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Monday, 20 July 2009

Ray Gosling OAP

Last night (Sunday), BBC Four broadcast the first in Ray Gosling’s highly acclaimed three-part documentary series, Ray Gosling Reports.

Gosling is a journalist, author, broadcaster and gay-rights activist, who was an early pioneer of the British gay-rights movement. In the 1960s, he worked with Allan Horsfall (pictured with Gosling) – also a long-time gay-rights activist – in the North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee, which later became the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE).

Both men are still involved with CHE today, as well as, for many years, running Gay Monitor, which, according to its website, watches “court cases that involve male gay sex. Often we’ve befriended. Some cases have been very distressing. Of course there have been a lot of different kinds of cases … But one theme has cropped up again and again – this is historical abuse.”

Gosling was a prolific programme maker, becoming one of the best-known faces on television in the 1960s and 70s.

In 2005, Nottingham Trent University stepped in to save Gosling’s archive of work, described as “an amazing treasure trove of groundbreaking TV and radio work which was in danger of being lost forever”. The archive, which includes films, tapes, scripts, cuttings and background notes providing a fascinating perspective on 40 years of social history, is now safely preserved within the university’s School of Arts, Communication and Culture.

In 2007, at Grierson, his BBC Four documentary Ray Gosling OAP beat off tough competition from Alan Sugar’s The Apprentice to collect the Jonathan Gili Award For Most Entertaining Documentary.

The three documentaries are Ray Gosling Reports: Bankrupt, Ray Gosling Reports: Pension Crisis and Ray Gosling Reports: OAP. The second and third episodes can be seen on BBC Four tonight (11.30 p.m.) and Tuesday (11.30 p.m.), respectively.

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