Award-winning documentary maker Roger Graef dies peacefully, confirms Channel 4

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Veteran documentary maker Roger Graef has died aged 85, Channel 4 has announced on behalf of his family.

The award winning producer and writer enjoyed a successful career in both the US and UK, making films on a wide range of social justice topics for every major British broadcaster.

Channel 4 has issued that Roger died peacefully on Wednesday surrounded by his family.

Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4, said the director was “one of broadcasting’s most original and influential documentary film-makers”.

His hit documentaries include, One Of Them Is Brett, State Of The Nation: A Law In The Making and Police.

He also made over 30 documentaries on the police and judicial system in the UK.

Roger was awarded the prestigious Bafta Fellowship in 2004.

The documentary maker has also directed a number of TV specials including the first three Amnesty International Comedy Galas between 1976 and 1979.

In 1985 he directed the first Secret Policeman’s Ball and co-produced the first Comic Relief with Richard Curtis.

As well as being a visiting professor at the University of Oxford, Roger often wrote for a selection of UK publications and contributed on the likes of BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 live.

Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4, added: " [Roger] believed in its remit that, in his own words, was ‘committed to creativity and risk-taking in cinema, drama, comedy, documentaries and current affairs’.”

“Beyond his contribution to Channel 4, his extensive legacy of documentaries has helped to inform and change people’s views on some of the most challenging aspects of British society."

“Roger was a delight to chat to, to be pushed and provoked by and his love for television and culture shone through in every conversation.

Born in New York in 1936, Roger made the move to the UK in 1962 and became a British citizen in 1992.

Among those paying their respects to Roger on social media was BBC's Katie Razzall.

Katie wrote a lengthy message, beginning: "In amongst all the news, this might not get the prominence it deserves but the acclaimed documentary maker Roger Graef has died.

"He was a legend who made so many incredible films, including his ground-breaking 'fly on the wall' 'A Complaint of Rape'.

"He will be remembered by so many in the industry who knew him well & by all those others who may not know his name but remember his programmes that shone a spotlight into many of the dark corners of life RIP."

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