Update 2/06/09: Kyle was kind enough to point out in the comments section that this is available for a short time on iView. Watch it here.

Update 10:47PM: A little short on the details, but definitely worth your time. Sir Hugh Carleton Greene, in the words of Patrick Bateman, was a laugh riot. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a DVD available.

Here’s one to watch tonight (Sunday, 31 May 2009) on ABC1 — Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story, a docu-drama about ‘the rise of Mary Whitehouse during the 1960’s, and the relationship between her and Sir Hugh Carleton Greene, the Director General of the BBC’. Tune in at 8.35pm – 10.05pm.


Julie Walters stars as Mary Whitehouse, the UK’s renowned taste and decency campaigner who came to prominence in the 1960s when she famously forced the resignation of the BBC’s Director-General after a row over the Beatles’ use of the world ‘knickers’ on air. It’s 1963 – a time of short skirts and flower power, feminism and gay rights. It was a revolutionary time. But as the swinging Sixties swept Britain, one horrified woman became the voice of those who had no desire to join the permissive age.

Enter the world of Mary Whitehouse. In the prosperous town of Claverley, near Wolverhampton, middle England, 53-year-old housewife and art teacher Mary Whitehouse lives in a well-ordered world where people are polite, go to church on Sundays, play cricket on the village green, and sing hymns instead of pop songs. But times are changing and Mary starts to see cracks appear in the Britain she loves. Sex, lies, smut and swearing seem to have become the subject of newspaper columns and TV programs everywhere and Mary is determined to do something about it.

Mary’s campaign starts with television, and more specifically the BBC and its Director-General, Sir Hugh Carleton Greene (Hugh Bonneville) – a man who regarded her at first with derision, then with suspicion, and finally, as a force to be reckoned with. Supported by her husband, Ernest (Alun Armstrong), her great friend Norah (Georgie Glen), and the rest of the Clean Up TV Campaign, Mary sets out to rid the BBC of the ‘tide of filth’ that has infiltrated its programming – programming that does nothing but encourage loose behaviour like smoking, drinking and open-mouthed kissing. This true story follows the efforts and surprising victories of a remarkable character in a time of huge social upheaval; a self-styled bastion of British morals who took on the upper-class male establishment – and won.

It scored a 7.2 on IMDB.