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Saturday, 10 December 2016

How true are "true stories" on TV and at the cinema?

      Jonathan Oates, the highly-respected local history organiser and researcher at Ealing Library in London, has written to the Ealing Gazette challenging the accuracy of the current BBC1 drama Rillington Place.
      As some of you know, I have an axe to grind over the way television and cinema dramatists often use "based on a true story" to play fast and loose with the facts -- usually for no honest purpose -- and in the process, re-writing what is the accepted historical record. I recently turned my back on the prospect of a large payment when I refused to extend the film rights to my book God's Triangle because one of the producers was promoting a script that outrageously and farcically ignored the true story.
      Anyway, here is Jonathan's letter:

In the interests of balance, here is the BBC blog on the background to the series:

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