Documentaries that I co-created with my brother Charles Marriott.
Following my retirement from Fleet Street I decided to make three documentaries for television. I partnered up with my brother Charles Marriott and former Sky producer Stuart Strickson. The first was based on the never heard before tapes of my conversations with Biggs from 1974. The second coincided with the 20th anniversary of the publication of Andrew Morton’s book on Princess Diana. Royal correspondents came to praise Morton while Sunday Times Editor Andrew Neil explained why he had serialised the book and Sunday Telegraph Editor Max Hastings why he had not. The latter simply could not believe that Diana would confide in “an oik from Leeds”. Following her death five years later Morton proved that she did. The third programme documented the suffering of thalidomide victims, most of whom were born in the early 1960s. It was very moving to see these people now in the 50s and what a struggle they had with life.
I utilised tapes from my Biggs enterprise to make RONNIE BIGGS THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBER (Channel 5). Ronnie Biggs became Britain s most wanted man after fleeing prison following the most iconic crime in British history: The Great Train Robbery. Nearly 50 years later I used my 1974 audio tapes recorded with reconstruction scenes and new interviews with those who were there at the time. The film will tell the remarkable story of Ronnie Biggs life. We also examine the sequence of chance encounters that led me to land the scoop of the decade and the betrayals that would change the lives of both myself and Biggs forever.
THE BOOK THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING (Sky Arts) is about Andrew Morton’s book on Princess Diana 20 years after publication. The story of how Andrew Morton wrote the biography of Diana, Princess Of Wales, and how he was ridiculed by Fleet Street until her death.
Andrew Morton’s controversial book ‘Diana: Her True Story’ surprised the world when it was first published. Now, in the book’s 20th anniversary year, Sky Arts determines how the publication’s revelations threatened the reputation of the Royal Family and irrevocably altered the relationship between press and monarchy. In this exclusive Book Show special, Mariella Frostrup narrates the definitive story of Morton, his publisher and key players in the events leading up to the book’s publication in 1992. Through interviews, they look back at the influence this extraordinary book had on UK society, the press and within the Royal Family itself, who failed in their numerous attempts to stop the book from being published.
From press suspicion and character assassination to burglary and death threats, ‘Diana: Her True Story’ turned Andrew Morton’s life upside-down. In this candid interview he reveals how the opponents to his book attempted to discredit and destroy his reputation and how he struggled to cope under the pressure of the public reaction to his work. Detailing in revealing insight, Morton explains how the Royal Family were suspicious of him from his time as the Daily Mail Royal correspondent and long before the book went into print. Following an investigation by Scotland Yard as to his insider sources, his office was broken into and his contacts documents and working files were ransacked.The book’s serialisation in June 1992 by a cautious editorial team at The Sunday Times, created public hysteria as Morton was accused of orchestrating an elaborate hoax regarding the books’ revelations about an unhappy Princess Diana: her mental state, eating disorders, the breakdown of her marriage and her attempted suicides. He reveals how fellow journalists were briefed to write against him and leading retailers refused to stock the book. Morton received the protection of armed guards following death threats from an Irish terrorist group.
THALIDOMIDE:THE FIFTY YEAR FIGHT (BBC) is about the drug scandal that affected so many babies in the sixties.
Over fifty years ago the drug Thalidomide shocked the world. For ten years a battle for compensation was fought against one of Britain’s largest corporations. One man stood up against this injustice, but this man would see those he was fighting for, turn against him and many attempted to silence his story. But his actions set in motion a chain of events which changed the lives of every Thalidomide child born in the UK and the legacy of that battle continues today, over fifty years on from the tragedy, campaigners are now focusing on the inventors of the drug.
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