BBC4 to broadcast Man Booker documentary

BBC4 to broadcast Man Booker documentary

BBC4 is to broadcast a 60-minute documentary looking back at the highs and lows of 50 years of the Booker Prize.

Billed as "a tale of bruised egos and bickering judges", the programme, called "Barneys, Books and Bust Ups: 50 Years of the Booker Prize", has a transmission date of 15th October, the night before this year's award ceremony. It was commissioned by the BBC and made with the full co-operation of the Booker Foundation.

According to Jon Morrice, the BBC producer behind the documentary, the documentary will explore "how from humble beginnings the Booker quickly went on to revolutionise the sleepy world of literary fiction and become a central part of British cultural life". Viewers will also get to hear the inside story of scandal, gossip and intrigue from a host of former winners, judges and prize administrators.

Contributors include former winners Penelope Lively, Eleanor Catton, Peter Carey, Ben Okri, John Banville and Anne Enright, prize founder Tom Maschler, former judges Hermione Lee, Professor John Carey, Alex Clark and DJ Taylor, and prize administrator Gaby Wood. It will also feature material from the BBC archive of writers and prize night footage through the decades.

The description for the documentary reads: "Over the years the prize has changed its rules, its sponsors and its name. But it’s never lost sight of its core purpose: to stimulate debate and encourage the reading of literary fiction. This is a tale of bruised egos and bickering judges and most importantly of all… of countless brilliant books."