Allan Segal, British documentary maker, died from cancer he was 70
After studying for a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Economics at the London School of Economics under the supervision of Ralph Miliband, Allan Segal began his career as a research assistant at the BBC. Within two years he had been appointed as a Producer and Director for Horizon (BBC TV series), the long-running science documentary series.
In 1972 he was poached from the BBC by Granada Television to act as a producer on the investigative current affairs programme World In Action.
Over the next five years he produced and directed over twenty films,
all over the world, and often in hostile circumstances necessitating the
use of hidden cameras and undercover filming. In 1976, Segal and a
small film crew risked life imprisonment by posing as tourists and
illegally filming in Brezhnev’s USSR. Using one of the first ever amateur 8 mm film cameras, they shot “A Calculated Risk”, the story of Jewish refusenik Natan Sharansky (who went on to become Deputy Prime Minister of Israel) and his campaign to leave for the state of Israel.
In 1979 Allan was appointed as Editor of World In Action. His editorship saw the broadcast of the notorious “The Steel Papers” programme, which prompted a House of Lords legal dispute, and almost led to the imprisonment of several Granada Television
directors because of the programme’s steadfast refusal to reveal the
identity of the source of the confidential documents relating to the British Steel Corporation strike on which the programme was centred.
Between 1990 and 1992 Segal acted as the series editor of the
international, multi-million dollar documentray series “Dinosaur”,
presented by legendary CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite. The series aired in the USA on the A&E Network, on ORF in Austria, Primedia in Canada, SATEL in Germany and ITV
in the UK. At the time, the series achieved the highest audience
figures of any documentary shown on A&E, and remains one of the
highest rated documentary series of all time.
After his retirement from programme making Allan Segal taught as a university lecturer and Professor of Media Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Dickinson College, Carlisle, USA, and Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, India.
Allan Segal’s work won, amongst other accolades, two BAFTAs (for the films “Nuts and Bolts of the Economy” and “Made in Korea”), the Royal Television Society‘s Judges’ Award, and a New York Film Festival Blue Ribbon.
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