My Celebrity Life

BBC forced to defend Vigil from grief-stricken family of crew killed on boat over scene ‘too close’ to real-life tragedy

BBC forced to defend Vigil over its opening scene (Picture: BBC/World Productions)

BBC has been forced to defend Vigil after the family of a trawlerman killed at sea when a submarine snagged his boat complained the thriller was ‘insensitive’.

From the makers of Line of Duty, Vigil opened with a trawler being dragged underwater when its nets were caught in a submarine, also killing all the servicemen on board.

As the horror unfolds, a sonar operator on board the Royal Navy vessel, Craig Burke (played by Martin Compston) pleads with his captain to try and rescue the boat, refencing the real-life tragedy.

‘What about the Antares?’ he yells. ‘The whole crew left to drown.’

The Antaras sank in 1990 in a similar accident, with Dugald Campbell, 20, William Martindale, 24, Stewart Campbell, 29, and skipper Jamie Russell, 36, all being killed.

Campbell’s mother doesn’t think the scene should have been included.

Th Antares sank in 1990 after being snagged by a submarine (Picture: UNKNOWN)

‘It’s not a programme I would be watching. It’s too close to what happened to us,’ she told the Scottish Sun.

‘What we went through is still raw. There are still families around who lost loved ones on that boat.

‘It just brings it to the forefront of your mind. I really think they shouldn’t have done it.’

She added: ‘It seems it could be based loosely around what happened to us. The story isn’t like for like but I just don’t know why they’ve come up with this.’

A BBC spokesman said: ‘BBC drama has a rich history of exploring stories in a sensitive and considered way. Though underpinned by extensive research, Vigil’s fictional plot is not inspired by or based on any specific historical incidents.

‘However, it is set in the real world and as such characters do occasionally reference real-life events.’

Vigil has already been named the BBC’s most watched new drama of 2021, with its first episode attracting more than 10million viewers so far and counting.

Vigil is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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