Edited by Inge Govaere, Reinhard Quick and Marco Bronckers
Chapter 23: Magill Revisited
Ian S. Forrester* Jacques Bourgeois, when last I spotted him, arrived at my house beautifully dressed and elegantly accompanied (by two good-looking ladies), with vivacity, polyglot humour and gentle charm. Just a normal encounter with Jacques. In many, many years, I have seen him pressed and stressed and challenged, but never less than courteous, interesting, and well-informed. To say that I was His Lawyer, once, is a point of pride, and to say that ‘We Won’ is a point of honour. This affectionate essay will tell the Magill story, warts and all.1 In the process, I will draw your attention, gentle reader, to the truth that famous cases look easy once they have been decided; and that once a seed has been sown, it can grow into something huge and surprising. 23.1 THE PHENOMENON Television broadcasters want to attract viewers, which they do by offering good programmes at the right times. Today, public service television competes for attention with video games, social networking sites, personal computers and the many ways of accessing internet content. A satellite dish can offer hundreds of television channels, but last century, in 1985, viewers seated in front of a television screen had only a small selection of channels from which to choose. The BBC weekly magazine, the Radio Times, was the largest-selling publication in the UK and a substantial source of revenue for the BBC. It told viewers about BBC radio and television programmes for the week ahead. It related gossip, hints about the story-line,...
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