Operation Yewtree documentary investigating a botched investigation

The botched investigation into Operation Yewtree, which aimed to uncover historic sex offenses committed by British celebrities in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, is set to be explored in a new Channel 4 documentary.

Singer Cliff Richard, radio DJ Paul Gambaccini and former Pop Idol judge Neil Fox were among those publicly charged with historic sex crimes during the operation, which began 10 years ago. None of them have ever been convicted of any crime.

Richard went on to sue the BBC for invasion of privacy after the network broadcast a police raid on his home during the operation. He was awarded £210,000 ($253,000) in damages and over £2million ($2.4million) in legal fees, although he said the sum did not fully cover the legal fees he had incurred to defend his to clear names.

Curious Films (“Caroline Flack: Her Life & Death”) is producing the document, which will examine “the enduring impact of the operation on the country’s values, attitudes and culture” as well as the personal toll the investigation is having on the men and their families had and their careers.

In addition to interviews, the documentary, directed by Christian Collerton, will include video diaries from Fox and Gambaccini, as well as testimonies from those “close” to the police investigation and journalists covering the story.

Lee McMurray, Channel 4’s editor-in-chief of factual entertainment, commissioned the document. Lauren Rowles will produce, while Jessie Versluys and Curious Films co-founders Dov Freedman and Charlie Russell will serve as executive producers.

“Offering a unique and fresh take on events that changed us forever, this film compels viewers to ask important questions at a turning point in recent British history,” said Lee McMurray, Editor-in-Chief of Non-Fiction Entertainment at Channel 4 “The pain and fury of three well-known names caught in the eye of the storm Yewtree unleashed is weighed against the necessity and value of a police operation that, while imperfect, has brought long-overdue justice to victims of heinous crimes.”

Jessie Versluys, executive producer at Curious Films, added: “’The Accused: National Treasures on Trial’ explores what it’s like to find yourself at the center of a police investigation into alleged historical sex crimes. Using first-hand testimony, it examines the role of the media during this period and the dispute over whether celebrities should be named in the press before charges are brought. At the same time, it asks powerful questions about Yewtree and assesses his role in changing British attitudes towards sex, morality, consent, gender relations and what we expect from public figures.”

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/the-accused-national-treasures-on-trial-operation-yewtree-documentary-1235337749/ Operation Yewtree documentary investigating a botched investigation

Charles Jones

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