In 1987, the British current affairs programme This Week aired an explosive documentary exploring the shooting of three IRA terrorists in Gibraltar by members of the British Special Air Service (SAS). The terrorists had planned to detonate over 100 pounds of explosives alongside a British military meeting point, but they were shot and killed before that could happen.
The documentary suggested that these IRA members were not given any chance to surrender when they were approached by the SAS, and instead were essentially executed in the middle of the street. In response to this television broadcast, Margaret Thatcher’s government attempted to block its airing; however, when that attempt failed and the programme was televised, Thames Television – who produced the documentary – lost its London ITV franchise three years later. Many believe this regulatory action was directly linked to the fallout from the documentary.
This Week’s ground-breaking documentary is now considered one of Britain’s most controversial television broadcasts, with questions still being asked about what happened on that April day in Gibraltar. It is an essential piece of history which shines a light on issues such as terrorism and freedom of speech – making it an incredibly important watch for anyone interested in learning more about these topics today.
So if you want an enlightening lesson in current affairs and civil liberties, then make sure you don’t miss out on This Week’s game-changing exposé into one of Britain’s darkest days.