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How the BBC dumbed us down

17 June 2009


From the Revd S. D. Lane

Sir, — As the Vicar of St Michael’s, Horton, I read your review (Media, 5 June) of the Armando Iannucci programme on John Milton on BBC2 with interest.

Horton is a pretty village with a wonderful 1000-year-old church. The house where Milton lived still stands, and the appropriate blue plaque is on the imposing gates by the lodge leading up to the main house.

The Horton section of the programme covered none of this: instead, we were treated to Milton Close (a typically modern cul de sac), the HELP signs on the flats for the elderly and infirm, bags of rubble for sale, and the odd wheelie bin — as the filming took place on the day the refuse is collected.

Hours of filming in the church and outside were reduced to minutes, and there was no mention (now on the cutting-room floor) of the wonderful co-operation between four local schools, including Wraysbury Primary School, who over two concerts put on a tremendous tribute to the great man, who is not easily accessible for young children.

As Mr Iannucci was keen for more people to know about Milton, that particular omission was strange.

So I write to put the record straight and to express the views of the community, who thought the coverage was insulting — more hell than heaven, as far as we were concerned.

55 Welley Road, Wraysbury
Staines, Middlesex TW19 5ER

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