Posts Tagged ‘GCHQ’

ClandesTime 103 – MI5 Censorship of Panorama

Published March 19th 2017

In 1980 the BBC’s documentary series Panorama began developing an episode on British intelligence. This was the first of its kind, at least by such a prominent and respected series, but both the central government and the intelligence agencies were not happy. Over a period of several months they put pressure on the BBC, trying to stop the programme from being broadcast. When this failed they considered using the government veto to prevent it from airing, and ultimately ended up heavily censoring the documentary via a secret preview screening with MI5.

Top Secret File on Government Censorship of Panorama

Published March 16th 2017

In the summer of 1980 the BBC’s flagship documentary series Panorama was developing a TV special about British intelligence. This was the first film of its kind, and perhaps unsurprisingly Thatcher’s government was not happy about it. Downing Street put pressure on the film-makers via BBC Director-General Ian Threthowan, and an MI5 lawyer previewed the film and provided detailed feedback on what to remove.

Review: Spies Episode 1

Published January 9th 2017

Spies is the ‘new’ game show from Channel 4. I say ‘new’ because it’s a blow-for-blow remake of the 2004 BBC series Spy, which also took a small group of members of the public and had three former spooks put them through their paces via a series of tests and training exercises. The first episode of Spies contained one variation from the BBC’s version – one of the contestants is a mole, part of the team called ‘control’ who are ostensibly running the training course.

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