BBC2 to explore the dramatic 1970 Miss World contest

The 1970 Miss World contest was met with a big protest.

A one-hour documentary about the 1970 Miss World contest will be coming to BBC2 next month.

The Miss World Protests (working title) is made by BBC Studios and tells the story of the infamous Miss World contest, held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, which was disrupted by a feminist protest.

This protest launched a feminist revolution in front of an audience of millions, and it also came at a time where there was growing anti-apartheid protests.

During the 1970 Miss World contest, the first ever black South African contestant appeared under the controversial title ‘Miss Africa South’ alongside the white Miss South Africa.

The protest saw flour bombs being used, as well as the host Bob Hope being heckled for some of his comments.

The Miss World Protests will be told through archive footage and animation, as well as contributions from key players during the contest. These include protestors and beauty queens alike.

Its launch coincides with new Keira Knightley film Misbehaviour, a new dramatisation of the events that unfolded before, during and after the protest.

Misbehaviour lands in UK cinemas on 13th March and also stars Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in key roles. It’s expected that the BBC2 documentary will air close to the film’s release date, but it hasn’t been confirmed.

Abigail Priddle, Commissioning Editor for BBC Factual, says, “Exploring this particularly eventful Miss World contest is an exciting way to look at some of the seismic changes that were happening in the UK and around the world in 1970.

“It’s thrilling to hear first hand from the people involved – the protesters, those working for the contest and the beauty queens themselves – and to reflect on how much that one night changed history”

The documentary is directed by Hannah Berryman and is a BBC Studios Production. Its executive producer is Richard Bright.

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