Michael Beckham obituary

Fearless World in Action producer-director whose films of Vietnam and Chile left an indelible mark on the genre

Michael Beckham, who has died aged 78, was a producer-director of films that defined a golden age of television – mostly for the famously fearless Granada TV programme World in Action. He made about 80 documentaries for the series, and award-winning dramas thereafter. “He was the Dickens of television,” said his colleague and friend since 1966, Mike Ryan, “prolific, but always the best. He could do everything.”

It’s not nostalgia to regard those days as halcyon ones in television. World in Action broadcast to audiences of 13 million at prime time, against Panorama’s 9 million on BBC – a third of the country watching serious, international quality documentaries. I got my first real job on World in Action in 1979, an ambition conceived six years previously as a student watching Michael’s report of Chile’s 1973 military coup,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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