Channel 4 announce The Max Clifford Story (1 x 90) and The Sex Traffickers (3 x 60)
Channel 4 goes behind the headlines to reveal the story of Max Clifford, the notorious publicist who was jailed for indecent assaults against underage girls and young women, in a revealing documentary by Story Films.
With access to over 30 hours of previously unheard audio recordings of Clifford, and devastating testimony from victims of his crimes, this 1 x 90 film pieces together an extraordinary picture of a man who was a ruthless and manipulative sex offender.
Over a 20-year period, this self-appointed arbiter of right and wrong became one of the most influential men in Britain, carrying more sway than politicians, celebrities and multi-millionaires. In 2014 Clifford was jailed – one of the first to be convicted as part of Operation Yewtree’s investigations into historic sex crimes.
Speaking publicly for the first time some of Clifford’s victims tell their story, what it took for them to come forward and what it was like to be in the middle of the media circus that Clifford’s trial would inevitably become.
Sacha Mirzoeff, Head of Channel 4 Bristol and Factual Commissioner, said: “Story Films have used fine journalistic skills to uncover new material that sheds fresh light on the man who was hailed as the king of the celebrity-focused press and, as such, seemed untouchable. With skilful storytelling and strong testimony from a variety of friends, colleagues and victims they start to reveal and unravel the mind of the convicted sex offender who was one of the most powerful and complex public figures of his generation – full of contradiction, self-importance and myth-making. This extraordinary feature-length single film uncovers the true consequences of his actions.”
Peter Beard, Executive Producer, Story Films, said: “This film will give a unique view of a man who dominated the British media for decades. It’s only now, hearing first-hand testimony from his victims and the audio recordings we have of him, that we’re able to understand the depth of his secrets and lies.”
Executive producers: Peter Beard, David Nath
Director: Toby Paton
Producer: Dearbhaile Flynn
Production Company: Story Films
Commissioning Editor: Sacha Mirzoeff
For the first time cameras have been allowed to film with a top-secret police unit, embedded with them as they use covert tactics to bring down an organised crime group.
The three-part series, commissioned by Channel 4 and directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Peter Beard, follows one major operation into a crime group believed to be trafficking women into the UK from Brazil to be sexually exploited. Filmed over three years in the UK, Brazil and Spain, The Sex Traffickers (w/t) had unprecedented access to teams from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and the Spanish Policia Nacional.
There are thought to be 136,000 people living in modern slavery in the UK, making organised crime groups millions of pounds, but it’s one of the hardest crimes to prove and police need to use every tactic they have to bring the traffickers down. Embedded with large-scale surveillance teams, this series shows the painstaking methods deployed by officers to investigate the criminals without them ever knowing and identify the illicit network, before striking.
The series is Executive Produced by David Nath, who was responsible for the multi-award-winning The Murder Detectives.
Story Films, Peter Beard: “This was an incredibly exciting opportunity to be at the heart of something we’ve never seen in a documentary before. At times I felt as though we were in a spy thriller but meeting the victims of trafficking brought home the reality that these women face. The stakes are so high.”
Channel 4, Alisa Pomeroy: “Never before have we seen this level of highly sensitive, covert policing on British TV, bringing to light the police’s important work in bringing perpetrators of human trafficking to justice.”
Executive producers: Dave Nath, Peter Beard
Production Company: Story Films
Commissioning Editor: Alisa Pomeroy