The BBC will explore Rupert Murdoch’s influence and reach over the British press in a newly commissioned three-part documentary series.
A Tabloid Empire will air on BBC Two – a release date has yet to be confirmed – and covers the period from 1997 to 2012 in “forensic detail”, the corporation has said.
- March 5, 2021
- February 24, 2021
- February 22, 2021
It added: “The series examines how the popular press went from exerting astonishing influence over our politics, our public policy and our way of life, to being mired in scandal after scandal – from phone hacking to corruption – culminating in the extraordinary revelations of the Leveson Inquiry.
“Taking in issues from celebrity to privacy, popularism to polarisation, this series presents a unique portrait of 21st century Britain through one of the most powerful figures in the media during one of the most turbulent periods in recent history.”
The series will feature archive footage and new interviews with those at the centre of the action, documenting the “colourful character and unrivalled power of those at the top”, the BBC added.
The series will be made by 72 Films, the production company which recently made the documentary A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad for the BBC.
BBC Two controller Patrick Holland said the series “promises to combine the same forensic eye for detail with the best documentary story-telling to explore the decade which changed our relationship with the press forever”.
Tom McDonald, the BBC’s head of commissioning, natural history and specialist factual, added: “This new commission continues to signal our commitment to stories, forms and ideas which shine a light on the big issues in modern society through the prism of recent history.
“This series promises intricate storytelling, beautifully assembled archive and fascinating interviews from those who witnessed and lived through these events.”
The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg is also understood to be making a documentary, with cameras filming her going about her role as political editor, which is set to air next year.
The six-part mini-series, which aired on BBC One, followed journalists at two rival newspapers – the Herald, unmistakably a proxy for the Guardian, and the Post, seemingly an amalgam of the Mirror and the Sun.
Picture: Reuters:/Stefan Wermuth