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NOTTINGHAM'S 'ATTEMPT TO FRUSTRATE TV DOCUMENTARY HAS FAILED' - CHANNEL 4 STATEMENT

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Channel 4 is delighted that Nottingham City Council's attempt to frustrate the documentary series 'Staying Lost' ha...
Channel 4 is delighted that Nottingham City Council's attempt to frustrate the documentary series 'Staying Lost' has failed (see LGCnet 27/4/99). The council ordered us to 'get out of town' last summer but this ruling means we stay in Nottingham and the plight of street children there will still be broadcast in 'Staying Lost' later this year.

Furthermore Nottingham City Council has failed to substantiate any of the outrageous allegations it made last summer which Channel 4 and October Films have persistently denied. And we are delighted the judge has accepted those denials. Channel 4 has always believed that producers Tom Roberts and Pamela Gordon have behaved professionally and with integrity in producing a series which seeks to give a voice to the children who fall through the welfare net.

In the trial of this case Nottingham City Council fought against the

inclusion in the series of any of the children over whom it claims

responsibility and specifically one particular boy whose story is to be an important part of the series. Nottingham City Council not only failed to have him excluded from the series, but failed to prevent further filming with him in Nottingham.

Before the hearing Channel 4 and October Films decided not to include the stories of two other young people who were the subject of this hearing because we were satisfied they genuinely no longer wanted to take part. Channel 4 and October Films agreed at the outset of this project that we would respect the views of all young people taking part.

October Films and Channel 4 would always have preferred to resolve this matter by negotiation with Nottingham City Council without recourse to the courts. This ruling reflects the terms of an offer we made to Nottingham City Council before the hearing. We regret that they have engaged themselves and us in costly legal action and sought to argue that they had an absolute right to prohibit the broadcast of this material.

'I am delighted that the 'Staying Lost' series will be broadcast as intended and I am particularly pleased that the judge has accepted the denials of Tom Roberts and Pamela Gordon to the allegations made. This series is an important, serious and necessary piece of journalism and we have been at pains to persuade Nottingham City Council of our proper intentions. It is right that those children's voices will be heard. When this series is broadcast I am certain that the audience at large will appreciate how sensitively and authentically these young people's stories have been told,' says David Lloyd, Channel 4's head of news, current affairs and business.

* 'Staying Lost' is the working title of a Channel 4 project still in

production which will not be transmitted until late in 1999. It is an

in-depth study of the lives of Britain's homeless children made by

award-winning production company October Films. October Films is run by Tom Roberts who is producer/director on this project.

* see LGCnet 30/4/99 for Nottingham City Council's statement.

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