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World in Action

All Episodes

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  • Ended
  • ITV
  • 1954-02-25T00:00:00Z
  • 30 mins
  • 4 days, 15 hours, 30 mins (223 episodes)
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • News
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World in Action was a British investigative current affairs programme made by Granada Television from 1963 until 1998. Its campaigning journalism frequently had a major impact on events of the day. Its production teams often took audacious risks and gained a solid reputation for its often unorthodox, some said left-wing, approach. Cabinet ministers fell victim to its probings. Numerous innocent victims of the British criminal justice system, including the Birmingham Six, were released from jail. Honouring the programme in its fiftieth anniversary awards, the Political Studies Association, said: "World in Action thrived on unveiling corruption and highlighting underhand dealings. World in Action came to be seen as hard-hitting investigative journalism at its best."
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264 episodes

Special 2 The World In Action Years

  • 2013-01-07T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

On the anniversary 50 years to the day of its first episode, a tribute to ITV's premier current affairs documentary series, and some of its ground-breaking stories.

1x01 Beat the Clock on Defence Spending

  • Series Premiere

    1963-01-01T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Military budget over spending is presented as a game show.

1x07 Supermarkets

  • 1963-02-11T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

An investigation into supermarket practices and their effect on a neighbourhood.

1x09 Tibet

  • 1963-02-25T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look at the first years of China's occupation of Tibet.

1x13 Migrants

  • 1963-03-18T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

The plight of southern based Italians having to move to the North of Italy for work.

1x15 The Volunteers

  • 1963-03-31T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The valuable contributions young volunteers make.

1x17 The Petrol Business

  • 1963-04-14T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

An investigation into the UK petrol supply business and techniques used amongst rival firms to win customers.

1x19 Charities

  • 1963-04-28T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

1x21 Litter

  • 1963-05-12T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look at the country's increasing litter problem.

1x24 Ivanov

  • 1963-06-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

2x01 The Guns

  • Season Premiere

    1963-09-11T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

2x04 M.R.A

  • 1963-09-29T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

2x05 Oxfam

  • 1963-10-09T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

2x07 Living in the Slums

  • 1963-10-21T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look at conditions in Stepney, London.

2x08 Repairs

  • 1963-10-29T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

2x09 Power

  • 1963-11-05T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

2x13 Dallas

  • 1963-12-03T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

A visit to the city of Dallas in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, focusing on the varying reactions and conditions of the people there.

2x15 The Cost of Dying

  • 1963-12-17T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigates that behind the solemn facade, a funeral service can be an opportunity to take advantage of the situation for monetary gain.

2x21 The Thin Red Line

  • 1964-01-21T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

A profile of British Soldiers at various world trouble spots.

2x22 Smuggling

  • 1964-02-04T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

2x24 Cyprus

  • 1964-02-18T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

The war in Cyprus between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

2x25 Concorde

  • 1954-02-25T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Profile of the world's first supersonic airliner.

2x26 Great Train Robbery

  • 1964-03-25T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Reconstruction of the recent night,mail train robbery.

2x27 The William Family

  • 1964-03-27T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Plight of a South African family refused entry into Britain.

2x28 Seven Up

  • 1964-05-04T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Seven year old children from various backgrounds are interviewed on their hopes and aspirations for the future. It is hoped to follow them up in the year 2000 and see how things turned out.

2x29 Radio Pirates

  • 1964-05-11T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Unique access to the new form of radio which is competing on a not strictly legal level with the BBC - the pirate stations. Those on the outside both for and against also have their say.

2x30 How to Make a Million in One Minute Flat

  • 1964-05-18T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A profile of the town of Timmins in Canada which became a boom town overnight over the recent discovery of large amounts of Copper.

2x32 Typhoid in Aberdeen

  • 1964-06-15T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A typhoid epidemic in Aberdeen is traced to a rogue batch of Argentinian corned beef.

2x34 John Bloom

  • 1964-07-20T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The rise and fall of washing machine magnate John Bloom and his Roll's Razor Company.

