Parents of tragic aid worker Linda Norgrove make TV pilgrimage
A DOCUMENTARY about the family of Linda Norgrove, the kidnapped Scottish aid worker who was killed during an attempt by US troops to rescue her, is among the highlights of Gaelic-language channel BBC Alba’s autumn schedule.
Lorgan Linda (Linda’s Story) is an account of how John and Lorna Norgrove’s lives changed after the death of their daughter, following them from their croft home on Lewis to Afghanistan as they seek to honour the memory of Miss Norgrove, who was killed in October 2010, aged just 36.
She had been abducted by members of the Taleban in September and US special forces had attempted a pre-dawn raid to save her, during which she was killed. It was initially believed that her kidnappers had executed her, but it later emerged that she had been caught in the blast of a grenade thrown by a US soldier.
Launching the autumn schedule yesterday, Douglas Campbell, who travelled with the Norgroves to film the documentary, said that producing the programme had been a “cathartic journey” for the couple.
He said: “They’re very private, dignified, self-contained people, and as we got to know them over the days – and it took time to get their trust and get to know them – you got to see the ethos and landscape that really formed Linda; the sense of adventure. They had been out to Afghanistan as newlyweds in 1974 and had gone on these amazing trips with their girls. So this had been imbued in them from an early age.
“Her mother talked about it subsequently in Afghanistan. She said it was almost for Linda the equivalent of being in a prison. That sounds a very negative thing, but I think what she really means is that for Linda it was a vocation, this kind of work, to really help alleviate suffering and help people in different parts of the world.”
Other shows announced include Iomall nan Sgamhan (Final Frontier), which focuses of Herbert Nitsch, an extreme free-diver, as a he attempts to become the first athlete to break the 300-metre barrier, and Sar Sgeoil (Classic Scottish Novels), in which presenter Cathy MacDonald explores the settings for texts such as Kidnapped, Sunset Song and The Thirty Nine Steps.
The channel, which began broadcasting four years ago, also announced that it now attracted around 500,000 viewers a week.
Maggie Cunningham, the new chairwoman of MG Alba, which runs the channel in partnership with the BBC, said it had made a sizeable impact but it now had to find ways of generating new funding to develop more original content if it was going to retain viewers.
She said: “We will need to invest to create the programming our viewers want to see, but it is not a question of holding out a begging bowl and simply asking for further funding. We must engage with all the partners we work with to explore ways in which the channel offering can be enhanced.”
She said that the biggest challenge would now be generating enough new material to avoid viewers suffering “fatigue” from repeats of programmes.
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