Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Harry prisoner show 'distasteful'

Channel 4's show depicts what could have happened to Prince Harry if he were taken prisoner in Afghanistan
Prince Harry served in Afghanistan's Helmand province as a forward air controller

A "dramatised documentary" based on what would happen if Prince Harry were to be taken prisoner while serving in Afghanistan has been described as "deeply distasteful".

The 90-minute film, called The Taking Of Prince Harry, features contributions from former hostages and intelligence experts.

A defence source said: "The depiction, fictional or otherwise, of a member of the Armed Forces being taken hostage and mistreated is deeply distasteful."

The programme includes scenes showing the prince, played by actor Sebastian Reid, being held behind enemy lines while negotiations are carried out to free him.

At one point he is shown having an unloaded gun pointed in his face before one of his captors pulls the trigger, and he is also made to appear in Taliban and al Qaida propaganda.

The programme, which will be broadcast on Thursday October 21 at 9pm, also includes scenes where the Prince is confronted by a British-born radical Islamist and details how the British Government's approach to hostage negotiations differs from other nations.

Harry, younger son of the Prince of Wales, served in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

His presence in the country was hush-hush because of worries he could become a Taliban target if it became widely known he had been deployed.

He spent 10 weeks working as a forward air controller until his cover was blown on the internet. Harry was flown home in February 2008 when the secret was leaked.

A Clarence House spokesman said: "We are not prepared to comment on this work of fiction. Speculating about the security of Prince Harry, both as a serving member of the Armed Forces and a senior member of the Royal Family, is unhelpful." He said Harry had been told about the programme and added: "His reaction is private."

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz