Four Days That Shook Britain - Amazing stories of kindness, bravery and humanity

The world seems to be heading towards apocalypse these days. At the very least, a new Cold War is just around the corner, as countries around the world posture from their opposite corners.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th March 2018, 1:14 pm
Updated Friday, 16th March 2018, 1:20 pm
Eight-year-old Lily Harrison, who survived the bomb attack at the Manchester Arena in May last year
Eight-year-old Lily Harrison, who survived the bomb attack at the Manchester Arena in May last year

Last year, the threat seemed more intimate, more personal, as four terror attacks on the UK in the space of three months killed dozens of people and injured dozens more.

Watching Four Days That Shook Britain (ITV, Thursday, 9pm), however, it wasn’t the terror that left it’s mark, it was the loss, the grief, the resilience and the bravery of the victims, survivors and families.

The four attacks – Westminster, Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Finsbury Park – took place between March and June last year, and it’s evident from the documentary that the effects are still being felt, in myriad ways.

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Sensibly, the programme allowed its subject to speak for themselves, direct to camera.

It made for inspirational, and at times, uncomfortable viewing. The pain and grief of losing loved ones was evident, but so also was a defiance, a refusal to be cowed by the terrorists, and also a refusal to seek revenge.

Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, killed in the Manchester Arena suicide bombing, put it best: “This is what they want. They want to create anger... division... chaos. I’m not prepared to give them that. They don’t deserve it.”

They were so many stories of quiet heroism, of people prepared to go into, or stay in, harm’s way. Of people who, when confronted with unimaginable horror, still helped, still offered comfort at the end of people’s lives.

In the end, it’s that humanity which remains, not the horror.

Victoria Wood was one of the many stars who died in 2016, the year when it seemed every day brought news of the death of a national treasure. Fortunately, as dinnerladies diaries (Gold, Wednesdays, 8pm) proved, she left a legacy of comedy that can be watched again and again.

Meanwhile, over on Masterchef, (BBC1, times vary) Gregg Wallace almost spontaneously combusted over a chocolate fondant, I worry for his health if things get any better.