A Barnstaple businessman who runs a chain of martial arts schools is suing Channel 4 and an independent TV production company for libel over the way he was portrayed in a documentary about Michael Jackson’s family decision to move to Devon.
Matthew Fiddes, whose business is based at Pottington Business Park in Barnstaple, is suing the broadcaster and independent production company Studio Lambert over the documentary, The Jacksons Are Coming, which was broadcast on 27 November.
Studio Lambert was formed by Stephen Lambert after he resigned from RDF Media in the wake of the row over the BBC documentary, A Year With The Queen.
Lambert admitted at the time that the production company had edited a preview tape of the documentary that presented scenes in the wrong order, giving the impression the Queen had stormed out of a photo shoot, when in fact she was walking in.
According to a High Court writ issued by London media law firm M Law, Fiddes is claiming undisclosed damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction preventing the footage he complains of from being rebroadcast.
In his writ, he complains about his portrayal in the documentary, which followed the Jackson family’s journey from California to Devon, and claims he was portrayed as having sought to capitalise on the Jacksons’ visit by promoting himself and his martial arts business and creating the ensuing media frenzy.