Channel 4 documentary to show `posed' shots of child beggars

CHANNEL 4 confirmed yesterday that it is to screen a controversial documentary despite claims that it used "set up" shots of children begging.

Nottingham City Council failed to gain a High Court injunction to prevent the broadcasting of Staying Lost after it alleged that the producers, October Films, had also encouraged prostitution.

The local authority was angry that the programme-maker did not seek permission to interview youngsters who had been in council care.

However, Channel 4 described the accusations as "ridiculous", insisting the council had "no credible evidence". The documentary, it said, portrayed "the true state of vulnerable children across the country...who have slipped through the care net".

The controversy over the programme, due to be shown in October, came after allegations about documentary-making and faking, including The Connection, a Carlton documentary about the Colombian drugs cartel. Another Carlton programme boasted an exclusive interview with Fidel Castro that was fake. This autumn Channel 4's major drama will include a pounds 6m adaptation of Dava Sobel's international best- seller Longitude, to be shown in December.

It stars Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon and is the story of John Harrison, an 18th- century clockmaker who solved the problem of global navigation.

Another new series promises to explore the dark side of human nature. Shockers, three contemporary one-hour dramas starting in October, offer a new strand of modern horror stories. The first, The Visitor, focuses on a malicious and uninvited house guest who brings terrifying consequences to an ordinary suburban home.

Another series, Kid In The Corner, by Tony Marchant, tackles a modern parental nightmare and focuses on the traumas surrounding the family of an eight-year-old problem child, Danny, whose behaviour is caused by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Channel 4 will also screen 1900 House, a science series that follows a family living in a home restored to turn of the century specifications.

Tony Blair's constituents come under the microscope in a six-part series starting next month. Sedgefield Stories shows the lives of ordinary people in the town.

The broadcaster will also be taking its first look at Britain's black history in its Untold season, from the slave trade to the race riots of 1981.Another series, Pornography, charts the changes in sexual imagery in a six-part series.

The former Big Breakfast presenter Denise Van Outen will host a "post- pub" Friday night show entitled Something For The Weekend, to begin next month.

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