Review: Timewatch - Double Agent: The Eddie Chapman Story, BBC2

First published in TV This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Features editor

UNLESS you are a Second World War buff the name Eddie Chapman probably means nothing to you.

But as a marvellous Timewatch documentary on BBC2 showed this week, his life was straight out of a Boy’s Own comic.

Before the war Chapman was a safe blower, becoming one of the country’s most wanted criminals. He fled to Jersey where he was finally imprisoned and remained in jail as the island was occupied by the Germans. From his jail cell he offered to spy for the Germans and thus began one of the most amazing tales of the war.

For Chapman became Agent Zigzag, the most successful British double agent who was so convincing that the Germans awarded him the Iron Cross.

He is credited with saving thousands of lives, giving German V1 rocket crews the wrong co-ordinates for targets in England meaning that many of the deadly weapons missed London altogether.

With an enthusiastic presenter plus an interview with the man himself, recorded 18 years ago but only now allowed to be shown on TV, this was an unexpected treat and another example of how, when it does something properly, the Beeb is still the best.

The real star, whowever, was Chapman himself — he died in 1997 at the age of 83.

Comments

Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree