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It is hysterical to talk of a crisis in television documentaries. If there is a problem, it is with the way programmes are marketed, not how they are made

By Christopher Hird   September 2007

Stand by for two reports on recent “scandals” in the world of documentaries, one an independent inquiry commissioned by the BBC, the other commissioned by ITV. To recap: independent producers RDF made a series for the BBC called A Year With the Queen, in which they secured unprecedented access to the Queen. The BBC paid them for this series, but considerably less than it cost to make. RDF needed to sell the series to make up the difference and, to this end, its creative director, Stephen Lambert, cut a short “taster tape” to show to a handful of foreign potential…

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