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24 September 2014
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The Fall of Milosevic

Meet the production team
Programme summaries

Slobodan Milosevic, former President of Yugoslavia, is the first head of state to be tried in an international court for war crimes and genocide.

The producers of The Death of Yugoslavia - the series that won 16 major awards in 1996 - return with this gripping and definitive documentary series.

It charts Milosevic's fall from the height of his power in 1995, when he was feted by world leaders as the only hope for peace in the Balkans, to his trial in the Hague for war crimes and genocide.

This is the inside story with extraordinary access to leaders across Europe, America and Russia: President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Jacques Chirac and Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, recount how they were drawn into a bombing campaign against Milosevic – and how the fierce arguments between them almost brought defeat.

The series also tells the story from the Yugoslav side, from those closest to Milosevic: his wife and political partner, Mira Markovic, his deputy Milan Milutinovic and Army Chief of Staff, Nebojsa Pavkovic, describe how Milosevic refused to take the threats to his power seriously either from NATO or from his own disillusioned electorate.

Milosevic's successors, President Voyjaslav Kostunica and Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, tell how they plotted his removal.

Milosevic's generals and policemen describe how they disobeyed Milosevic's orders to fire on protestors and allowed the newly elected government to supplant and later arrest him.

The three 90 minute programmes are:

Defiance - how Milosevic tried to steal an election in Serbia and intensified ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

War - how the West won the 1999 war in Kosovo – and how Russia nearly stole the victory.

Finished - how Milosevic lost the September 2000 election and was finally forced from office to stand trial for genocide.

Executive producer Norma Percy said: "As the trial of Milosevic enters its second year, the series tells the story of how he moved from presidency to prison cell.

"But it also gives insight into the preparation for the Iraq confrontation today: it shows how America overcame the Europeans' refusal to go to war without a UN resolution – and how a threatened Russian veto was finessed."

Notes to Editors

Executive Producers: Norma Percy and Brian Lapping for Brook Lapping and Alex Holmes for the BBC.

Series Producer: Dai Richards.

Associate Producers: Tihomir Loza & Delphine Jaudeau.

The Fall of Milosevic will be broadcast on BBC TWO in January 2003.

Meet the Team

Dai Richards, Series Producer/Director

Barrister turned television producer, Dai has made studio performance and discussion programmes, current affairs series, biographies, historical and political documentaries.

His credits include: Kursk: The Mother of all Battles; Hitler: the Final Report; A Living Hell and The 50 Years War - Israel and the Arabs. Each of these has won awards, and together they have been seen in more than 40 countries.

Norma Percy and Brian Lapping, Executive Producers

Norma and Brian have been making television programmes together for more than 25 years. In 1995 they jointly won the Royal Television Society judges award which recognises an outstanding contribution to television journalism over many years.

In November 2002, they won the first News World documentary award for their last series Avenging Terror. The citation said:

"These programmes turned heads of state into talking heads to tell a story that was, in its way, as vivid and startling as the most graphic news bulletin images."

The Death Of Yugoslavia (1995), six programmes for BBC TWO which charted Milosevic's rise to power, won 16 major awards including the BAFTA, the Broadcast Press Guild, the US EMMY and the Peabody.

It was the first foreign made programme to win Columbia University's journalism school's highest award, the du Pont Gold Baton.

The series was broadcast in more than 50 countries and repeated all over the world during the 1999 Kosovo war.

They have also been responsible for: The Second Russian Revolution (1991); Watergate (1994); The 50 Years War: Israel And The Arabs (1998); Playing The China Card (1999); Endgame In Ireland (2001); and The Death Of Yugoslavia (1995).

In 1988, Brian Lapping set up as an independent producer and Norma Percy became a director of the company. Last year their company Brook Lapping became part of the Ten Alps group.

Norma Percy is a fellow of the Royal Television Society and in 2000 was awarded the James Cameron prize by the school of journalism at City University for some of "the most remarkable current affairs television of the last 20 years."

The first of these documentary series in which the principal decision makers each tell their own part in momentous political events was End Of Empire, 14 programmes they made for Granada Television in 1985.

At Granada, Brian Lapping was also executive producer of World In Action 1976-9.

Holocaust Memorial Day is 27 January 2003.

The Fall of Milosevic press pack is available below, in PDF format. You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.

Programme summaries (19 KB)



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