After the success of Inside Broadmoor, our follow-up Inside Holloway will be on Channel 5 later in 2014.
Holloway, Europe’s largest women’s prison, is synonymous with the names of Britain’s more notorious female criminals. Inside Holloway gives viewers a unique insight into the prison and its infamous inmates, including brutal serial killer Myra Hindley, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, Ruth Ellis, and society madam, Cynthia Payne. The series contains exclusive interviews with experts, ex-inmates and members of staff, and draws on newly discovered primary sources as it examines Holloway’s past brutal regimes, its hidden scandals, and the conditions in the prison today.
The unfolding history of the prison and its inmates is set firmly in the social and political context of the times. The Suffragette movement constituted a significant period in its history, with Emmeline Pankhurst leading the imprisoned women in a hunger strike. This was followed by the British Fascist movement, which threatened national security during World War II, and by the hanging of Ruth Ellis, whose disputed guilt led to the abolition of the death penalty in Britain. Later in the century, there was a trend of imprisoning essentially political prisoners: anti-nuclear protesters, women who fought for the rights of prostitutes, and others, such as Maxine Carr, who did not themselves commit a physical crime, but instead went to inexcusable lengths to protect their men.
The series also explores the differences between male and female offending patterns and prisoner behaviour, and asks, if just over a century after Holloway became Britain’s first women only prison, whether an entirely new approach for dealing with female offenders is now needed.
Simon Raikes, Commissioning Editor - Factual at Channel 5 comments: “Holloway is an iconic, important and endlessly fascinating institution. With an extraordinary cast of contributors and inmates, and lots of genuinely new information and insight, this timely series unfolds a fascinating history which raises some very significant questions about the present.”
Philip Clarke, Executive Producer for Wildfire Television said: “Inside Broadmoor was a big hit for Channel 5 and it’s great to have been able to make a follow-up so quickly. These fascinating stories of individuals - in this case women criminals – become even more interesting when you weave them together into a bigger piece of history. And it isn’t just the history of an institution but of Britain through the twentieth century.”
- Executive Producer: Philip Clarke
- Series Producer: Fiona Scott
- Director/Producer: Duncan Bulling