Ben Thompson (ed) - Ban This Filth! (3 stars)

A largely entertaining collection of Mary Whitehouse correspondence

Ben Thompson (ed) - Ban This Filth!

For those who thought Mary Whitehouse was a harmless little old lady with too much time on her hands, it might be worth recalling the infamous spat she had with Dennis Potter. When The Singing Detective livened up our small screens in 1986, the arch matriarch behind the Clean Up TV campaign went ballistic at a sex scene during the semi-autobiographical drama. Falsely concluding that the moment was a reference to his mother’s infidelity, she saw fit to unapologetically suggest that this was the cause of the playwright’s crippling psoriasis.

Ban This Filth! is a largely entertaining collection of correspondence between Whitehouse, her disciples and the TV producers who incurred her wrath. Ben Thompson clearly has a soft spot for ‘Mary’ and credits her with changing the face of public protest forever, boldly suggesting she is the inspiration behind protest strategies by everyone from Mumsnet to feminist anti-porn groups.

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