The Jonathan Jackson Column

Wednesday 24 April, 2002

Saturday 11th May 1985.

Last night (Tuesday 23rd of April, 2002) I watched the Channel Four program about football hooliganism.

Initially I had not intended to watch it all, but got caught up in the background music, which whilst not fully matching era was excellent. A lot of stuff played was from 1978 to 1982 which modern BritPop like Oasis tries, but just can't replicate.

Late into the program, and used for no other reason that to highlight its impact on detracting media attention away from the riot caused by Leeds fans at Birmingham on the same day, was quite extensive footage of the Bradford Fire.

Words can't begin to explain the deep feelings that most of there that day have tried to lock away. Black and white pictures of it still make me feel sick and to see the actual footage for the first time in 17 years brought back emotions that resulted in keeping me awake half the night reliving it.

Yorkshire Television are apparently the custodians of this footage and, in my opinion, should have destroyed it a long time ago.

To allow a so called "responsible" program maker such as Granada to use it is disgusting. To allow it to be used completely out of context (and to be shown two weeks before the anniversary) in a program about hooliganism is despicable.

What is worse is that this is not the first time that they have allowed it to be used, with a Sky owned TV company called Fox having used it in a program called "When Good Times Go Bad". Thankfully, not having cable TV, I didn't see that one.

Such are my feelings on this matter, that I contacted YTV to make an official complaint. Their attitude was flippant to say the least, saying that as they hadn't made the program, I would have to speak to Granada and/or Channel Four who had.

I find it very offensive that YTV are allowing/ willing to let this footage be used. If they were aware of the nature of the program it is to be used in then they deserve all the criticism they will get. If they were not then what the hell were they doing lending out.

It would seem that YTV want to wash their hands of any responsibility in this matter, so I would urge anyone who may have been similarly offended to make an official complaint in writing or by telephone to:

The Independent Television Commission
33 Foley Street
W1P 71B
Tel:0204 2553000.

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