Catholic viewpoint in BBC broadcasting at that time.

Former BBC One controller Sir Paul Fox has made the claim in a new BBC documentary

“Back then, the one thing we could not tackle was Northern Ireland,” Mr Fox says.

“The decision had been taken that the head of Northern Ireland programmes would act as censor,” he added.

“So it was as difficult to film there as in the Soviet Union.

“It also meant that it was easier to go to America, with no censorship, to film their race problems than those of Northern Ireland.”

The documentary, which is part of the How the BBC Began series, has been made by John Bridcut.

Created as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations, How The BBC Began “tells the often hilarious stories behind some of the seminal moments of the first fifty years of the BBC – domestic radio and television as well as the World Service,” Bridcut’s studio explains.

“In three feature-length episodes, the eyewitnesses and participants in the BBC’s early history recount some of the triumphs and disasters as new frontiers of broadcasting were mapped out – often by accident rather than design,” they add.

The three-part series, which includes the previously broadcast Accident and Opportunity and Building the Audience, has taken ten years to create.

All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer next month.