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#345440 - 28th Aug 2009 12:49pm TV show uses CCTV pic of murder child James Bulger

Fury as Australian TV show uses CCTV pic of murdered Liverpool child James Bulger

AN AUSTRALIAN police TV drama has apologised for using a CCTV image of murdered Liverpool toddler James Bulger to promote a copycat episode.

City Homicide used the infamous clip of the two-year-old being led away by schoolboy killers Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both 10, to advertise an episode.

Today, Denise Fergus, the youngster’s mum, criticized Channel Seven’s decision to use the haunting picture to highlight the drama.

Anger has surfaced in Australia after the trailer which hit TV screens in the run-up to the show on Monday.

The clip used by the broadcaster showed little James being ushered away from the New Strand shopping centre in Bootle, in 1993, by his killers.

Later the tot’s body, horribly battered, was found dumped on railway line in Walton, in a crime that shocked the world.

Today, Channel Seven confirmed they had used the image for a “four second” clip to promote the show.

Viewers in Australia expressed their distaste over the decison to use the footage, describing it as “despicable”.

Some people vowed to never watch City Homicide again, which features actor Shane Bourne as Detective Senior Sergeant Stanley Wolfe.

And James’s own mother, spoke of her regret that her son’s death was being trivialised to gain more TV ratings.

Mrs Fergus told the ECHO: “It’s unfortunate that broadcasters tend to use James’s image as a token without recognising here was a real person, a real child who was horribly murdered.

“They should not use his photo in this way.”

One disgusted viewer, from Australia, said: “...I’m not saying that using real life events so a show can loosely base their story on it is wrong.

“However, showing the footage of the James Bulger boy being taken away on the ad, only because they knew it would get people's attention, when they saw it is wrong.

“Using that horrific tragedy and the family's painful loss, just to advertise your painfully cliched show, is a new low.

“I'm not going to watch it again.”

And Marilyn Palmer-Firth, from Adelaide, a big Liverpool FC fan, told the ECHO: “cctv footage of Jamie Bulger being lead away was being used to advertise or promote the drama.

“The fact is, they were usingŠ aŠ heinous crime to promote their TV programme which is despicable.”

The City Homicide episode appeared to go further, with main cop character Stanley declaring in the show: “Sometimes we're presented with something horribly familiar ...

“A set of circumstances that seems to insist that we draw certain conclusions. We mustn't do that. We have to remain open to all possibilities.

“This is not Liverpool, in 1993. The details are uncanny. Two young boys are seen leading a toddler away. They want to play rough, see what happens, until it's all too late.

“A police force and the general public left with a terrible sense of déjà vu.

“The challenge for the team is sorting through the white lies, the pre-conceptions and a lack of reliable witnesses.

“No matter what, they can't and won't jump to conclusions. Even if this does feel like History repeating.”

A spokeswoman for Channel Seven said: “We used four seconds of a still image (of James Bulger).

“City Homicide is sometimes based on true crimes told in a dramatic way. The story telling in our drama sometimes refers to headlines, based on those true crimes.

“Our aim was never to upset any viewer and for any offence we apologise.”


* SHOULD a picture like this ever be used for promotional purposes? Have your say below

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#345655 - 29th Aug 2009 4:23pm Re: TV show uses CCTV pic of murder child James Bulger [Re: ]
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5599
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
I'm not offended, if I was I'd be compaining about dramtising Airplane Crash Investigators. There are pictures like these used to promote programmes every week, from World War 2 to September 11th. Was there a HUGE amount of complaints, or just one or two and then the Liverpool Echo got word of it?
"C20 LET bang"

#345664 - 29th Aug 2009 5:33pm Re: TV show uses CCTV pic of murder child James Bulger [Re: DavidB]

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
'' sometimes based on true crimes told in a dramatic way''
Like that despicable crime wasnt dramatic enough??
Mia Mabel


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