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RealScreen chats with John Willis, who rejoined the BBC last June as director of factual and learning, just as the venerable institution's editorial practices were hitting the headlines, and the fallout continues...
March 1, 2004

RealScreen chats with John Willis, who rejoined the BBC last June as director of factual and learning, just as the venerable institution’s editorial practices were hitting the headlines, and the fallout continues…

What impact has the Iraq/Kelly controversy had on the BBC’s factual programming?

The controversy over the Hutton report has made this a difficult year for the BBC. However, our commitment to the full range of factual programs, including investigative journalism, remains undiminished. We have just won a major Royal Television Society Award for our undercover investigation into police racism, The Secret Policeman. We also plan to increase the number of both documentaries and pieces of investigative journalism over the next two years. So, our approach is the same as it was six months ago.

What doc out there now do you wish you were attached to?

Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock, in which he eats McDonald’s for a month to, excuse the pun, colossal effect, and won the Documentary Directing Award at Sundance. It’s the kind of amusing and subversive film that can cut through the multi-channel clutter. Nick Rapp

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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