first in the series of MacIntyre’s Underworld: Gangster, was broadcast
last week after Five overturned an injunction in the Court of Appeal
two hours earlier.
An application made by Greater Manchester
Police meant that a temporary injunction against the fly-on-thewall
film, by investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre, had been granted in
One of the film’s subjects, Desmond Noonan, was
stabbed to death on 18 March, days before it went out. Police argued
that its broadcast would prejudice the inquiry into his death.
for Five argued that much of the documentary’s content had already been
covered in the press, particularly the Manchester Evening News.
film, which gave an insight into Desmond and Dominic Noonan who claim
to run an alternative system of justice in parts of Manchester, had a
mixed response from critics.
Joe Joseph in The Times wrote:
“Reining in his trademark portentousness, MacIntyre revealed more about
a part of Britain’s underworld than he customarily manages when hogging
the screen himself.”
The film went out on Five at 10.55pm last Tuesday and audiences peaked at 1.6 million – a 21 per cent share.