ITV commissions Rolf Harris documentary produced by Optomen Television for ITVX

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Two-part film examines how the abuser got away with his crimes for so long

A unique access documentary examining the shocking truth behind how former national treasure Rolf Harris betrayed the trust of the nation and hid in plain sight whilst sexually abusing children and young women for years, has been commissioned by ITV for ITVX. 

Made by Optomen, Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight (w/t) will speak to Harris’ victims, the police who investigated him and colleagues who worked alongside him to tell the story of his rise and fall.

Harris led a toxic double-life, molesting contributors and crew on the shows he worked on for years. Almost a decade on from his arrest, the films speak directly to Harris’ accusers, telling the story of how his assaults became gradually more serious throughout his excelling television career in the 70s and 80s.

A 2x60, the films will document Harris’ public persona of a non-threatening eccentric who was devoted to his wife whilst revealing that actually, within the industry, Harris was increasingly known as a creep. Police began investigating him in the wake of the Saville scandal, and discovered that the truth was even darker than that - he had abused his daughter’s friend when she was just 13.

The films explore Harris’ remorseless attitude in court and his wife and daughter’s decision to stand by him. What does his story say about the nature of historical child abuse, and would he have been uncovered were it not for Saville?

Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight (w/t) is commissioned for ITV and ITVX by Kate Teckman, Commissioner and Head of Development for Factual Entertainment.

Kate said: “There are few stories as shocking as Rolf Harris. These films give a voice to Harris’ accusers, and will reveal just how the seemingly wholesome 'national treasure' was able to molest and abuse his victims in plain sight.”

The series is produced by Optomen Television, an All3Media Company. Executive Producers are Tina Flintoff and Nick Hornby.

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