BBC Three – The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Searching for Purple Aki

The Man who Squeezes Muscles: Searching for Purple Aki is not actually on a mainstream channel interestingly it is broadcasted on BBC Three online. According to the Mirror, “the PVA also found that the move offered low value for money because of the smaller audience, but recognised that the closure would generate a net saving of £30 million per annum to offset financial pressures or for investment in other areas.” (Wylie, 2015) The documentary by BBC Three focuses on real life stories of an ‘urban legend’ amongst Merseyside residents called ‘Purple Aki’ and debates in the program if he is a victim himself of racial discrimination. The way BBC Three tell this unique story is through interesting sequences of the town centre focused where victims claimed to be attacked by the man and the stories of the real life victims, how it’s affected their lives.

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BBC Three’s mission statement is targeted at young audiences that “is ‘never afraid to try new things’ and will continue to innovate with breakthrough comedy, stand-out entertainment, brave documentary and intelligent factual formats. Our content needs to have potential to innovate across platforms.” (BBC Three, n.d.) If this was broadcasted on ITV which is a family orientated channel they would have to remove a lot of the swearing, and some of the stories that they tell in detail. The documentary has opened up a full investigation into Purple Aki AKA, Akinwale Arobieke. In fact, “a BBC spokeswoman said it could not comment on the investigation. She said: ‘This is a serious and considered film made in line with our usual editorial standards and we stand by it. As a matter has been raised with the police we are unable to comment further.’” (BBC News, 2016)

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The angles that this program takes is to inform viewers about Purple Aki and took the opinions of the victims that had been affected by his actions. The blurb reads “Part bogeyman; part urban legend – his real name is Akinwale Arobieke. What’s his story? Why has he been feared for nearly 30 years? Is he, in some senses, a victim himself? Local lad, Benjamin Zand, goes in search of the truth behind one of the UK’s strangest stories.” (Nissim, 2016) which says that the program focuses on debunking the myth of the actual man and the stories surrounding him. BBC Three has a unique angle of looking at the man and even tried to contact him for his side of the story in which Purple Aki replied, ‘stop harassing me’ to producers on the show.

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References

“BBC – BBC Three – Commissioning”. Bbc.co.uk. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Nissim, Mayer. “Watch BBC Three’s New Purple Aki Documentary”. Digital Spy. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

“Race Hate Probe Into BBC Three ‘Purple Aki’ Documentary – BBC News”. BBC News. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Wylie, Catherine. “BBC Three Moving ONLINE In 2016 As Channel Finds A New Home From February”. mirror. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

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