UK / BBC Two / 1×60 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 25 April 2015 @ 8.30pm
Producer: Tim Kirby / Executive Producer: Denys Blakeway / Director: Tim Kirby
To commemorate one of the First World War’s most important and dramatic anniversaries – the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 – this hour-long special tells the true story behind the ‘Gallipoli Letter’, written in September 1915 by a young Australian journalist, Keith Murdoch.
According to journalistic legend, Keith Murdoch’s letter toppled a general, shook a government and ended the bloodbath that was Gallipoli, one of the most infamous calamities of the First World War. The truth, however, is both more fascinating and more complex.
With interviews and testimony from Rupert Murdoch, Sir Max Hastings, Sir Hew Strachan and other experts, plus dramatic reconstructions based on Keith Murdoch’s own writings, this documentary tells the story of a young, ambitious journalist who visits the killing fields of Gallipoli and becomes embroiled in a scheme to evade the military censor. When top-brass generals, cabinet ministers and press barons become involved, the scene is set for a political struggle in which reputations are destroyed, careers are made and the foundations for a new journalistic empire are laid.