Since the early days of her legal career, Ann has courted the media to help publicise the most newsworthy of her cases. As well as generating work, Ann’s frequent TV and radio appearances built her a reputation as an informed commentator and an astute businesswoman.
TV and radio programmes that Ann has appeared on include:
- BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme
- You and Yours
- The World at One
- Women’s Hour
- Law in Action
Ann has developed her broadcasting role from being an interviewee or contributor to presenting her own programmes. She was a regular presenter on BBC Radio Manchester’s Business Programme and has frequently contributed to City Talk 105.9FM.
Documentary making – a recent challenge
In 2008, Ann was able to realise a long held ambition to make a documentary for Radio 4 when she was commissioned to research, write and present a documentary programme entitled ‘Public Inquiries’, for Radio 4’s ‘Analysis’ series. The documentary debates the effectiveness of Public Inquiries and questions whether they are a worthwhile exercise. During the programme, Ann, who has acted in several major Public Inquiries herself, investigates the system and finds out how it works. The programme includes rare interviews with Inquiry chairs Sir Ian Kennedy and Lord Laming. Ann also gives the view ‘from the other side’ when she talks to Michaela Willis, mother of one of the babies involved in the Bristol Royal Infirmary baby death scandal. The documentary was aired on 30 October 2008, receiving a positive reception both from individual listeners and from the media. More information about the programme can be found on www.publicinquiries.org.uk. You can also download the transcript here or here to the broadcast here.
Broadcasting from strength to strength
Further to the success of ‘Public Inquiries’, Ann was commissioned to create a second documentary by Radio 4 Current Affairs. Entitled ‘Could Shipman Happen Again?’ the programme looks at whether the medical practice loopholes that GP Harold Shipman abused – enabling him to kill more than 200 of his patients – have now been closed. After Shipman’s conviction for murder in 2000, a Public Inquiry was held which made hundreds of recommendations for change in medical practice. Many of these have not yet been implemented. Ann speaks to a number of key players in the Shipman case including the Chair of the Public Inquiry, Dame Janet Smith. In an exclusive interview, Dame Janet Smith voices her fears that a ‘dishonest, malevolent’ doctor could still exploit the loopholes to get away with murder. Also featured is the then Secretary of State for Health Alan Milburn MP and senior medical figures including Laurence Buckman, chair of the British Medical Association GPs committee and Finlay Scott, President of the General Medical Council.
Media reaction to ‘Could Shipman happen again?’
Ann’s second documentary attracted a huge amount of media attention and coverage both before and after it was broadcast. As well as articles in the regional and national press, the programme was featured on several TV and radio news programmes, which ran extracts from Ann’s exclusive interview with Dame Janet Smith. Ann herself was heavily in demand on the day of broadcast and was interviewed for many television and radio programmes including:
- BBC Breakfast TV
- BBC News channel – click here to watch the interview
- 5 Live Breakfast
Below are links to some of the many news stories and features that appeared on the Internet about the broadcast.
The official press release about the programme appeared in full or abridged format in dozens of publications and news websites, both regional and national. Ann’s own article on the programme, written for the Times, can be read here.
To read some of the excellent feedback that Ann has received about the programme from individual listeners, please visit the Testimonials section of the website.
Ann has continued to make further well received documentaries for BBC Radio 4′s award winning series “File on 4″ and is always on the look out for ideas.