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Documentary in the Digital Age by Maxine Baker

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3   Paul Watson Influential Innovator

Paul Watson

It is almost a cliché in British television circles to say that Paul Watson is ‘the father of reality television’. He rejects the description in a typically robust way. ‘How can I be a father to those little bastards?’ He is, all the same, an immensely influential figure in the documentary world and I would argue that while he cannot be blamed for ‘reality’, he is – to continue the analogy – ‘father’ to the genre known as ‘docusoap’. The series he invented and executive produced for the BBC in 1993, Sylvania Waters, has been followed up and imitated countless times. (This series is discussed ...

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