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Hatfield Court


Nr Leominster



Phone: 01568 760333

September 1996

Without Prejudice

The Director

Manchester University Press

Dear Sir/Madam

The Art of the Record’

I am sorry to be informed that in a book which I understand is called ‘The Art of Record’ by John Corner, you publish the erroneous and very damaging claim that changes were made between the first and second transmissions of ‘Cathy Come Home’ because of the alleged doubts about its accuracy.

This particular myth does surface occasionally and it can be demonstrated, I believe, that it has caused, and continues to cause, harm to the professional reputations of myself (author), Tony Garnett (producer) and Ken Loach (director).

In my case, since I work as a journalist as well as a writer of factual books and documentary plays and screenplays, a reputation for accuracy is one of my most important professional assets and the statement is clearly libellous.

While I accept that John Corner probably believed the source from which he took this misinformation, common sense would suggest that the BBC would be unlikely to connive in a shifting of the goal posts such as is suggested.

Also, there have been many accounts of this production in books and newspapers of which none, except for the book which I suspect was John Corner’s source, make the allegation he does.

It would have been a very simple matter for John Corner to check his claim by telephoning one of the three people principally libelled, any of whose numbers are readily available from the Writers Guild, BECTU or Pact, and while I shrink from the idea of getting solicitors involved in this, I hope you’ll agree that this is a situation that calls for immediate rectification and I wonder if you could forward, as a matter of urgency, your suggestions as to how this could be done?

With best wishes

Jeremy Sandford


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