Last night's Kids Company documentary: what the television critics said

A round-up of TV reviewers' reactions to the BBC documentary that followed Camila Batmanghelidjh during the final weeks of the charity

Reaction to the documentary
Reaction to the documentary

Last night's BBC One documentary, Camila's Kids Company: The Inside Story, attracted widespread attention. We round up the reaction from TV critics to the programme. 

Writing in The Independent, Amy Burns said she was frustrated at the inability of Lynn Alleway, who made the documentary, to get a straight answer from Camila Batmanghelidjh. She said Batmanghelidjh could not run a business but would make an excellent politician. "For someone who clearly hates politicians, it's ironic that she would have made a great one," said Burns. 

In The Daily Telegraph, Jasper Rees said the documentary was a "devastating profile of a woman adept at giving love but addicted to receiving it back with interest". He said Alleway "wasn't especially keen to expose her subject as paranoid, narcissistic, belligerent, manipulative, self-pitying, evasive, irresponsible and needy. But Batmanghelidjh didn't give her much other material to work with."

SEE ALSO Comment: This BBC Kids Company documentary is fascinating, even though the story is familiar

Andrew Billen, writing in The Times (subscription required), said Batmanghelidjh "had no enemy as formidable as herself". He wrote: "Alleway never doubted the woman's motives, but the moral of her film was that love is never all you need."

The Guardian's Sam Wollaston said that although the charity got a lot of things wrong, it also got a lot of things right. "However bonkers and badly run Kids Company was, it's hard not to admire and support the idea behind it: to bring the love of a family to troubled lives," he said. 

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