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Season 1981 1981

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  • 1981-01-05T20:30:00Z on BBC One
  • 30 mins
  • 23 hours, 0 mins (46 episodes)
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, News
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Panorama is a BBC Television current affairs documentary programme. First broadcast in 1953, it is the world's longest-running public affairs television programme.

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46 episodes

1981x01 Whatever Happened to Afghanistan?

  • Season Premiere

    1981-01-05T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

A year ago the rumble of Russian tanks invading Afghanistan was met by a chorus of condemnation from around the world. Jeremy Paxman reports from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border on what has happened since - the military and diplomatic price the Russians are paying, the effectiveness of Afghan guerrilla warfare and the plight of more than a million Afghan refugees. With the use of exclusive film, photographs and the testimony of recent refugees, he pieces together a picture of life in Kabul under Russian occupation.

1981x02 Italy's Other Earthquake

  • 1981-01-12T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

Money is now pouring in to rebuild the lives and homes of the survivors of Italy's earthquake. But will the 600 stricken villages ever rise again from the rubble? What will happen to the money? And will the political shockwaves of the disaster bring about fundamental changes in the way the country is governed? Amidst reports that the Mafia is exploiting the tragedy, John Stapleton visits the scene of an earthquake 12 years ago in Sicily, where 40,000 people still live in temporary houses, and where billions of lire in aid money have mysteriously disappeared.

1981x03 How the Left Won

  • 1981-01-19T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

This week, at a special conference at Wembley, the Labour Party will decide how to choose its leader. Whatever it decides, the conference will mark a crucial stage in the party's history. Will the conference resolve the struggle between Right and Left? And what are the issues that divide them? Tonight DAVID DIMBLEBY traces the phases of that struggle, pinpoints the personalities who have played decisive roles, and describes the ideas that lie at the heart of the argument.

1981x05 The Politics of Hunger

  • 1981-02-02T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

Before the year 2000, the world is likely to face famine on a scale hitherto unknown. Today .more than half the African countries still face severe food shortages, despite the millions of pounds of western aid which have been poured in to rural development schemes. But will increasing overseas aid, as the Brandt Commission recommends, really lead to less hunger? Or are African governments forced by their very poverty to pursue policies which actively discourage the production of more food?

1981x07 Who's Afraid of Rupert Murdoch?

  • 1981-02-16T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

At 49, the Australian millionaire is set to become one of the world s most powerful press tycoons. His critics say he makes and breaks politicians, he fires editors who don't fit, and relies on sex and scandal to sell some of his newspapers. He is derided as ' the Dirty Digger' as a result of his page three nudes in The Sun, yet hailed as the brilliant saviour of our ailing press. In Britain his controversial bid for The Times, its supplements and The Sunday Times, have led to unprecedented legal safeguards for editorial freedom.
Elwyn Parry-Jones accompanies Rupert Murdoch on a visit to his Australian newspapers, talks to his critics and supporters and from New York reports on a bitter newspaper war prompted by Murdoch's brash tactics.

How far should the state look into our lives, and what should be done with the information that is collected? Computers now contain millions of records and intelligence files; the police and security services have a formidable range of surveillance devices, from simple phone-tapping equipment to advanced laser-bugs. Tom Mangold continues his report on security by examining the state's intrusion into the lives of British citizens, and asks if better safeguards are needed against the services who carry it out.

1981x10 Has the Lady Turned?

  • 1981-03-09T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

After two years in pursuit of a radical economic experiment, has the Government now decided to change course? The capitulation to the miners, the massive injections of cash into British Steel and British Leyland, all suggest that the former rhetoric of the Government is at odds with its present actions. David Dimbleby looks at the difficulties this Government has faced, the unexpected pressures it encountered, and the reasons why some plans may now be abandoned.

1981x11 The Last of the Big Spenders?

  • 1981-03-16T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

The Conservative Government has told local authorities to cut back and spend less. The highest-spending council in Britain is Camden in London. It is now in a financial crisis. The Labour councillors there face the prospect of being made personally bankrupt., of putting the rates up by something like 50 per cent, and of cutting services.

Reporter Philip Tibenham has been following the arguments, demonstrations, open rows and disruptions from the inside, as the councillors struggled to come to terms with being the 'Last of the Big Spenders'.

'You can carry enough diamonds on your naked body to set you up for life,' said Ian Fleming. Diamonds and gold - the most precious substances known to man - excite the imagination. But by geological accident, in the real world the two biggest producers of gold and diamonds are bitter political enemies - Communist Russia and white-ruled South Africa. Both countries vehemently deny that there are any contacts at all between them. But a top executive of South Africa's leading gold and diamond mining corporation was spotted recently at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. What was he doing there? And was his visit part of an unthinkable secret partnership? Michael Cockerell investigates the secret world of gold and diamonds and the strange bedfellows it makes.

1981x16 France's Seven-Year Itch

  • 1981-04-27T19:30:00Z — 30 mins

For seven years Giscard d'Estaing has been the dominant force in French politics, and French prosperity has been the envy of Europe. But his critics say he has become arrogant and autocratic, more a king than a Republican President. They blame him for not preventing rising unemployment and inflation in France. On the day following the first round of the Presidential Election, David Dimbleby reports on the state of France after seven years of Giscard's rule, and on how the French people are making up their minds about who should be their President for the next seven years.

1981x18 The Re-arming of America

  • 1981-05-18T19:30:00Z — 30 mins

The United States, in keeping with President Reagan's election promise, has just begun the largest and most expensive peace-time military build-up in its history. The Pentagon is embarking on a one and a half trillion dollar spending spree over the next five years. Ageing battleships are being taken out of mothballs to be re-equipped with the very latest weapons. There will be new nuclear missiles, and a ' gunboat diplomacy' force of paratroopers ready to fight at a moment's notice, if necessary, in the deserts of the Gulf.
But what lies behind these military developments? Tom Mangold looks at the new weapons, at the men trained to use them and their leaders

1981x20 The DPP

  • 1981-06-08T19:30:00Z — 30 mins

Sir Thomas Hetherington is the Director of Public Prosecutions, the man who has to decide whether to prosecute in important or difficult cases, which charges to lay and whether it is in the 'public interest' to do so. He makes crucial decisions in the areas of obscenity, race relations and criminal justice.
Robin Day talks to the DPP about accountability, his professional role and some of the hotly-debated decisions he has made.

Peter Taylor reports from within South Africa on the black opposition - an opposition which is becoming increasingly frustrated and violent. The thousands of Soweto youths who left the country after the riots in the black township five years ago are now returning secretly, fully trained, with arms and explosives. Every week the list of sabotage and machine-gun attacks grows rapidly. The white South African government is now facing an increasingly successful, but as yet unreported, guerrilla war.
For the first time the people who are at war inside South Africa talk to Panorama. Do they have any chance of defeating the most powerful military machine in Africa? What will be the political consequences of a war which both whites and blacks swear they will fight ' to the last drop of blood '.

The Palestinian Liberation Organisation, responsible for some of the world's worst acts of terrorism, has found a new respectability. Less than a decade after the slaying of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, while they are still mounting rocket and guerrilla attacks on Israel, European foreign ministers now acknowledge that the PLO must be involved in the Middle East peace process-a move which a few years ago would have been deemed unthinkable.

Tonight John Stapleton examines how, through a well financed and highly organised diplomatic and propaganda offensive. the PLO has achieved its new status.

In April 1980, Dan Air Flight 1008 crashed en route from Machester to Tenerife, claiming 146 lives. The programme covers the disaster from as many angles as possible, interviewing experts and investigators and drawing on eye witness accounts and crash footage. Consideration is given to the lessons which can be drawn from these events in order to make air travel safer.

1981x28 The Islamic Bomb

  • 1981-08-10T19:30:00Z — 30 mins

After the Israeli raid on Iraq's nuclear reactor, Pakistan alone is developing the Islamic worlds first nuclear weapon. With millions of pounds from Libya's Colonel Gaddafi, the Pakistanis are using Western technology to build the 'Islamic Bomb'. Tonight Panorama takes its prize-winning investigation into the project a stage further.
Reporter Philip Tibenham and producer Christopher Olgiati , who won the 1981 Royal Television Society Award for Investigative Journalism, report on the latest moves in the Pakistan project. How near are the Pakistanis to their first explosion?

1981x31 The Class of 81

  • 1981-09-07T19:30:00Z — 30 mins

For-the past 12 months Panorama has been following the fortunes of the 250 school leavers at Craig-bank Secondary School in Glasgow. John Stapleton follows what hap pened to them In their preparation and search for a job during the worst recession since the 1930s. Headmaster. Norman Macleod sums up their prospects: ' We've bien. preparing them for what is sometimes laughingly cal-led the world of work, and here, at the brink, when they are about to. leave school, they find this world of work is further away than it ever was.'

1981x33 The Provo's Last Card

  • 1981-09-21T19:30:00Z — 30 mins

Panorama's Peter Taylor reports from the Maze prison during the hunger strike campaign and addresses the political and military consequences.

Labour's choice of a deputy leader is the culmination of a momentous struggle for the party's future.

Soviet Intelligence has a huge presence in every Western country; some four out of every ten Russian diplomats are KGB officers. They wage war by clandestine means. Their methods - disinformation, sexual entrapment, blackmail and the use of' illegals', old-fashioned spies. Tom Mangold investigates how serious is its threat, and how effective its contribution to ultimate Soviet ambitions.

1981x39 How Many More Skeletons?

  • 1981-11-02T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

In this report from a longer programme, Tom Mangold speaks to Leo Long, one of the men whom Anthony Blunt recruited into his Cambridge spy ring.

1981x42 Libya: Trading in Terror

  • 1981-11-23T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

In Britain, Libyan hit squads murder Colonel Gaddafi's exiled opponents. All over the world the Libyans back terrorist groups - including the IRA. Now Panorama reveals the key men behind Libya's world-wide terror campaigns - ex-CIA officers who trade expertise for cash. Former CIA man Kevin Mulcahy , once part of the scheme, admits that American mercenaries are training terrorists in secret desert camps, while American businessmen sell the Libyans everything from plastic explosives to poison. In this special edition of Panorama, Jeremy Paxman reports on the lucrative trade in terror that Western governments are seemingly powerless to stop.

1981x43 Trade Unions and the Law

  • 1981-11-30T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

Panorama tonight examines the Government's controversial proposals to limit the power of trade unions. The Rt Hon Norman Tebbit , mp, Secretary of State for Employment, explains why he believes new laws are necessary. Trade union leaders and employers debate whether changes in legislation will bring chaos or calm to industrial relations.

1981x45 Experimenting with Life

  • 1981-12-24T20:30:00Z — 30 mins

Next year there'll be a boom in test tube babies. Laboratory fertilisation is becoming commonplace, and human embryos are now being frozen for future use. Margaret Jay examines the implications of this brand new world. How should we define the rules under which scientists help create life?

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