BBC's seven-part documentary on The Troubles starts tonight and it looks excellent
Set record because you will not want to miss this.
During his visit to Dublin on Monday, Boris Johnson was asked twice if he's visited the border since the Good Friday Agreement was signed. On both occasions, he bumbled over the question and refused to give a direct and concise answer.
Johnson stated that he'd "seen the new arrangements" but deliberately kept his answers vague, much like the proposed technological solutions for the border problem that have failed to materialise.
On that note, it's somewhat fitting that BBC's new seven-part documentary series, Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History, starts on Tuesday evening because it's bound to be a timely reminder of an era that nobody on the island of Ireland wants to return to.
Part one of the documentary covers the years 1966 to 1972 and explores the rise of Ian Paisley - who went on become DUP leader and first minister - and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness.
The seven episodes will contain interviews with around 100 people, as well as archive material that has never been shown before.
Speaking to the BBC, the editor of Spotlight, Jeremy Adams, said the documentary had uncovered "new findings" on The Troubles.
The synopsis for the first episode reads: "50 years after troops were sent onto the streets of Northern Ireland, a leading team of investigative journalists uncover secrets about the decades-long conflict that claimed more than 3,700 lives. Reporter Darragh MacIntyre opens the series, discovering an array of new evidence, including previously classified documents, unseen film and fresh testimony from key new witnesses to the origins of the Troubles.
"It throws light on the formation of the Provisional Irish Republican Army as well as the parts played by radicals who became elder statesmen like Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness. In this episode, the Spotlight team traces how, in the 1960s, suspicion led to unrest between unionists and nationalists, undermining Northern Ireland’s government.
"The arrival of the British Army in August 1969 brought a respite, and the soldiers were enthusiastically greeted as protectors by many nationalists. That relationship was soured by fatal errors and calculated acts of violence. New information about Martin McGuinness’s role at that time is brought to light, and the episode concludes with the destruction of the Northern Ireland government, a moment when IRA members believed they were about to force the British Army out of Northern Ireland."
Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History airs at 8.30pm on BBC1 and BBC4.
Take a look at what's in store.
— BBC Spotlight NI (@BBCSpotlightNI) September 10, 2019
— BBC Spotlight NI (@BBCSpotlightNI) September 9, 2019