A FORMER Bromsgrove GP whose daughter was killed in the Lockerbie bomb disaster has praised documentary film-makers for their sensitive investigation into the tragedy which has been recognised with 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 May 12, hosted by Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan.

The four-part documentary series features interviews with key people closely linked to the 1988 air disaster – 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.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Dr Jim Swire's daughter Flora who died in the 1988 Lockerbie bombingDr Jim Swire's daughter Flora who died in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing (Image: Press Association)

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.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: The cover of The Lockerbie Bombing story and Peter Biddulph, right.The cover of The Lockerbie Bombing story and Peter Biddulph, right.

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.

Mr Biddulph described the BAFTA-winning documentary as “excellent” and said it faithfully depicts the painstaking quest for the truth pursued by Dr Swire and his wife Jane, who now live in Chipping Camden.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: 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 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 his search for justice and said: “Jim Swire is one of the most extraordinary people I’ve met in 20 years of doing this.”

Dr Swire said of the documentary: “Jane and I found working with John at Mindhouse quite difficult at the first take, but we soon came to realise how kindly and carefully he was addressing the story that each family had to offer, while at the same time taking care to respect their individuality.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Dr Jim SwireDr Jim Swire (Image: Mindhouse Productions Ltd)

“We ended up very grateful to them for the care with which they turned out to be handling each family’s story.

“This was a series in which it required real sensitivity at every turn, because for each family the subjects had to return to an intense experience which so tragically had inflicted the pangs of bereavement upon them.

“In our group of relatives of British victims we had learned that bereavement is a life sentence, under which each of us have had to learn to live as best we can and that every person has to develop his or her unique way of coping.

“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.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: John Dower of Mindhouse Productions collecting the BAFTA for best factual series for Lockerbie on May 12John Dower of Mindhouse Productions collecting the BAFTA for best factual series for Lockerbie on May 12 (Image: BAFTA)

“How deeply today’s world needs the benefit which their carefulness gave to us survivors and which helped us along our individual paths in fighting our own private battles.”

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

Filming began in February with British actor Colin Firth taking on the lead role of Dr Swire, with Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) cast as 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.