'Scary': The Promise up for Bafta award

By Jennifer Lipman, April 27, 2011
Perdita Weeks and Claire Foy in The Promise

Perdita Weeks and Claire Foy in The Promise

A controversial drama series about British Mandate Palestine has been nominated for the most important award in British television.

The Promise, written and produced by Peter Kosminsky and screened on Channel 4 earlier this year, is up for a 2011 Philips British Academy Television Award (Bafta) for Drama Serial.

The four-part drama, criticised for deliberately demonising Israel, followed the experiences of a British soldier serving in Palestine after the Second World War, and his granddaughter, who is portrayed visiting the modern state with her Israeli soldier friend.

The broadcast prompted complaints to Channel 4 and an investigation by regulator Ofcom, which last week ruled that the series did not breach its code of conduct.

Alan Aziz, director of the Zionist Federation, said it was frightening that a programme which gave "an inaccurate picture of what really happened at that time in Israel" could be celebrated at the Bafta awards.

"When programmes are made well and are given awards it further encourages people to believe the distorted picture that these programmes give," he said.

He added that he hoped the series would not win at the ceremony on May 22, but added: Unfortunately it was really well made. It was only the content we had an issue with.

"But the average viewer doesn't really separate the two and that is scary."

Last updated: 11:09am, April 27 2011