Government lawyers have served a writ on Central Television to prevent it broadcasting the interview in the documentary, Murder in Mind, scheduled to be screened on 26 January. The case is due to be heard in the High Court tommorow.
The circumstances under which the interview was obtained remained unclear last night. It is said to be a videotaped interview with a clinical psychologist at Albany maximum security prison on the Isle of Wight. It was not known whether it was shot by Central or whether it originated from a third party during the making of the film.
Home Office sources indicated that Central was offered facilities to help make a series of documentaries about offender profiling, a technique used in Britain and the United States to trap serial killers.
A spokeswomen said: 'The reason legal action is being taking is because we do not allow interviews with convicted prisoners. This is done to protect the families of the victims and prevent the return of any pain or suffering for them. People convicted of serious crimes are supposed to be locked away out of the public gaze.'