'Carlton started out much after us. They actually approached a lot of the criminals we'd interviewed who rang me and asked if they could do Carlton. We hadn't tied them up exclusively, but I thought it was quite nice of them to ask.'
Simon Wells, producer of Carlton's Gangsters (today, 7.30pm): 'Undeniably these people have led lives that are eventful, but it would be difficult to see what they went through as glamorous. There is a trend for dramatic reconstruction in television at the moment, but that is a route we avoided. Ours is based largely on personal interviews, some lasted six hours - you've got people who are going very deep into themselves - and if you dramatise that material, you remove, to an extent, its relation with reality. Our intention was to secure personal testimonies, not to tell stories - the stories emerge from authentic material.
'My own view is not to worry about the opposition - you must bring in your own vision. It is easy to feel you have to compete - inevitably there were rumours about who had been interviewed by whom - and I suppose we could have discussed things with the BBC, but that assumes there's only one way of treating the material and that certainly isn't the case.'
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