BBC Two will be airing the first episode of a programme at 9pm on Tuesday, March 29 about Mary Whitehouse. The two-part documentary series will follow the story of Mary Whitehouse, or ”the avenging angel of middle England’’, according to author Ben Thompson.
In the documentary, cultural figures including Beatrix Campbell, Ken Loach and Peter Bradshaw meet with academics to share their thoughts on Whitehouse and discuss whether there were some things she was right about. The campaigns that Whitehouse led or was involved in to this day continue to divide opinion. Her views have led her to be in direct conflict with advocates of the sexual revolution, feminism, children’s rights and LGBT rights.
However, there are others who are of the ilk of viewing her in a more positive light, and that she was trying to stop the decline in what they perceived as Britain’s moral standards. Here is everything you need to know about the BBC documentary.
Who was Mary Whitehouse?
Constance Mary Whitehouse CBE was a British teacher and conservative activist. She campaigned against social liberalism and the mainstream British media. At the time of her campaigning, she was seen as encouraging a more permissive society that went against the more liberal direction that society was heading towards.
What campaigns did Mary Whitehouse run?
Mary Whitehouse ran campaigns fighting with the BBC against showing sex and the growing porn industry on TV. In the 1970s, sje was a leading figure in the Nationwide Festival of Light, which is a Christian organisation that gained mass support for a certain amount of time.
Whitehouse also started a successful private prosecution against Gay News on the grounds of blasphemous libel, the first such case for more than 50 years. Whitehouse was also involved in another private prosecution against the director of the play, The Romans in Britain, which was performed at The National Theatre.