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I TALK The Boarding School Bomber

On Monday night, BBC Three aired a very different programme dubbed a docu-drama in its 9pm slot called The Boarding School Bomber.

It was directed by Susannah Price and starred Adam Deacon. The programme was based on the true story of Andrew (later Isa) Ibrahim who three years after the 7/7 attacks in London posed a terrorist threat to a Bristol shopping centre.


What made the programme very different, to me, was the use of real CCTV footage and interviews with his friends and family. These were mixed in with reconstructions and dramatisations played out by Adam Deacon, who I believe to be one of the brightest young actors to emerge from the UK, with credits including Kidulthood, Adulthood, Anuvahood, Top Boy and various other UK films and dramas.


This documentary and drama mix reminded me to the french film La Haine, which itself was based on a real event, and in particular the opening sequence where we are shown real footage of the riots that occured in France around that time.


There was a real poignancy behind my viewing of The Boarding School Bomber in that its interviews with his mother and friends reminded us that this was a real story and caused us to watch the programme differently as a result.


Despite being 20 at the time I was unfamiliar with the Isa Ibrahim story and therefore this programme served well in retelling the story in a much more approachable way than a programme like Tonight or Panorama would. Broadcast during BBC Three's 9pm slot, the programme aimed at and appealed to a younger audience, one that, like myself, might not have heard the story but felt compelled to watch a story that is still so current and topical today.


Initially, when I sat down to watch the programme I expected to see more air time from Adam Deacon and a programme that could be in a similar vein to Channel 4's Top Boy from earlier on this month. However, upon reflection the interviews added a very real and authentic layer to the programme that made the audoience as a whole, sit up, listen and pay more attention than if it was just another gritty UK urban drama.


All in all another great programme delivered by BBC Three that did not disappoint.

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