The Execution of Gary Glitter Review: Leader To Be Hanged

November 8, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


glitter300THE EXECUTION OF GARY GLITTER: Monday 9th November, Channel 4, 9pm ALERT ME

In an independent poll carried out earlier this year, 54% of the people surveyed thought the UK should bring back the death penalty for the most serious crimes.

When capital punishment was revoked in 1969, many experts predicted that support for it would eventually fade.

Evidently this has not happened and Channel 4 will go some way to blowing the debate open again with this thought-provoking and carefully constructed piece of television.

In Gary Glitter, they have found the perfect centre-piece. There are few stars that have fallen as far and as hard as the seventies glam-rock singer.

He recently returned to live in the UK after serving a prison sentence for molesting children in Vietnam, and is – according to rumour – planning a comeback album.

His fate in this hard-hitting drama is not so comfortable.

The Execution of Gary Glitter is set in a modern-day Britain that has recently re-introduced hanging as the maximum possible sentence for those guilty of murder or child-rape.

Shot as a documentary, the piece vividly and relentlessly creates a very tangible society in which people have reacted to incidents like the Soham murders by demanding a return to the days of capital punishment.

Quite predictably, the writers have enthusiastically portrayed Glitter as an odious and arrogant individual by blending plenty of his actual excuses into the script.

When asked about the controversial material, Channel 4 drama boss Hamish Mykura said: “High profile crimes against children often prompt calls for the return of the death penalty – this drama confronts the public with what many say they want.”

It certainly does, but we can definitely feel this programme tilt in favour of the pro death-penalty campaigners, with the fictional reintroduction presented as a return of power to the people and a victory for the working-class against ivory-tower dwelling liberals.

Interesting stuff.

Sean Marland

Make sure you check tonight’s other big TV, Collision, while you’re at it. If you’re looking for something a little more morally ambiguous, read our list of the Top 6 Unintentionally Hilarious On-Screen Deaths, our review of Race and Intelligence’s two documentaries: Is It Better to be Mixed Race? and Science’s Last Taboo….

Whats this? – Gary Glitter to sue Channel 4!?

jess says:

I watched the programme and found it quite interesting, personally i dont agree with the death penalty. i found the programme really upsetting as people of this country do have a right to life, has long as they have served their time..people whom commit these evil crimes need serious medical help not be killed.if the death penalty was to be brought back it would cost the country billions every year. people can be so cruel at times i mean what gives you the right to take some ones life away that just makes you as bad as the criminal.. gary glitter will serve is time for the rest of is life and will never be able to l;ive a normal life.

Steve says:

I did not watch the program on principle. C4 have used and abused the name of Gary Glitter when they could have easily used a fictitious character. It is cheap journalism at its worst! What I think about him personally is irrelevant, I do not think they should be allowed to use his name and I hope he does take some sort of legal action. What if you or your brother/sister/father/son/mother/daughter committed a crime, served their time and then had a TV program like this made about them – would you think it is fair?
We should have some standards in the UK. UK TV programs like this are trashy and often factually incorrect. It is about time we put a stop to it and the way to do that is simply not to watch them.

Rob says:

leigh gladman I’m afraid it is you that is ignorant. People who are pro death penalty don’t help themselves by coming up with horrendously stupid comments such as “Glitter has no right to any kind of life….for meerly touching a child,let alone killing one u fool.” Ignoring the poor grammar, and the fact that Glitter hasn’t killed anyone, who are you to decide whether or not he has a right to life?

This was a poor programme, unbelievabley biased and using a very bad example, that of Paul Gadd. Using someone like Ian Huntley may have made a more convincing argument, but nevertheless, anyone that looks at the pros and cons of capital punishment can see that the cons far outweight the pros. The point has already been made that mistakes in the judicial system have happened and more errors will be made in the future. For that reason alone, before we talk about barbarism, the death penalty simply isn’t feasable.

I suggest that the people that believe that the death penalty should be introduced, and I find it hard to believe that it’s 54% of the population, must look up arguments and get a more balanced view of the debate. Watching brain washing propaganda like ‘The Execution of Gary Glitter’ gives a very distorted view and people must be educated.

Lynda House says:

Watching the fate of Paul Gadd was very uncomfortable viewing for me. I can see things from both sides, the pro death penalty and the anti death penalty. Difficult to generalise. In Paul Gadd’s case, a fitting punishment would have been to take his £5m and give it to improve the lives of the street children in those far eastern countries where children are sold for sex.

But there are cases where I could condone ending a person’s life, but by quick injection rather than horrific hanging. An example that comes to mind is the Moors Murderer. I know people do say that an innocent person could end up being hanged, but modern DNA testing has made this almost a thing of the past. So I would say in certain horrific cases, death penalty by injection.

Hanging definitely not, almost as bad as the guillotine!

dean says:

If anybody touched my kids, they would have to hang!! no questions asked!! fxxk the law. just hang the bxxxxxxds!!!

Sara says:

I am shocked that so many people want to bring back the death sentence. Innocent people are still put in jail and in other countries that have the death sentence they have even killed people who were innocent and found out after. I agree that people need to be punished and currently some people are not taking committing a crime seriously as some of the jail sentences are too short as not enough prisons have been built to accommodate longer sentences. Is the death sentence really the answer to trying to stop people committing the crimes or can harsher sentences be made. What makes us any less guilty than the criminal if we put them to death are we not also murders then? It’s still taking a life.

dave cotton says:

Gary Bushell will say or do anything to get his face on the box.

leigh gladman says:

What a ridiculous comment from Tom…get it together will u..r u mad…Glitter has no right to any kind of life….for meerly touching a child,let alone killing one u fool. He,along with all other child abusers should be punished severely…and a monster like him should be hanged by his testicles,then by the neck to make sure hes deader than dead! Ppl like u r ignorant..because ppl like Glitter dont deserve in any way a right to life…why should he have any life…what about all the screwed up minds and bodies of Glitters poor inocent little victims? He dont care a shite for them does he ay? I say HANG THE GROTESQUE GLITTER and then BURN HIM and then he can live not on our streets,where our children play,but with the devil and the fires of hell. If u abuse a child..or abuse n kill a child..u must recieve the ultimate punishment…Death..that should sort the evil bastards out..let our children be safe and maintain their innocence,they are our future..

shez says:

His done his time, God will deal with him if need be lol. Lets focus on all those in Prison hang all the dangerous lifers might go towards getting us out of recession lol I also agree what Tom says about politicians too right all those people living on the bread line they should be ashamed

Philip Marshall says:

Shamelessly blurred the line between fact and fiction, in order to overlay a superficial script on a biased concoction of facts and emotions. Was it Glitter taking part – they didn’t make it clear – the individual presented was clearly presented as psychotic. Was Glitter? This was disgraceful television – trivialising a fundamentally important issue by presenting half truths and fantasy personalities. As for Gary Bushell…..words fail…

Tom says:

Correction: “don’t condone such behaviour…

Tom says:

I don’t know what I expected when I chose to watch this programme but, in the end, I afree with Chris, a programme “made by ar**holes for idiots!” Paul Gadd has done his time and, under the law of any country, he has “paid for that crime”. Of course I condone such behaviour, but what I can’t accept is the vilification and the hunting down all over the world of any man for his crimes. Our prisons are full of such people, but it seems Gadd’s most serious crime was to be for being famous prior to his arrest. Of course, HE is hunted down simply to sell papers and, frankly, I find that shameful. I do hope he sues Channel 4, and sues successfully, because this programme has merely served to continue that vilification and witch-hunt and cashed in on a “notorious” British law breaker. Give us a break! You want to hang someone? try starting with the city traders and bank bosses who have been ripping the country and peopleoff for years and, when you’re done, move on to the politicians who make the laws about not ripping off the state, but then go on to do so themselves. What was their penalty? 15 minutes of fame and shame? No, I have to say you made a major blunder here, Channel 4, and frankly, I expected more from you.

Chris says:

This is pretty much the worst television programme ever made. Made by ar**holes for idiots.

Anthony Jones says:

Death Penalty For The Win! we dont need dirty pervs and murderers on our streets! and there certainly isnt enough room in our prisons!

Send Them to the F**king Gallows!

cheryl says:

yes but wouldnt you think twice about doing a crime though if you knew that if you got caught and found guilty you would have to face the death penalty..!?! Gary Glitter should get what he deserves i would tie the rope around his d**k and hang him from that ….

Darren Scott says:

The death pelinty is barberic we might as well go back to beating eachother to death with rocks… Life is the one asset that we all have don’t waste it even in the case of people who don’t deserve it…

skree says:

Gary Glitter is not in gaol in Vietnam nor planning a comeback album. He has done the crime, served the time and is now living in London. Hienous though his crimes may have been, the project raises further questions about being tried for crimes committed in other countries and the rights of a human to their portrayal in docudramas. The recent Red Riding trilogy based on the books of David Peace used a ‘fictional’ yorkshire ripper, little thought seemed to be given to tjhe victims and victims families of the Yorkshire Ripper