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Oct 19, 2010 at 02:57pm IST

TV drama on Prince Harry's kidnapping to go ahead

London: A controversial television drama about Prince Harry's 'kidnapping' in war-torn Afghanistan is to go ahead, after broadcaster Channel 4 turned down a request by UK's defence chief not to air the show, a media report said.

Britain's Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup urged the broadcaster not to show the programme that examines what would happen if the 26-year-old third-in-line to the British throne was to be captured while serving on the Afghan frontline.

In a letter to Channel 4 Chairman Lord Burns, the Chief of Defence Staff argued that the 90-minute programme, 'The Taking of Prince Harry' would be distressing for service families and might undermine morale by detailing how the UK government approaches hostage negotiations.

TV drama on Prince Harry's kidnapping to go ahead

Broadcaster Channel 4 turned down a request by UK's defence chief not to air the show.

But, a Channel 4 spokeswoman said the programme would be aired as planned on Thursday, the 'Daily Express' reported.

She said: "We have written to Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup replying to his concerns. The film is rooted in expert testimony and is a serious journalistic examination of a current issue. It treats the subject matter sensitively.

"It is a legitimate subject for documentary to explore the risks that Prince Harry faces as a high-value target, and to seek to understand the nature of the dangers to a royal in the modern theatre of war as well as political implications."

However, a defence source said: "If Channel 4 goes ahead, as looks likely, they'll fail in their duty to respect the sacrifices our Armed Forces and their families make. They will no doubt say this is a serious journalistic exercise but no responsible broadcaster would treat such a serious subject with such casual disregard."

The programme includes scenes showing Harry, played by actor Sebastian Reid, being held behind enemy lines. He is shown having a gun pointed in his face and being forced to appear in Taliban and al-Qaeda propaganda broadcasts.

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