An investigation into the poor training facilities available to Olympic contenders.

3x01 The Story of the Sun

  • Season Premiere

    1964-09-14T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The launch of The Sun newspaper.

3x04 Canada

  • 1964-10-05T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

French-Canadian unrest at the Queen's visit.

3x05 Vietnam

  • 1964-11-03T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

A comparison of the industrial relations in the car making industries of the UK & the US.

3x09 Sunday Laws

  • 1964-12-08T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

An investigation into Britain's age old Sunday trading laws and their effect on shops and similar businesses.

3x11 Eyes

  • 1964-12-20T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigation on how a bacterial infection got into a Birmingham Eye Hospital and caused several cases of blindness.

3x14 The English Disease

  • 1965-02-09T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigates if there is a link between bronchitis and road pollution.

3x15 Malcolm X

  • 1965-02-23T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Various black Americans give their views on Malcolm X, and an actor recreates some of his speeches.

3x16 The Night Drivers

  • 1965-03-02T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigates the transport and haulage industry and the dark practices that can leave drivers tired, open to hijack and dangerous vehicles on our roads.

3x17 The BBC

  • 1965-03-20T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

3x18 The Middle East

  • 1965-04-01T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Observations of the tensions growing between Arab and Israeli.

3x19 Water

  • 1965-05-31T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look at the water crisis and how the drought will affect the summer.

3x21 Dukes

  • 1965-07-05T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

3x25 Drugs

  • 1965-08-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

4x01 A Girl Called Sharon

  • Season Premiere

    1967-07-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look at the Royal Marsden's Hospital work in the treatment of Leukaemia and its effects on patient Sharon Morris and her family.

4x02 Some Grains of Truth

  • 1967-07-09T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigates how some drugs are smuggled into Britain.

4x05 Mick Jagger

  • 1967-07-30T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Mick Jagger gives a press conference after his recent conditional discharge for drug use. He then joins a discussion with eminent people on what is expected of famous icons by society, and how much of this is their responsibility.

4x06 The Third World

  • 1967-08-06T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A profile of Stokely Carmichael, a black campaigner against the West's dominance of the world, during his visit to Britain.

4x11 The Militants

  • 1967-09-10T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

An investigation into the development of the Barbican Complex in London. Strikes and industrial action have stopped work on the building site for nearly a year.

4x12 Born Losers

  • 1967-09-17T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The plight of families in Britain living below the poverty line.

4x13 The O'Rahilly File

  • 1967-09-22T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Ronan O'Rahilly talks to WIA about his pirate radio ship, Radio Caroline, and why he rebels against the established laws of society.

4x14 Smith's Back Door

  • 1967-10-01T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Sanction busting in Rhodesia.

4x15 The Breathalyser

  • 1967-10-08T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A report on the drink and driving laws of Sweden and Germany.

4x17 King of Kings

  • 1967-10-22T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The Coronation of the Shah of Persia and an interview with Queen Farah.

4x18 Wanted: Kind English Lady

  • 1967-11-06T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

A report on the white foster mothering of black children in the UK.

4x22 The End Of a Revolution

  • 1967-12-11T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Bolivia after the death of Che Guevara, and at the trial of Regis Dubray.

4x23 India on the Edge

  • 1967-12-18T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

A report on violence and chaos in Calcutta as India struggles to get a grip on democracy.

4x25 The Long Bridge

  • 1968-01-08T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Report about The Allenby Bridge crossing between Israel and Jordan,used by refugees in the previous May.

4x26 Alas Poor Hippies, Love Is Dead

  • 1968-01-15T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

The evolution of American hippies, their scene, drugs, pan-handling and other pastimes.

4x27 Merchants of War

  • 1968-01-22T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigates arms dealing and mercenaries on the way to the Nigerian state of Biafra.

4x28 An Outlaw's Life

  • 1968-01-31T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

An observation of Irish Travellers living in Britain.

