Media : Harry's sleazy world: too horrible to be true?

While the "Lucindas" are making the running, the image of the rough diamond provincial journalist is being redefined very differently in Harry, starring Michael Elphick (right), the BBC 1 series based on the strange life of a middle-aged news agency hack in Darlington, writes Robert Verkaik.

Franc Roddam, who created him, set out to expose the news business. "I wanted to show people that the news is a commodity which is bought and sold like anything else, and is suppressed and tampered with, so that we are fed drivel and lies. I wanted to let the public in on the secret." But it is an image that news agency journalists say "just isn't how we are" - it is too horrible to be true.

Last year, by contrast, the television drama Faith portrayed a tabloid journalist with a conscience (played by John Hannah) caught up in political intrigue. More fun than rewriting hand-outs?

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