Home Television Drama Natural Lies

Natural Lies

1 9 9 2 (UK)
3 x 55 minute episodes

Advertising executive Andrew Fell (Bob Peck) begins to investigate the death of his old girlfriend Beth (Judi Maynard) and uncovers a conspiracy by big food companies to cover up the spread of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or “mad cow disease”) in humans.

The plot became increasingly absurd over the three episodes, ending with an unconvincing fall from a balcony of Brighton’s Grand Hotel.

Worried that the drama would generate public fears, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food intervened, contacting the BBCs deputy director-general, John Birt. The Ministry had been at pains for the previous two years to downplay suggestions that the disease could spread to humans.

The BBC defended its independent experts – neuropathologist Dr Grant and microbiologist Professor Richard Lacey – and the series, arguing that nobody can be certain whether BSE could kill humans (it wasn’t until 1996 that the then Health Minister Stephen Dorrell admitted that BSE was the most likely cause of CJD in humans).

Andrew Fell
Bob Peck
Denis Lawson
Maggie Fell
Sharon Duce
Brian Protheroe
Deborah Findlay
Rob Spendlove
Jo Scott
Arkie Whiteley
Lynsey Baxter
Tim Holt
Ian Bolt
Sally Fell
Victoria Shalet
Michael Fell
Charlie Brace
Dr Price
John Arthur
Judi Maynard
Sylvia Syms
Claire Williamson
Michael Bertenshaw