New doco for BBC Two on 1970 Miss World contest

BBC Two announces a new one hour documentary about the 1970 Miss World contest, when a dramatic protest by the Women’s Liberation Movement created headlines around the world.

The Miss World Protests (w/t), made by BBC Studios, tells the story of the infamous 1970 Miss World contest, when protestors dramatically disrupted the show – kick-starting a feminist revolution in front of an audience of millions. It was also a time of growing anti-apartheid protest, and the first ever black South African contestant was sent to the contest with the dubious title ‘Miss Africa South’, alongside the white Miss South Africa.

Directed by Hannah Berryman (Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal), the film offers an entertaining, thought-provoking and timely look at a moment of game-changing anarchy. Told through archive, animation and contributions from the key players, including compere Michael Aspel, protesters and beauty queens, the documentary coincides with the theatrical release of Misbehaviour, a film dramatisation of the story starring Keira Knightley.

Exploring this particularly eventful Miss World contest is an exciting way to look at some of the seismic changes that were happening in the UK and around the world in 1970.

Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says: “Miss World was once one of the biggest shows on television, in the UK and across the globe… This film explores the phenomenon through one extraordinary night in the 1970s. It promises great insight, character and narrative, all told with Hannah Berryman’s customary wit and sense of mischief.”

Abigail Priddle, Commissioning Editor for BBC Factual, says: “Exploring this particularly eventful Miss World contest is an exciting way to look at some of the seismic changes that were happening in the UK and around the world in 1970. It’s thrilling to hear first hand from the people involved – the protesters, those working for the contest and the beauty queens themselves – and to reflect on how much that one night changed history”

The Miss World Protests (w/t) a 1×60′ for BBC Two, is a BBC Studios production from the Documentary Unit. The executive producer is Richard Bright and it is produced and directed by Hannah Berryman. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion, and the commissioning editor is Abigail Priddle. It will air on BBC Two next month.