Olympic sitcom in real life security breach


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The Independent Culture

It is a plot line seemingly straight from the sitcom Twenty Twelve.

Olympic officials grant permission to film in a highly restricted security area, to a television sitcom satirising Olympic security. Said sitcom - a heavily trailed BBC prime time show - is then broadcast, creating an actual real life security risk.

Only it's not satire, it's real life, and the sitcom in question is, of course, Twenty Twelve.

In last night's episode of the award winning BBC comedy, the first of three final episodes to be aired before the games, rough-talking, Obama-guarding American Secret Service personnel arrive in Stratford, decidedly unhappy with the security arrangements. They are shown the airport style security in place, in an attempt to placate them, which fails (oh, and Hugh Bonneville gets shot in the foot, literally).

But the sequence in question, The Independent can reveal, was recorded in the Olympic Park's actual security areas. The only thing missing were the signs usually in place reading “For security reasons, filming and photography is not allowed in this area.”

A spokesperson for the BBC confirmed indeed that: "Twenty Twelve requested permission to film in a small area within the security gates of the stadium and the London Olympics kindly agreed."

According to Tim Willis, Regional Security Manager at security company, International SOS, such restrictions exist at the Olympic Park: "To prevent any surveillance or reconnaissance being carried out by persons who may want to identify weaknesses to or infiltrate Olympic security."

Admittedly the airport style security is far from the only measure in place, as scores of east London residents suddenly sharing their roofs with ground based missile defence systems will confirm, but said surveillance and or reconnaissance, complete with Hugh Bonneville's bemused face, is now readily available on Youtube, iPlayer, and the DVD is out soon.