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Dispatches

  • 1987
  • News and current affairs
  • Documentary and factual

Summary

"Dispatches" is an ongoing series of investigative and topical documentaries that have been broadcast on Channel 4 since 1987. It covers issues ranging from politics, health and religion to international current affairs and the environment. The first episode on October 30, 1987, featured a report on the black market in weapons grade uranium operated from Khartoum. Other episodes in the long-running series have included a report in 1989 on the widespread use of anabolic steroids in horse racing, an undercover investigation in 1999 into Britain's sex slave trade, and an examination in 2009 of the terrorist attack that year on Mumbai from the point-of-view of victims, security forces and perpetrators.

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Britain's Coronavirus Catastrophe: Did the Government Get it Wrong? Dispatches

Summary

Examining the the British government's approach to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. With Britain's confirmed death rate from coronavirus now one of the highest in the world, and the Government's strategy to get the economy restarted and prevent a second spike still developing, Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett begins asking questions that may shed a light on how to beat the virus in the future. With the input of people at the heart of events, Barnett investigates the eight astonishing weeks that saw the UK move into lockdown, and reveals the key decisions and moments that led to the UK shutting down and that have determined what has happened since.

Review

The Coronavirus blame game is just getting started. There are those who insist that questioning the government’s recent decisions is “missing the mood of the nation”, but the title of this Dispatches suggests reporter Antony Barnett isn’t one of them.

Previews weren’t available, but as he probes possible lessons to be learnt, among Barnett’s questions are: what was the scientific advice to ministers and did they follow it? What warnings were received from the French and Italian governments? Why weren’t testing and tracing ramped up early on? And in the rush to clear NHS beds, why were care homes left to become lethal centres of infection?

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Credits

Crew

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Executive producerEamonn Matthews
ProducerAlasdair Glennie
ProducerMonika Ghosh

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