Court order prevents BBC from broadcasting film about riots

Yesterday, a court order prevented the BBC from broadcasting a movie about the experiences of rioters during last summer’s UK riots, just hours before it was scheduled. The film was a dramatisation based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder.

In the days after the riots the media erupted with politicians and commentators discussing what had happened and why, but nobody was hearing from the people directly involved in the disorder to find out what they had to say about their behaviour. Why had they acted like they did? Were they sorry or would they do it again?

The programme therefore features actors who play anonymous rioters speaking about their experiences of the riots last August. The script from the programme, written by the award-winning playwright Alecky Blythe, was produced from verbatim transcripts of interviews conducted as part of the Reading the Riots study, which conducted confidential interviews with 270 rioters.

The BBC said in a statement: “A court order has been made that has prevented the BBC from broadcasting the programme”. The BBC however, did not give details about the nature of the court order, or which judge made the ruling. We wonder what kind of dark truth about London was revealed in the rioter’s statements. Could it have something to do with the Olympics?