BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
ITV defies Shipman drama protest
James Hazeldine as DI Stan Egerton and James Bolam as Harold Shipman
James Bolam (right) plays Harold Shipman in the drama
A TV drama about serial killer Harold Shipman has been broadcast - despite an appeal from the families of the murderer's victims.

The High Court judge chairing an inquiry into the Shipman case joined families of the victims and alleged victims in calling for ITV to postpone the screening.

But ITV went ahead with the screening at 2100 BST on Tuesday as planned.

The families had criticised the timing of the broadcast - which came before inquiry chair Dame Janet Smith was due to publish her interim report setting out how many patients the former doctor is thought to have killed.

Harold Shipman
Shipman was convicted of murder in January 2000
Shipman, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, is currently serving a life sentence at Frankland Prison, Co Durham, after being convicted of murdering 15 of his mainly elderly female patients.

The families of some 500 other patients are still awaiting the findings of the inquiry to find out whether the one-time family GP murdered their loved ones.

The report is expected within the next three weeks.

Tameside Council has also condemned the screening.

'Cruel broadcast'

The authority had urged the Attorney General and the Shipman Inquiry to seek an injunction banning the broadcast.

At a meeting on Tuesday, council leader Roy Oldham described the broadcast as "cruel and inappropriate".

The Yorkshire TV drama stars James Bolam as Shipman and James Hazeldine as Detective Inspector Stan Egerton, one of four detectives who led the inquiry into Shipman's activities.

Mr Egerton saw a rough cut of the film before his death in autumn 2001, and praised it for its accuracy.

'Emotion'

But after a private screening for relatives of the victims in June, there were criticisms of ITV's decision to go ahead with the broadcast.

About 50 people watched the two-hour programme at a hotel in Hyde, the Greater Manchester town where Shipman practised.

Afterwards lawyer Ann Alexander, who has been representing 300 families who may have lost loved ones to Shipman, said: "The people who saw it tonight were very angry. There was a lot of emotion in the room.

"We feel the timing of this programme, if it is shown on 9 July, is grossly insensitive."

Full special report on the Shipman murders

Key stories

Background

AUDIO VIDEO

The controversial drama is based on the Harold Shipman casePoor taste?
Send your views on ITV1 Shipman drama
See also:

09 Jul 02 | Entertainment
30 Jun 02 | England
27 Jun 02 | England
10 May 02 | England
08 May 02 | England
21 Mar 02 | England
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes