THE Stourbridge-based author of The Lockerbie Bombing book has told of his delight that a documentary investigating the 1988 air disaster has won a BAFTA.

Lockerbie, created by independent TV production company Mindhouse Productions / Sky Documentaries, picked up the award for best factual series at the 2024 BAFTA Television Awards on Sunday May 12, hosted by Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan.

The four-part documentary series features interviews with key people closely linked to the tragedy – which was Britain’s deadliest terrorist atrocity and the most fatal terrorist attack on America before 9/11.

Among those interviewed was former Bromsgrove GP Dr Jim Swire whose beloved daughter Flora was killed on the eve of her 24th birthday when US bound Pan Am flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie - 38 minutes after taking off from London.

Stourbridge News: Dr Jim Swire at home with a picture of his beloved daughter Flora who was killed in the Lockerbie disaster in 1988 Dr Jim Swire at home with a picture of his beloved daughter Flora who was killed in the Lockerbie disaster in 1988 (Image: Mindhouse Productions Ltd)

Dr Swire has spent his life trying to find out the truth about what happened and whether the tragedy, which killed 270 people, could have been prevented.

The retired GP has told his story in a book entitled ‘The Lockerbie Bombing: A Father’s Search for Justice’ – co-written by Stourbridge author Peter Biddulph.

The pair spent 20 years collaborating to produce the book, published in 2021, which outlines Dr Swire’s decades long search for answers about how the disaster came to happen.

Stourbridge News: The cover of The Lockerbie Bombing story and Peter Biddulph, right.The cover of The Lockerbie Bombing story and Peter Biddulph, right.

Mr Biddulph, aged 84, who lives in Oldswinford, accompanied Dr Swire, aged 88, on a trip to Scotland where parts of the documentary series were filmed, and he praised the production team’s telling of the story.

He said: “It’s an excellent documentary. It really is good. They came to the same conclusion we came to.”

Mr Biddulph said the series faithfully depicts the painstaking search for answers carried out by Dr Swire who together with his wife Jane has devoted his life to campaigning to find out what really happened.

Stourbridge News: Dr Jim Swire and wife Jane Dr Jim Swire and wife Jane (Image: Mindhouse Productions Ltd)

Although Libyan national Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of the bombing, he was released on compassionate grounds in 2009 before his death from cancer in 2012.

But Dr Swire, who lived in Bromsgrove before moving to Chipping Camden, never believed al-Megrahi was responsible.

What he did discover, however, turned his world view completely upside down and he has concluded the tragedy could have been prevented.

Accepting the BAFTA award for best factual series, TV producer John Dower paid tribute to Dr Swire and said: “Jim Swire is one of the most extraordinary people I’ve met in 20 years of doing this.”

Stourbridge News: Dr Jim SwireDr Jim Swire (Image: Mindhouse Productions Ltd)

Dr Swire said afterwards: “The Mindhouse team and their backer Louis Theroux worked with kindness and sensitivity, the warmth they left behind earned them the right to the praise they received at BAFTA.”

Meanwhile, a dramatised version of the Lockerbie story will be shown later this year.

Filming began in February with British actor Colin Firth cast as Dr Swire, with Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) playing his wife Jane.

The five-part series, entitled Lockerbie, a co-production between Carnival Films (part of Universal International Studios) and Sky Studios, is set to air in the autumn on Sky Now in the UK.

Mr Biddulph, who spent 40 years working for the health service before turning his hand to writing the story of the Lockerbie tragedy, said: “I feel very fortunate and proud that I was asked by Jim to do it…it became a labour of love.”