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John Willis - Cover ups and double standards in the asbestos industry

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Published on Jan 30, 2013

21/02/2007 - One of Britain's best-known documentary-makers, John Willis, talks about his investigation into asbestos-related cancer and how the programme he made changed attitudes towards this dangerous chemical.

Alice -- A Fight for Life told the story of cover-ups and double standards in the asbestos industry set against one woman's fight with asbestos-related cancer.

Immediately following the programme shares in the asbestos industry fell by £60 million and the government reduced the levels of asbestos permissible in factories.

John Willis talks about the power of research, the unusual mix of emotion and investigation and his fight against the industry.

Willis started out at Yorkshire Television where he won countless awards for his investigative documentaries, including Alice -- A Fight for Life.

In 1988 he joined Channel 4 as Controller of Factual Programmes and five years later moved up to be Director of Programmes.

Since then he has worked as chief executive at United Productions, sat on the Boards of both ITN and Channel 5 and worked as director of Factual and Learning Programmes at the BBC.

Late last year he became chief executive of Mentorn Productions who make Question Time for the BBC, editions of Dispatches for Channel 4 and high impact factual drama like The Government Inspector and The Trial of Tony Blair.

The event is organised in association with the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

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