4x29 The Twelve Year Engagement

  • 1968-02-05T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigates the recruitment of boy soldiers and why some face difficulty trying to leave later.

4x30 Death by Instalments

  • 1968-02-12T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Examining a proposed parliamentary bill that will enable drug addicts to use free,walk in centres to get heroin and cocaine.

4x33 No Entry

  • 1968-03-03T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The plight of Asians trying to escape from Kenya and the difficulties some are having, despite having British Passports, in entering the UK under looming new immigration rules.

4x35 The Demonstration

  • 1968-03-17T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Follows the Anti-Vietnam demonstration in Grosvenor Square London on 16 March.

4x36 A Group Of Terrorists Attacked...

  • 1968-04-01T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The guerrilla fight for independence in Portuguese Guinea.

4x37 Listen, Whitey

  • 1968-04-07T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The mood in some black communities in America after the death of Martin Luther King.

4x38 Horoscope

  • 1968-04-08T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

With interest in astrology increasing,predictions from astrologer Ingrid Lind are put to the test.

4x41 Below the Belt

  • 1968-04-21T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

An observation of the prospects of children born with Spina Bifida, which results in below the waist paralysis.

4x42 The Star Spangled War

  • 1968-05-05T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

GI's waiting to invade the Ashau Valley share their thoughts on the Vietnam War.

4x43 Stage for a Revolution

  • 1968-05-12T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The Berlin demonstration of May 1st and the events that led up to it.

4x44 Ward F.13

  • 1968-05-19T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

An investigation into the appalling conditions of the female geriatric ward of Powick Mental Hospital near Worcester.

4x45 Stop That Bowing, Scrapin' and Scratchin'

  • 1968-05-26T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Following the poor peoples' protest and demonstration for better conditions, in Washington DC.

4x47 The Guinea Pigs

  • 1968-06-16T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Grammar School boys are sent to Marlborough College.

4x48 Election of Fear

  • 1968-06-23T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The fall out from the student revolt in Paris France and how it will effect the Grenoble Election.

4x51 Mother's Little Helpers

  • 1968-07-14T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Asks the question, are depressed housewives becoming addicted to the new breed of tranquilizers?

4x52 One Way to Change the World

  • 1968-07-21T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Cubans talk about living life under Communism and the effects on them from sanctions and blockades.

4x53 Take It Easy

  • 1968-07-28T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The growing political anger and unrest in Czechoslovakia and the implications.

4x54 Look Out We're Twelve

  • 1968-09-18T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

'Microboppers' are a group of children in America mentally advanced well beyond their 12 years of age - and something the world has never seen. A look at their achievements and implications for the future.

4x55 So Long Gene, Hello Hubert

  • 1968-08-30T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

This Scientology exposé features an interview with L. Ron Hubbard aboard a Sea Org vessel, and also presents stock footage and commentary on Scientologists.

5x07 Backs to the Wall

  • 1968-10-20T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look behind the reasons for the Londonderry Civil Rights demonstrations in the previous weeks.

This was originally an important documentary about the founder of Scientology. This was one of the only times (if not THE only time) that Hubbard allowed himself to be interviewed

6x04 Castro

  • 1969-09-28T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Following Fidel Castro as he governs the country of Cuba from Jeeps and tents, spending many hours integrating himself with the ordinary people.

6x08 The Life and Death of James Griffiths

  • 1969-11-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Reconstruction of Glasgow gunman James Griffiths running amok and the final shoot out with the police.

6x38 Quentin Crisp

  • 1970-07-05T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look at the life of Quentin Crisp, a homosexual trying to live an openly gay lifestyle in the intolerant pre second world war years and who refuses to compromise his lifestyle and alternative fashion.

6x39 Where Crime is a Habit

  • 1969-02-03T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

This episode looks at the drug related crime epidemic in 1969 New York.

7x02 The Quiet Mutiny

  • 1970-09-27T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Embedded documentary, shot on site during the Vietnam War, showing how young draftees are critical about that war.

7x15 The Dumping Grounds

  • 1970-12-20T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The problems of malnutrition leading to mental and physical problems among the children of resettled black South African families.

7x22 Square One

  • no air date — 30 mins

7x26 The Man Who Stole Uganda

  • 1971-04-04T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A military coup has taken place in Uganda, but what is the real story behind the rumours?

7x36 Conversations with a Working Man

  • 1971-07-05T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Following one working class man through the struggles of his average day, to show how the forgotten majority are living in Britain.

8x04 Death Of a Revolutionary

  • 1971-09-26T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The aftermath of the shooting dead of Black Panther George Jackson while allegedly trying to escape from prison. His friends, colleagues and family mourn and seek justice for what they say was a murder.

8x09 The Most Widely Used Drug In The World

  • 1971-11-05T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Aspirins are used for a multitude of different complaints, or even just taken as a daily habit. But, do they have harmful side effects of which people are unaware?

8x27 The Siege Of Kontum

  • 1972-06-04T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

World in Action reports from the battle of Kontum, Vietnam - highlighting the plight of the Montagnard mountain people who are caught in the middle.

8x32 In Search of Gusty Spence

  • 1972-07-09T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

An interview with the Irish Protestant who denies the murder for which he was convicted, and is being held by the Ulster Volunteer Force who kidnapped him while he was on parole.

8x38 Eh! What?

  • 1972-08-13T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigation into the problem of noise pollution at work, about which there has been silence for far too long.

9x14 A Day in the Life of Kevin Donnellon

  • 1972-12-04T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

World in Action spends a day with thalidomide victim, 10 year old Kevin Donnellon.

9x15 The Angry Brigade

  • 1972-12-07T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Meeting the young anarchists involved in a guerrilla bombing campaign.

11x01 An Accident at Sea

  • Season Premiere

    no air date — 30 mins

11x20 Why I Want To Be Leader

  • 1975-02-03T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Behind the scenes with Mrs. Thatcher as she prepares to run for leadership of the Conservative party, meeting members of the public and spending rare time with her family.

11x25 The Blood and Guts Shift

  • 1975-03-10T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

24 hours spent at the casualty department of a Liverpool Hospital, as it struggles on its budget to treat the wounded from increasing alcohol fueled violence at the weekend.

12x26 The Threat of Nuclear War

  • 1976-03-28T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

This episode hosts a panel of nuclear scientists who read statements on their beliefs that a nuclear war is imminent unless global action is taken soon. There is no interview section or host of this episode, it is simply the panelists making their statements.

13x28 The Prison Children

  • 1977-04-24T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

It is against the law in the UK to put children into prison, so how did 4000 under 17-year-olds come to spend time behind bars?

13x35 Starting on the Dole

  • 1977-05-26T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

With the continuing rise in youth unemployment, follows two Liverpool teenagers as they look for work and examines the validity of government job creation schemes.

14x02 The Life and Death Of Steve Biko

  • 1977-10-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Coverage of the immediate aftermath of the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko while in the custody of South African police.

14x14 Working for a Pittance

  • 1978-02-20T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

An examination of how 50 000 physically and mentally disabled people earn a maximum of £4 a week for up to 27 hours of menial work.

15x05 The Hunt For Doctor Mengele

  • 1978-11-20T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

A WIA investigation into claims that Paraguay is a refuge for Nazi criminals. Dr. Mengele is remembered for his vile experiments carried out on inmates in concentration camps and WIA traces several of his hideouts in Paraguay and talks to people who have met him there.

15x22 Banged Up

  • 1979-04-01T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A day in the life of Manchester's notoriously overcrowded Strangeways Prison, as World in Action speaks to wardens and prisoners alike.

15x26 Armchair Inferno

  • 1979-05-20T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Exposé on polyurethane foam, widely used in the furniture industry is highly combustible and when burning gives off toxic fumes.

15x29 Inside Amin's Terror Machine

  • 1979-06-12T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

On 25 January 1971, Idi Amin overthrew the president of Uganda, Dr. Milton Obote. A reign of terror, violence and murder began that lasted more than eight years. In a special report by the World In Action team, the full extent of the horror of Amin's regime is revealed for the first time on 1970's television.

16x09 Claimant, Scrounger, Snooper, Spy

  • 1980-03-03T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Case studies of people on both sides of the current crackdown on social security fraud.

16x30 The Chart Busters

  • 1980-08-17T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Investigating allegations that the pop music charts are controlled not by consumers, but by manipulative tactics of the big record companies, thus not being a true reflection of popularity at all.

17x09 The Hunt for the Ripper

  • 1980-12-08T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

The Yorkshire Ripper is still at large, and this follows the hectic and demanding West Yorkshire police investigation.

17x24 The Curse Of The Klan

  • 1981-04-05T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Report on the re-emergency's of the Ku Klux Klan in both northern and southern states of America and the rising tide of racism there. Includes interviews with Klan members past and present and members of the black community who have been attacked by them.

17x32 Kevin at the Crossroads

  • 1981-06-21T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Follows Kevin, a victim of the drug thalidomide as he enters the job market.

18x37 Paying for the War

  • 1982-06-06T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

What is the true cost of the Falklands War, both financially and individually? A two-man discussion with filmed inserts.

18x46 The Health Service

  • 1982-08-08T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

The health service today began 5 days' intensive strike action, leaving only emergency services running, in pursuit of a 12% pay rise. This is the most severe disruption the NHS has ever seen, and a massive backlog results.

21x04 The Coal War

  • 1984-10-14T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

With the recent coal troubles still fresh in people's minds, a comparison of strike action in British and American collieries.

22x05 The Last Days of Juliet Lima

  • 1985-09-20T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A surprise fire has broken out on the normally safe Boeing 737, but what were the causes and how could this have been allowed to happen?

23x38 U2: Anthem for the Eighties

  • 1987-07-26T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Documentary on U2 based around a 1987 concert in their home town of Dublin.

Interview with rich and ruthless "businessman" Nicholas Hoogstraten who often resorts to violence to get what he wants.

25x27 Scotland Yard's Cocaine Connection

  • 1989-04-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

An investigation into allegations that members of the Metropolitan Police are involved with cocaine smugglers. The programme centres on a former Detective Superintendent accused of corruption and suspended in 1987, who retired due to ill health before being charged.

26x02 Playing with Fire

  • 1989-10-01T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

A look at the actions of the Animal Liberation Front and whether it could be classed as a terrorist organization?

27x23 The Birmingham Six - Their Own Story

  • 1991-03-18T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Following the release of the alleged 'Birmingham Six' pub bombers after 16 years, World in Action speaks to each of the men, and looks back at the flawed police investigation that led to their wrongful imprisonment.

28x27 L.A. Cops

  • 1992-04-12T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Ride along with Hollywood Division Cops.

29x26 The Terror Squad

  • 1993-04-18T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Combat 18 is a neo-Nazi organisation. It originated in the United Kingdom, with ties to movements in the United States, and has since spread to other countries.

31x01 The Fag Lady

  • Season Premiere

    1994-07-10T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

32x05 Car Wars

  • 1995-08-06T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

32x32 Why Dunblane?

  • 1996-03-18T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

WIA looks at the background of Thomas Hamilton, who shot dead 16 children and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School. Includes interviews with people who knew him through the Scouts Association and the boys' clubs he set up. The programme also examines the then current gun laws.

35x01 Playing with Fire (II)

  • Season Premiere

    1998-12-31T00:00:00Z — 30 mins

Not to be confused with an earlier episode of the same title, this one is the 3rd in a series exposing the neo-Nazi group Combat 18.

1978x21 The Nazi Party

  • 1978-07-02T23:00:00Z — 30 mins

Using sworn statements from an undercover police officer, an investigation into whether Britain's National Front is a thinly-veiled modern Nazi Party.

1979x02 Banged Up

  • no air date — 30 mins

1979x32 Gay Pride

  • no air date — 30 mins

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