'Panorama' man to examine Kelly row

Channel 4 has commissioned Tom Mangold, one of the best-known investigative journalists to have worked for the BBC, to make a film about the events that led to the death of David Kelly.

Mr Mangold, a freelance film maker, was a friend of the weapons inspector, regularly consulting him when making programmes for the BBC's Panorama about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.

The Channel 4 film might embarrass BBC executives, with one of its most familiar reporters examining the role of the corporation in the events that led to Dr Kelly's apparent suicide on 18 July.

But it will certainly make uncomfortable viewing for the Government. Mr Mangold, who has reported for Panorama since 1976, recently wrote: "David never liked the MoD; he used to complain bitterly about them."

The weekend after the scientist's death, Mr Mangold wrote an article for a Sunday newspaper in which he was critical of both the BBC and the Government. "So why did my friend take his life?" asked Mr Mangold in The Mail on Sunday. "I believe he thought he could ride the tiger created by the BBC, other journalists, spooks, spinners and politicians."

The film is part of a highly political autumn schedule announced yesterday by Channel 4. It has also commissioned the investigative journalist, Michael Crick, to examine New Labour's links with business.A political documentary, Inside the Mind of Tony Blair, will "investigate the mindset and motivation" of the Prime Minister.

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