Botched celebrity sex crime investigation that saw Cliff Richard falsely accused of being questioned in new documentary

The botched Operation Yewtree investigation, which sought to bring to light historic sex crimes committed by British celebrities in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, is set to be examined in a new Channel 4 documentary.

Singer Cliff Richard, radio DJ Paul Gambaccini and former “Pop Idol” judge Neil Fox were among those publicly charged with historic sex crimes in the operation, launched 10 years ago. None of them have ever been convicted of any crime.

More Variety

Richard sued the BBC for invasion of privacy after the network broadcast a police raid on his home during the operation. He was awarded £210,000 ($253,000) in damages and more than £2m ($2.4m) in legal costs, although he said the sum did not cover the cost total legal fees he had incurred in order to clear his name.

Curious Films (“Caroline Flack: Her Life & Death”) is producing the doc, which will explore “the operation’s lasting impact on the country’s values, attitudes and culture” as well as the personal toll the investigation has taken. had on men, their families and their careers.

In addition to interviews, the documentary, directed by Christian Collerton, will include video diaries from Fox and Gambaccini as well as testimony from people “close” to the police investigation and journalists covering the story.

Lee McMurray, editor for factual entertainment at Channel 4 commissioned the doc. Lauren Rowles will produce while Jessie Versluys and Curious Films co-founders Dov Freedman and Charlie Russell will serve as executive producers.

“This film offers a unique and fresh take on the events that changed us forever, forcing viewers to ask important questions about a defining moment in recent British history,” said Lee McMurray, factual entertainment editor at Channel 4. “The pain and anger felt by three familiar names caught in the eye of the storm unleashed by Yewtree, is weighed against the necessity and value of a police operation which, though flawed, has has long delivered justice to the victims of heinous crimes.

Jessie Versluys, Executive Producer at Curious Films, added: “’The Accused: National Treasures on Trial’ explores what it is like to find yourself at the heart of a police investigation into alleged historic sex crimes. Using first-hand accounts, it examines the role of the media during this period and whether celebrities should be named in the press before any charges are laid. At the same time, it asks in-depth questions about Yewtree and assesses its role in changing Britain’s attitudes towards sex, morality, consent, gender relations and what we expect of public figures.

The best of variety

Subscribe to the Variety newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.

Elizabeth J. Harless