Lawrence family to give TV Christmas message

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The Independent Online
THE PARENTS of the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence will deliver this year's alternative Christmas message on Channel 4.

While the Queen speaks on BBC and ITV, Doreen and Neville Lawrence will reflect on a year that saw the conclusion of the public inquiry into the police investigation of their son's death in 1993.

Tim Gardam, director of programmes at Channel 4, said yesterday: "It was one of the major, defining stories of the year. They are people no one would have heard of but for the way they have held themselves through all that has happened. It has given them a kind of democratic stature.

"They will address the case as well as reflecting on the year as a whole. Their dignity and bearing throughout has made them more than just victims."

Past presenters of Channel 4's alternative message have included Quentin Crisp, Brigitte Bardot and, in the guise of Diana, Princess of Wales, Rory Bremner.

Last year, Margaret Gibney, the Belfast schoolgirl who wrote to Tony Blair about her hopes for peace in Northern Ireland, spoke about the peace process.

Other Channel 4 Christmas highlights include a new 90-minute version of Alice Through the Looking Glass, starring Kate Beckinsale; Raymond Briggs's animation The Bear; and the Welsh National Opera's production of Hansel and Gretel.

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