Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A BBC Panorama programme based on David Ames and the Harlequin Property group has been postponed following claims that the producer had offered a Harlequin consultant a bribe.

The programme called: “The Great Savings Wipeout” was planned to be an exposé of David Ames and his controversial property empire with projects in Thailand, South America and the Caribbean.

The Harlequin Property Group, based in Ilford, Essex, UK, has taken millions of pounds off investors, including their private pension money, to build houses in the sun. The investors have so far little to show for it.

In the Caribbean, after many years, not even a brick had been laid on some projects and in Thailand, well those projects been exposed here many times before.

People who put into Harlequin Projects in Thailand have either lost all - or are fighting for their properties in the courts.

The BBC was very quick to postpone the programme but the organisation is super sensitive. A Harlequin employee said he had been offered a bribe, in so far as he had been offered work at the BBC as Ames would soon not be around.

The conversation is here in this article in this article in the 'Daily Telgegraph'. 

 Matthew Chapman:

The security consultant Sean Ghent rushed to his employer perhaps thinking ‘ a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

People are already writing in to complain about the conduct of the programme’s producer and of course the licence fee the BBC passes on to the public.

But David Ames may have little to celebrate. Harlequin is still under investigation by the Serious Fraud office and newspapers are not backing down.

Andrew Drummond comments: 

“If the reported conversation is correct then clearly no bribe was made. If I were talking to an employee of Ames I might be a little bit circumspect but I would see no harm in offering to help someone who was helping me in their enquiry. 
"And I would certainly have asked ‘Why on earth would you want to help a complete s*** like David Ames?' I am not so sure I would ask on Linkedin though. 
"Best thing the BBC can do now is investigate, clear the producer, and then broadcast. Not to would be a great waste of the licence fee. But I am guessing that the BBC might be playing a smarter game. One can always hope.
“I have worked on Panorama on several programmes. In fact I worked on “Maggie’s Militant Tenency’ with producer James Hogan and reporter Michael Cockerell in 1984. Cockerell later wrote a biography of Margaret Thatcher.  
"The programme was sued by a couple of Tory MP’s. The BBC Board of Governors backed off. Let’s hope they have more bottle this time. 
“Matthew Chapman has been in touch with me and I did do some work for him but he decided to stick to the Caribbean in the end. I think the cheque is in the post.”


  1. BBC and bottle don't seem to go together somehow.