TELEVISION / Production Notes

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The Independent Culture
Producer Gerry Baker on making Panorama's 'The Road From Hope' (Mon, BBC 1):

'Panorama is an odd programme in that it sits uneasily on the borderline between documentary and current affairs. Our programme was exactly that: an obvious current affairs story - the state of the America Bill Clinton will inherit - made more interesting in a documentary style, Peter Jay's journey from Hope, Arkansas (Clinton's birthplace) to Washington.

'When making a film, you look for a device to hold it together - this journey solved that problem. We did have huge doubts over whether this was the right way to do it. Logistics were the main problem - whether the film could be done in the given time.

'On the road, Peter bought this baseball cap which he insisted on wearing. One night he said, 'Today I've done two things for the first time in my life: eaten a McDonald's and stayed in a motel.' The great thing is that, for someone who is regarded as an intellectual highbrow, he loves America and can relate to ordinary Americans.

'The film was Peter's personal view: he is a very great admirer of Bill Clinton and he genuinely believes America's problems can be overcome.'

(Photograph omitted)

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