Belfast Telegraph

Cliff raid coverage up for TV award

The BBC's controversial coverage of the police raid on the home of Sir Cliff Richard has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award.

The veteran star hit the headlines when officers searched his Berkshire apartment in August while a film crew from the corporation caught the event on camera.

That coverage has been nominated for Scoop of the Year at the Royal Television Society's (RTS) television journalism awards.

Sir Cliff was subsequently interviewed by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy, but was not arrested or charged.

MPs later branded South Yorkshire Police "inept" over their handling of the event and said they should have refused to cooperate with the BBC.

The Home Affairs Select Committee also criticised the BBC for its decision not to allow the reporter behind the story, Dan Johnson, to appear before them.

A statement from Sir Cliff's lawyers, released to coincide with the report, said the coverage caused "immeasurable harm" to their client.

Also nominated alongside BBC News is Panorama's expose on journalist Mazher Mahmood, also known as the fake sheikh, and a BBC Northern Ireland programme about allegations of sex crimes committed by IRA members.

The winners are announced at a ceremony at the London Hilton, Park Lane, on Wednesday February 18.

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