ON the eve of the 10th anniversary of the most contentious and divisive war in living memory, Peter Taylor forensically investigates how key aspects of the secret intelligence used by Downing Street and the White House to justify the invasion of Iraq, were based on fabrication, wishful thinking and lies.
Using remarkable first hand testimony, Panorama: The spies who fooled the world (BBC1, 10.35pm) reveals the full story of how two very highly placed sources, both close to Saddam Hussein, talked secretly to the CIA via an intermediary and directly to MI6 in the build-up to the war and said Iraq did not have an active Weapons of Mass Destruction programme. But both were ignored.
Jade writes a daily TV and film guide in the Liverpool Echo. Here is a small selection of her work...
Embarrassing Bodies, Channel 4
THE question I can never get out of my head is why does anyone go on Embarrassing Bodies (Channel 4, 9pm)?
Tonight, revellers at the Love Luton festival reveal all for the doctors, including a woman with large unexplained bruises and another with unexplained skin patches.
Back at the clinic, Dawn Harper helps a patient with an odour problem, Christian Jessen meets a man who's not happy with his skin-cancer scar, dentist James Russell tackles tarnished teeth and cameras go behind the scenes at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
But I still can’t understand why people don’t just go to their own doctors.
Paul Hollywood’s Bread, BBC1
HOUSEWIVES’ favourite Paul Hollywood has searched the nation for the finest bakers and cake makers in The Great British Bake Off, but now he’s back on the lookout for Paul Hollywood’s Bread (BBC1, 8.30pm)
Paul’s dad worked at a series of bakeries across Merseyside.
“I started making trays and trays of cakes with my dad when he worked at Blake’s Cakes,” says Paul, 46, from Wallasey.
He’s been asked for his tips and recipes so many times it’s inspired him to make this series.
"The best thing about baking is that it’s very sociable,” he says. “You bake when you have friends coming over. It tends to be something that you share, even if it’s just you and your partner having homemade croissants for breakfast.
“People think croissants are hard to make. They’re not. When you get the right recipe it’s easy. Hopefully, with my recipes you can really show off with what you’ve made. There are loads of things you can do that look impressive to friends and family but that are actually very straightforward.”
“EVERYBODY, on the face of it, is against our client,” said Franklin Sinclair of Tuckers Solicitors. “The police are against him. He feels the court is against him. The prosecutor is against him. He thinks the judge is against him. So we're his only friend.” That certainly seemed to be the case in The Briefs (ITV1, 9pm), the eye-opening documentary that delved behind the scenes at Tuckers, one of the country's leading legal aid practices.
It specialises in criminal defence work and prides itself on its ability to take on a wide range of cases and clients – and this week’s episode certainly reflected that.
It featured new client Tim - who was previously married but had been accused of fighting with his boyfriend.
“He hit me first ‘cos he thought I was flirting with another guy,” he explained. “Unfortunately I bit him in several places and he bit me. We both had quite a few injuries.”
Tim eventually got a community service order, but he appeared in court a number of times afterwards, and was eventually sentenced to six weeks in Strangeways.
On leaving prison, he told the cameras: “It was like hell. No, it was worse than hell. There were only seven channels on the TV.”
With unprecedented access to Britain’s busiest legal aid-funded law practice, the programme showed privileged conversations between lawyer and client, and followed the cases from police station to court, and even to prison.
Former soldier Will Jenkins was charged with burglary during the Manchester riots after he’d wandered drunkenly into a ram-raided shop. He was later acquitted, but the trial clearly took its toll.
Meanwhile, Gerard Butler (a performance poet with a Scouse accent, not the film actor) was accused of earning £14,000 on top of sickness benefits. The Benefits Agency had calculated that Gerard received £4,000 too much. He agreed to pay it back but was prosecuted for benefit fraud.
“I’m going to plead guilty,” he said, mournfully. “All I want is this to be over with. What I want to do is lie down on my couch and eat soup and talk to my friends about old times. That’s all I want to do ‘cos that’s what gets you better. Being dragged through court doesn’t make you better, it makes you worse.”
He received a six month community order, £250 fine and was tagged for four weeks. There was no glamour, no courtroom dramas, just people who’d got caught up in situations without thinking about the consequences. At a time when the legal system is under increasing scrutiny, this documentary offered a fascinating insight into how the criminal justice system works.