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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 13:01 GMT
Hutton Panorama is "astonishingly bold"
Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg has praised Panorama
Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg has described the forthcoming Panorama special about the Hutton Inquiry as "astonishingly bold".

The 85 minute programme, to be broadcast on Wednesday, 21 January, contains criticisms of both the BBC and the government.

In a letter to the Independent newspaper, Bragg said that the "A Fight to the Death" film was a "landmark" programme in BBC Current Affairs.

He wrote: "That the BBC's Director General, Greg Dyke, should announce that he has not seen it and will not intervene, and watch it only on transmission, adds to the force of this public service statement."


We believe the programme will live up to the audiences' expectations of the BBC as an independent broadcaster of information that can be trusted.
Mike Robinson, Panorama editor

Panorama editor Mike Robinson said the programme would be fair and impartial.

He added: "We are not seeking to pre-empt Lord Hutton's verdict. Panorama will provide a factual account of the fight between the government and the BBC and some of the events surrounding it.

"The programme will be fair, accurate and impartial including when dealing with difficult events involving the BBC.

"We believe the programme will live up to the audiences' expectations of the BBC as an independent broadcaster of information that can be trusted."

Peter Horrocks, head of Current Affairs, said that no senior executive involved in the Kelly story and no-one called before the inquiry has seen the programme.

Incredible story

He added that Panorama had received 'complete independence of operation' to examine both the BBC's and the government's conduct.

"This is Panorama's independent journalism rather than the BBC's corporate position," he said.

Panorama producer Mike Rudin has said that the programme would pull no punches, as it reconstructs key episodes in the Kelly saga.

It will also present evidence culled from secret sources as well from as interviews and documents submitted to the inquiry.

"It's an incredible story. I've never worked on anything like it," said Rudin.

He added: "Viewers will be left in no doubt about the implications of what happened and they will make their own judgement on how the people concerned conducted themselves."

Panorama: A fight to the death was broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday, 21 January 2004 at 2030 GMT

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