“BBC 4 NEW BRITONS

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“BBC 4 NEW BRITONS ln September 1987 BBC 4 broadcast a six-part programme called “The New Britons”. The six participants, who had settled in the UK represented six different nationalities’ As for the Armenians, the BBC wanted to interview a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, failing which an offspring of the genocide survivor. Assadour Guzelian, whose parents survived the genocide, was chosen together with his wife Vivienne, who was born in India. Gedelian’s interview was broadcast on a Thursday and the next three days was repeated as “Pick of Friday”, “Pick of Saturday” and “Pick of Sunday”. Joy Atwood, the producer of the programme informed A. Guzelian that his interview had broken all BBC 4 records and would be broadcast on Monday by BBC World Service. The programme was not broadcast on Monday by the World Service because the Turkish Embassy, according to Joy Atwood, had put pressure on the British Government, who in its turn had requested the BBC not to broadcast the interview. ln fact three weeks later the Turkish daily “Hurriyat” wrote two editorials about the interview entitled Assadour Gzhelian’s Factory of Lies in London”. The reason for this was that although the interview had a biographical nature, Guzelian had made a number of references to the Armenian Genocide. Two years later the BBC World Service decided to broadcast Gedelian’s interview eight times in one week, infuriating the Turkish Government. It is worth mentioning that BBC received hundreds of letters about the interview, which were forwarded to Guzelian. One of the letters was from an ex-ARF serviceman who expressed a wish to meet Guzelian. ln his letter he confirmed that he was an 86-year-old man living in Whitney, a village in Oxfordshire and was not able to travel to London and requested Guzelian to visit him. “He will not regret meeting me” said the Englishman in his letter. A week later, Assadour, accompanied by his friend from lran Hamazasb Martin visited the old man, who gave Guzelian a thick envelope and said; ” During WWI I was attached to the Royal Air Force. After the war I was stationed in Cairo (1920). One hot day l was sitting at an open-air cafe and having a beer, when a well-dressed and well-spoken young man approached me and told me that the envelope, he was holding in his hand contained pictures taken by a German officer during the Armenian massacres. He told me that he had not eaten for a few days and was willing to exchange those pictures for a few shillings. When I looked at the pictures a shiver passed through my spine. I had just received my pay-packet, which was 20 shillings and I gave him all that had remained in my pocket. I was under the impression that the entire Armenian race was wiped out by the Turks and that there were no Armenians left on our planet! When I heard your broadcast, I realised that I was wrong. I have kept these photographs for over sixty years and wish to return them to their rightful owners, the Armenians, I am an old man. I lost my wife last year and I do not want to die taking these pictures with me to my grave. These belong to you, because they are testimonials, you could say everlasting eyewitnesses to your tragedy.” Guzelian offered the old man money, but he refused to accept it. Before Hamazasb and Assadour left the house to return to London, the Englishman said; “l have only one request, make sure that the Turks don’t know about the pictures and me”. The pictures, 15 in number, were donated to the Genocide Museum in Armenia by A. Guzelian in 1988. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mgi07IdAgg“.

Rita Zakarian wrote: “BBC 4 NEW BRITONS ln September 1987 BBC 4 broadcast a six-part programme called “The New Britons”. The six participants, who had settled in the UK represented six different nationalities’ As for the Armenians, the BBC wanted to interview a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, failing which an offspring of the genocide survivor. Assadour Guzelian, whose parents survived the genocide, was chosen together with his wife Vivienne, who was born in India. Gedelian’s interview was broadcast on a Thursday and the next three days was repeated as “Pick of Friday”, “Pick of Saturday” and “Pick of Sunday”. Joy Atwood, the producer of the programme informed A. Guzelian that his interview had broken all BBC 4 records and would be broadcast on Monday by BBC World Service. The programme was not broadcast on Monday by the World Service because the Turkish Embassy, according to Joy Atwood, had put pressure on the British Government, who in its turn had requested the BBC not to broadcast the interview. ln fact three weeks later the Turkish daily “Hurriyat” wrote two editorials about the interview entitled Assadour Gzhelian’s Factory of Lies in London”. The reason for this was that although the interview had a biographical nature, Guzelian had made a number of references to the Armenian Genocide. Two years later the BBC World Service decided to broadcast Gedelian’s interview eight times in one week, infuriating the Turkish Government. It is worth mentioning that BBC received hundreds of letters about the interview, which were forwarded to Guzelian. One of the letters was from an ex-ARF serviceman who expressed a wish to meet Guzelian. ln his letter he confirmed that he was an 86-year-old man living in Whitney, a village in Oxfordshire and was not able to travel to London and requested Guzelian to visit him. “He will not regret meeting me” said the Englishman in his letter. A week later, Assadour, accompanied by his friend from lran Hamazasb Martin visited the old man, who gave Guzelian a thick envelope and said; ” During WWI I was attached to the Royal Air Force. After the war I was stationed in Cairo (1920). One hot day l was sitting at an open-air cafe and having a beer, when a well-dressed and well-spoken young man approached me and told me that the envelope, he was holding in his hand contained pictures taken by a German officer during the Armenian massacres. He told me that he had not eaten for a few days and was willing to exchange those pictures for a few shillings. When I looked at the pictures a shiver passed through my spine. I had just received my pay-packet, which was 20 shillings and I gave him all that had remained in my pocket. I was under the impression that the entire Armenian race was wiped out by the Turks and that there were no Armenians left on our planet! When I heard your broadcast, I realised that I was wrong. I have kept these photographs for over sixty years and wish to return them to their rightful owners, the Armenians, I am an old man. I lost my wife last year and I do not want to die taking these pictures with me to my grave. These belong to you, because they are testimonials, you could say everlasting eyewitnesses to your tragedy.” Guzelian offered the old man money, but he refused to accept it. Before Hamazasb and Assadour left the house to return to London, the Englishman said; “l have only one request, make sure that the Turks don’t know about the pictures and me”. The pictures, 15 in number, were donated to the Genocide Museum in Armenia by A. Guzelian in 1988. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D6mgi07IdAgg&h=AT1kXNWKttIXNOhhHTKLDnADl4n-niIqJdffxB7A9zrQD8nPJyAmgTvfyHbCDYUIX3Z7eAygkqVGNgqUgS9HG7x9KcHA9qgKM4MMBJZQ2HW9mBFnHQ5JWuB0ZwPVHPig1CqH8uFOfU40KaOrZbmiXFzJ

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