24 years after infamous UK horror TV event Ghostwatch aired on the BBC, we chat to its director Lesley Manning...
Although Ghostwatch aired in 1992 and was never shown again on TV, its legacy endures. From the excellent Behind The Curtains documentary to its frequent appearances on “Scariest Moments” lists, people love to talk about what still remains the most controversial drama in broadcast history (and retains the record number of viewer complaints).
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To celebrate the BBC releasing it, at last, through their online store, Den Of Geek talked with director Lesley Manning about making the programme and its enduring influence…
How does it feel that every few years, so many people want to talk to you about Ghostwatch?
Well, because Stephen [Volk, writer] and I felt like lepers for a few years afterwards,
Throughout the production, in France and at Pinewood, Richard's impish humour and gossipy good fun sustained the whole cast and crew.
Both Tumbledown and The Monocled Mutineer became flashpoints for a more general, concerted and, on occasion, virulent attack on the BBC's perceived leftwing bias and, by implication, its suitability to continue being sustained through public funds. The accuracy and credibility of the films were picked apart in public: their crime was to undermine the
Richard Broke, who has died aged 70, not only produced and script-edited some of the most significant and politically controversial television dramas; he did so from a wheelchair, after being injured in a car crash in his 20s, and became a fierce campaigner for better access in public places, particularly in the theatre, one of his great loves.
As a young assistant stage manager, before his accident, he helped Laurence Olivier launch the first Chichester Festival theatre season. The stellar cast included Olivier himself, Joan Plowright, Michael Redgrave, Sybil Thorndyke, André Morell, Lewis Casson, Joan Greenwood, John Neville and Keith Michell. One of his treasured possessions was the 1962 programme of Uncle Vanya, signed by them all.
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