Secret millionaire: MP 'furious' at 'biased' Barnstaple portrayal

NORTH Devon MP has slammed Channel 4 over its portrayal of Barnstaple as a poverty stricken backwater in a television programme, broadcast last night (Wednesday). Mr Harvey said he was furious at the depiction of the town presented in the show Secret M

NORTH Devon MP has slammed Channel 4 over its portrayal of Barnstaple as a poverty stricken backwater in a television programme, broadcast last night (Wednesday).

Mr Harvey said he was "furious" at the depiction of the town presented in the show "Secret Millionaire".

He said: "The premise of the show is highly laudable; what is not, is the very deliberate editing to make Barnstaple appear as bad as possible - nor are the claims that Barnstaple suffers from some of the worst poverty and depravation in the country.

"Any picturesque views of the river Taw, the Longbridge, Bridge Chambers or even the Square were conveniently excluded, despite several pieces to camera by the millionaire outside the Riverfront Caf�; shots of the library were filmed from above so that it looked like a derelict warehouse in the town centre.


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"In a way it was also an affront to the good work already being done by the groups featured."

Last night's programme featured "secret" millionaire Kevin Green, who donated money to the Children's Hospice South West, Barnstaple Poverty Action Group and the Amber Foundation, after doing volunteer work with the charities.

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"While the money the millionaire donated to the charity groups is very welcome, the unnecessarily negative PR is not, which is economic misrepresentation of North Devon.

"What Channel 4 gave with one hand it potentially took away from our tourist industry with another.

"I will be taking this matter up with Andrew Duncan, Channel 4's chief executive as a matter of some urgency - this was not balanced programme making."

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