UK Confidential/ Cabinet Confidential
From 1999 to 2017, Wingspan’s parent company Takeaway Media made programmes based on exclusive advanced access to the British Government records released at the National Archives each New Year under the Thirty Year Rule.
Each year’s programme revealed government secrets and the thinking behind key events and decisions, from race relations to Concorde, Northern Ireland to Afghanistan.
The presenters and reporters included Brian Walden, Charles Wheeler, Martha Kearney, Peter Snow, Sue Macgregor, Peter Taylor, Mark Urban, Jim McDowell, Brain Walker and Edwina Currie.
Almost all surviving senior ministers in British Governments were interviewed from Harold Wilson’s 1968 administration to John Major’s in 1992. Contributors included Ted Heath, Jim Callaghan, Tony Benn, Ian Paisley, Michael Heseltine, Neil Kinnock, Marcia Falkender, Bernard Ingham, Nigel Lawson and Norman Lamont.
UK Confidential explored the main themes confronting the relevant UK government of the day thirty years previously. From 1999 to 2002 UK Confidential was broadcast on BBC2. From 2005 to 2017 UK Confidential was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as a co-production with radio indie Whistledown Productions.
Cabinet Confidential explored the detailed policy issues thrown up by the files regarding Northern Ireland. It was broadcast from 2003 to 2006 on BBC One Northern Ireland.
Churchill Confidential was a BBC Radio 4 drama documentary (co-produced with Whistledown Productions) based on the new release of the Cabinet Secretaries' Notebooks. The story of Churchill's last administration was similarly covered in Churchill Confidential - Return to Power. Meanwhile Attlee Confidential was based on the Cabinet Secretaries Notebooks relating to the 1945 - 51 Attlee government.
Click the links below for The National Archives website showing the most important documents of each year: