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The Post Office Scandal

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Bert45 | 02:10 Thu 11th Jan 2024 | Film, Media & TV
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I have just watched the repeat of the BBC Panorama programme on the Post Office Scandal. It was first broadcast on 25 April 2022. It obviously covered the same ground as the recent ITV drama "Mr Bates vs The Post Office". It was equally moving and infuriating at the same time. But what I'd like to know is how did this hour-long documentary manage to never mention Alan Bates, and why did it not have anything like the impact that the ITV drama has had. I expect that far fewer people watched a Panorama documentary than watched the ITV drama, but surely enough people watched it to generate some sort of a reaction. Also the Panorama programme did not mention Paula Vennells' CBE.



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docudramas are free to focus on individuals and get top actors to play them; straight documentaries seldom do that. And it had much less time to get everything in. Personally, I think the CBE is a very minor aspect of the whole affair.

It is a peculiarity as to what sort of exposé gets most results.

 Private Eye exposed this one before either of the above, but nothing happened. 

(A similar occurrence was the M P Expenses scandal, that also was exposed by PE some time before the Telegraph ran it to much outrage.)

the expenses story was actually hawked round Fleet St by someone who'd got hold of the figures, Canary. The Times wouldn't touch it because it could have involved stolen documents, and quite likely did. The Telegraph was less scrupulous. Publication was in the public interest; but I still respect the stance of The Times editor (whom I knew to be a totally straight guy).

Seems sensible to me that a documentary sticks to the problem rather than getting distracted by side information. It's an exposure not a dramatic play.

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