< back
an image of a poppy

Veteran filmmaker Peter Williams presents a season of films to celebrate a life in journalism

“Impressive in every sense, a woman for whom I would have walked over hot coals…” The words are those of veteran journalist and filmmaker, Peter Williams, who in 1984 was granted the first interview with Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

This month journalist and filmmaker Peter Williams presents a season of films from across his rich and varied career, covering some of the biggest stories of the last century. At 90, Peter is now ‘hanging up his boots’ and to mark the occasion will be screening an insightful and revealing cross-section of his work at the Great Hall, Kent College from Thursday 30 May – Saturday 1 June. It will be a civic occasion.

Peter’s interview with the Queen is the first of the films, The Queen and her Ceremonial Horses, on Thursday 30 May at 2.30pm. This will be followed by the story of World War 2 veteran Albert Figg and his mission to gain recognition and a memorial for those lost in the battle of Hill 112 in Normandy.

On Friday 31 May the day will begin with a double bill exploring scientific breakthroughs, covering the first test-tube baby and the development of In Vitro fertilisation. To Mrs Brown, A Daughter and Test Tube Explosion will screen at 2.30pm. Then later in the evening Titanic – A Question of Murder examines the reasons why the vessel had too few lifeboats and the attempts by those who owned her to conceal the decisions that contributed to the deaths of nearly 1,500 people.

On Saturday 1 June the day begins at 2.30pm with a double bill of films exploring experiences of World War 2. Battle of Britain: They Fought the Few interviews Spitfire ‘ace’ Wing Commander Bob Stanford Tuck from Deal and Luftwaffe ‘ace’ Adolf Galland. This will be followed by a film on World War 2 correspondent Martha Gelhorn introduced by the late Marie Colvin. Then at 7.30pm Lidice: The Village that Refused to Die tells the story of the Czech village that was razed to the ground in 1941 by the Nazis but then rebuilt with the help of mining communities from the UK. 

Peter is a Freeman of the City of Canterbury and was for 21 years chair of the Canterbury International Arts Festival and chaired the Marlowe Theatre Development Trust to raise millions towards the construction of the city’s new 1,200 seat theatre. He is a Kent Ambassador.

He was awarded the MBE for his charitable work and for services to arts and television in 2007.

In a long career at the BBC and ITV Peter has been responsible for a number of world exclusives – the birth of the first IVF babies, both in the UK and the US, the revelation of the Japanese biological warfare experiments on prisoners of war in World War Two, the discovery of the wreck of the Titanic, the first human heart transplant in the UK and the US and the first documentary on the US astronauts.

In his 14 years as a reporter/producer at Thames Television’s This Week, he made more editions of the programme than any of the team of reporters and he became Head of Documentaries for TVS and, under Greg Dyke, became Controller of Factual Programming, where he produced 13 series of The Human Factor. 

Click here for more information and booking