BBC Two Winter/Spring 2007
Stan Collymore, Ingrid Tarrant, So Solid Crew's Megaman, Michael Portillo and Sara Payne join the jury for BBC Two's The Verdict
A former England football player, one of Britain's most successful
businesswomen, a mother who campaigned for the law to be changed following
the murder of her daughter and a rapper who spent time in prison on a murder
charge are amongst the line-up of high profile jurors taking part in BBC
Two's ambitious television event, The Verdict.
The full line up, announced today, is:
Jeffrey Archer – former Tory MP and author;
Honor Blackman – actress;
Stan Collymore – footballer;
Jennifer Ellison – actress;
Jacqueline Gold – head of the Ann Summers empire;
Alex James – Blur band member;
MegaMan – So Solid Crew member;
Dominic McVey – millionaire teen entrepreneur;
Patsy Palmer - actress;
Sara Payne – mother who campaigned for Sarah's law;
Michael Portillo – former Conservative MP and broadcaster;
Ingrid Tarrant – separated from TV presenter Chris Tarrant.
The 12 jurors are sitting in judgement on a four day trial in a real
courtroom, presided over by a real judge, with real barristers prosecuting
The jury will then retire to the jury room to begin their
But the cameras will be there, observing for the first time
the dynamics of a how a jury reaches it verdict.
The Verdict, which is being produced by RDF Television, part of the RDF Media
Group, will be stripped across four nights on BBC Two, to be shown early next
A BBC Three switch-over programme will follow the jury back to their hotel to
find out how they have reacted to each day's proceedings.
The case features the rape trial of an internationally famous footballer,
Damien Scott, and his friend, James Greer.
Scott and Greer are fictitious
characters, but in the weeks leading up to the case the actors playing them
have experienced what is like to be arrested, interviewed under caution by
real policemen and examined by real forensic experts.
The trial is totally unscripted so that when the witnesses appear in the
witness box, they give evidence about experiences that to them, to the jury,
and to viewers will seem all too real.
The judge is the highly respected and recently retired His Honour Neil Denison QC
Jane Humphryes QC and George Carter-Stevenson QC are acting for the Defence
and Joanna Greenberg QC is the Crown Prosecution Service barrister.
The barristers are free to
prosecute and defend the case in exactly the same way as they would a real
Roly Keating, Controller of BBC Two, says: "This is a hugely ambitious
project which brings the law to life in a completely new way.
"It will be
fascinating to follow the twists and turns of the case, see the dynamics and
power struggles within the jury, learn about the jury system with its
inherent flaws and strengths - and engage with the whole experience even more
deeply on broadband."
Stephen Lambert, RDF Media Group's Chief Creative Officer, said: "We are
delighted that such a wide range of high profile individuals have agreed to
serve on our jury.
"It is fascinating to see how they interact and how their
different backgrounds and assumptions influence their views on the case.
huge effort was taken by everyone involved in the production to ensure that
the jury experience was as authentic as possible.
"We were amazed by how
seriously our jury treated their task and how emotionally involving it became
for all of them."
This series will be accompanied by an extensive broadband service that will
offer audiences high volumes of extended material, background videos, witness
interviews and documentary evidence to allow viewers to form their own
judgement as the case progresses.
Brief biographical details for the jurors
Former Tory politician and bestselling author – served two years in prison
Actress best known for her role in The Avengers and as Pussy Galore in
Former Premiership footballer.
Actress and performer who starred in Brookside and is currently appearing in
Chicago in the West End.
Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox – regularly voted one of
Britain's most powerful and inspirational women.
Blur band member and Independent columnist, now lives on an organic farm with
his wife and three young sons.
Founder member of chart-topping rap collective So Solid Crew – recently
acquitted of murder after three trials and spending 18 months on remand in
21-year-old entrepreneur - imported micro-scooters to the UK and became the
country's youngest self-made millionaire at the age of 14.
Actress, best known for her role as Bianca in EastEnders.
Mother who campaigned for Sarah's law following the murder of her daughter by
a known paedophile.
Former Tory MP, journalist and broadcaster.
Journalist and tv presenter, separated from husband Chris Tarrant.
Biographical details for the legal team
The Judge – His Honour Neil Denison QC
His Honour Neil Denison QC was considered one of Britain's most prominent judges. He
was the Common Sergeant of London from 1993 until 2001 when he retired and
was replaced by Judge Brian Barber QC. He was called to the bar at
Lincoln's Inn in 1952 and became a bencher in 1993. He was a Recorder of the
Crown Court from 1979 to 1985. Notable cases include the Salon killing, where a
wife killed her husband's girlfriend in a beauty salon, a Muslim father who
murdered his daughter in an honour killing and a man who smashed his wife's
skull with an axe.
Jane Humphryes QC (1st Defence)
Jane Humphryes is a specialist in serious crime of all kinds. She is
experienced in prosecuting and defending a wide range of criminal cases,
although more recently nearly exclusively defending, including murder and
attempted murder, money laundering, fraud, rape and indecent assault and
police disciplinary proceedings.
George Carter-Stephenson QC (2nd Defence)
George Carter-Stephenson is a specialist defence advocate with a varied and
wide-ranging practice extending over all types of criminal cases and
disciplinary proceedings. He is extremely experienced in dealing with highly
involved and complex cases, including serious fraud. Notable cases have
included the Damilola Taylor first murder trial, the Millennium Dome Robbery,
the Sumurai Sword murder and representing the husband of Joyti de Laurey, the
Goldman Sachs secretary found guilty of stealing £4.5m from her
Joanna Greenberg QC (CPS Prosecutor)
Joanna Greenberg QC specialises in criminal law. She is now best known as a
defender, although she continues to do some prosecuting. She has been head of
chambers since 2003.
Her defence practice has covered all types of crime, including murder, high
value fraud cases, very substantial drugs cases and all sorts of sex cases
involving serial offenders, witchcraft, child abuse.
Listed as one of the "Leaders at the Bar" in Chambers UK client's guide to
the UK legal profession, she is described as "an evasive witness's bad