The Unbelievable Story of Carl Beech
The Unbelievable Story of Carl Beech Credit: BBC

What was most unbelievable about The Unbelievable Story of Carl Beech (BBC Two)? His tale of being abused in the 1970s and 1980s by a murderous VIP paedophile ring? Or the gullible Metropolitan Police declaring this fantasist’s story “credible and true”?

Vanessa Engle’s film laid out the details of the case, from the moment Beech approached Wiltshire Police in 2012 with his claims. With hindsight and proper examination, they appear ludicrous. But we were reminded that Britain then was still reeling from the Jimmy Savile scandal三级成人视频. The idea that famous people could be involved in the darkest of crimes now seemed well within the realms of possibility; unfortunately, the default position of the police was that anyone claiming to be a victim should be believed.

Engle talks good interviews out of people. Here, she persuaded those who have never spoken on camera before – Lord Brittan’s wife, Diana, and Beech’s ex-wife, Dawn – to speak candidly about what had happened. Lady Brittan was the picture of dignity, describing the moment that police raided her home in connection with the accusations: “I was traumatised with shock, like a fly stuck to flypaper.”

Dawn was acerbic, scoffing at a poem that Beech wrote in which he told of his abusers leaving him out in the cold to die: “Well, he obviously didn’t die, did he? Because he’s alive and in prison, for f---’s sake.” Meanwhile, Lord Bramall’s son described the terrible effect that the accusations had on a distinguished man in the final years of his life: “What should have been a time of quiet reflection about a life well lived was a nightmare, and I can’t really forgive the man for that.”

三级成人视频The programme did not get close to discovering Beech’s motivation. Was it pure greed (he filed a compensation claim after reading that Savile’s victims were entitled to such an award, and spent the money on a Mustang), a desire for attention, or childhood trauma?

三级成人视频There were odd omissions – why was so little time dedicated to Tom Watson, who encouraged Beech to go to the police, initially supported Beech and gave credence to the paedophile ring claims? Engle was direct, though, in her questioning of Mark Conrad, of the defunct Exaro website, which published Beech’s claims as a “scoop”. Engle told him: “Beech took you for a fool and you believed what he said, hook, line and sinker.” But as the film made clear, Conrad wasn’t the only one taken in.

For our interview with Vanessa Engle, click here