Monday, 8 June 2015


Sonia Poulton · @SoniaPoulton

8th Jun 2015 from TwitLonger
In answer to the question: When can I see your Madeleine #McCann documentary?

I write this with some trepidation, knowing full well it will be examined to within an inch of life. And not always by friendly and welcoming eyes.

Myself and a production crew have been filming this documentary for over seven months. Initially we planned to do the whole thing, start to finish, in a couple of months.

Events changed that.

The story developed. Brenda Leyland's inquest was delayed until March 2015, we waited for the Gonçalo Amaral Lisbon result, I waited for various responses and FOIs (delayed, again) to come in.

Just to make this clear. This documentary is not a YouTube video. It has been made to specific broadcasting standards and the process involved is considerably more time-consuming and costly than that involved in a YouTube which (as I know well) is essentially a record-edit-upload process.

If only it were that straightforward.

But then this is a media story that needs to go beyond online and into the mainstream media. That's what online campaigners tell me all the time - and they are right.

I have worked in msm for decades and I also make You Tubes, I love doing it all, but the former requires such stringent disciplines and standards to be met, legally, technically and visually, that I knew I needed a production company to back me making this film.

For the reality is - and anyone who knows this case will also know there are media and legal issues attached - I am loathe to give away too much information because I am aware of how problematic that could be for us.

From the outset I knew I would struggle to get a broadcaster to fund it the way I realised, over a number of years, that the story needed to be told.

I had already been warned off by a msm producer of my acquaintance. Other colleagues (and journalist friends) have expressed similar concerns about my curiosity of the case over the years.

In order to make this documentary I needed to be able to take a package to a broadcaster. It could not be footage, to be chopped and edited according to someone else's idea of how it should be portrayed, but a complete, honest and whole film package that I would not allow to be tampered with.

If you know how msm works (and I mean REALLY know) you will know this requirement of mine is me coming with A VERY TALL ORDER, indeed. But then you will also know that that is what this story requires.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann - and the multiple issues attached to that - is a story that very much needs updating in the way the public perceive it.

I was inspired, as a journalist and broadcaster, to pursue this by the shocking (and I'm still shocked) death of Brenda Leyland. I address this tragedy fully in the film and over the course of months as I, and a small camera crew, attended her inquests.

People will be left in no doubt about my position on Brenda Leyland - and about the events that led to her death, and those events subsequent to her death.

Let me say this at this point:

Yes, I am a professional journalist - despite detractors trying every trick to undermine my hard won and decent reputation in my industry - but I am also passionate as well as professional.

Those who oppose this documentary, and there are a few, have tried to use that against me. They have failed. I am proud to be emotionally engaged with my work, I do not want to be one of those 'professionals' who are so 'professional' that they can do a job like, say, watch child abuse images without so much as a flicker of emotion.

I don't want to be the type of person who is able to emotionally detach from the wickedness of the world in the course of their 'job'. We should never acclimatise to what is wrong, that's how I see my work. I view passion as a help not a hindrance, a strength not a weakness.

Anyone who knows me will know this and in this film I make that point very clearly.

I do this by going to the people at the heart of this story (while being clear not to interfere in any way with the ongoing police investigation) and by asking questions of public interest. (Many millions of pounds of public interest, in fact, and that's just the financial cost of this case to the public).

In this documentary, I tackle the anomalies that exist. All the stuff that is in the public domain - only you wouldn't know it judging by the lack of real investigation media organisations have conducted around this case. On that point, at least, I agree with Clarence Mitchell - the McCann's spokesman who appears in the documentary.

So, forgive me for going the long way around answering the question: when will your documentary be aired?

The short answer is I can't yet tell you. At the moment. That's me being as transparent as I can without giving ammunition to the enemies of this project.

The film is, and has been for weeks, in post-production. We have started broadcast meetings about it. Several broadcast executives have expressed a keen interest in getting involved. Myself, and a small trusted team, are (through necessity) playing our cards close to our collective chests.

Those who want justice for Madeleine McCann will understand and appreciate that. Those with other agendas, will not. Either way, we get to know who's who.

This documentary has taught me so much and not least that the enemies of it are not always immediately identifiable. I have learnt that there are detractors who claim to be on the side of justice for Madeleine McCann - in terms of finding out what happened and where she might be - but are, in actuality, the opposite.

Some of these have already become the most vocal and scathing opponents of a film - this film - that has yet to be aired. Odd behaviour. Or maybe not.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to every single person who has informed me on the intricacies of this story - and also made me aware of the many dubious and opportunistic characters who surround it.

This experience has been an education - a harrowing and sad one, at times - and one I believe I have conveyed in our film for the public, at large, who are not clued-up like many of those online.

Thank you for your patience. As soon as I have broadcast details, I will let you know.

Oh, and one more thing, we will shortly release a two-minute trailer to social media to give people a flavour of what to expect. Again, I have to wait for the go-ahead but as soon as I can, I will.

Have a lovely week.
Sonia X

Sonia Poulton
June 8, 2015


  1. Thank you Sonia for the update, and letting the public know of your intentions as far as the Documentary goes. You are one brave lady to take this on. I admire your guts and determination, to get this story out in the open. I do wonder why no other journalist/broadcaster has took the trouble to question anything concerning all the inconsistencies, and obvious lies, to do with this case. Is there no male journalist's to support you in your quest to find out the truth? It surprises me that it's left to one women, with a backbone to question anything, they must talk among themselves and discuss this case, yet we've never heard them voice their concerns.

    I'll look forward to watching the documentary with interest along with many others, that are truly bewildered/confused about the whole McCann case.

    Thank you for all your hard work, the world needs more people like you.

    Take care xx

  2. Anyone with any sense would understand why things might be delayed. All the incontinent critics of you get on my wick.