Notebook: BBC's flawed diamond

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The Independent Online
ANOTHER BBC bodge-up, it seems. A two-part co-produced documentary on diamonds and the diamond industry, The Diamond Empire, three years in the making at a cost reported to be around pounds 2m, has been pulled from the schedules after complaints from Channel 4 and De Beers, the diamond company, about unlicensed use of footage from another documentary showing the De Beers monopoly in action.

The clip, featuring a New York diamond merchant having to take whatever De Beers offers, comes from Not Quite Forever, a Channel 4 programme given access denied to the BBC production by De Beers on condition, inter alia, that no clips could be used.

A BBC spokeswoman said there were several contractual difficulties and some outstanding 'editorial and journalistic considerations relating to the balancing of both sides of the story'. The problem remains that a major documentary on the diamond industry will look a bit silly without any direct footage on the method of the monopoly that controls it. Over to you, John.