Return to Dunblane with Lorraine Kelly

Thursday: Return to Dunblane with Lorraine Kelly; (ITV, 9pm)

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 5:00 pm
Another person who remembers the fateful day very vividly is Lorraine Kelly

It remains the most lethal mass shooting on British soil.

On March 13, 1996, gunman Thomas Hamilton shot 16 children and their teacher dead in the gym hall of Dunblane Primary School, before killing himself.

The killings in the small town town near Stirling shocked the world and sparked public debate on gun control in the UK.

Eventually, two new Firearms Acts were passed, which saw the end to private ownership of handguns in the UK.

Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the massacre, but a quarter of a century on, the events of that day understandably still remain raw for the survivors and families of the victims.

Many children of Dunblane primary school still bear the physical and mental scars of the ordeal, although a number have chosen to move away from the town.

The most famous survivor of the massacre is tennis champion Andy Murray, who was a pupil at the school with his brother Jamie.

Andy had been walking to the gym when the shootings had begun, narrowly avoiding being caught up in the tragedy.

He has previously said the terrifying incident had affected him deeply, but hoped his triumphs on the tennis court had had a positive influence on the town.

His mother and former coach Judy said the Murrays knew Hamilton, a 43-year-old unemployed former shopkeeper, and had even given him lifts in their car.

She said she still found it difficult visiting the school and purposely avoided the gym where the shootings took place.

Another person who remembers the fateful day very vividly is Lorraine Kelly, who reported on the horror for GMTV.

She broke down in tears on TV in 2013 as she recalled seeing victim Joanna Ross, five, in her coffin.

In this deeply moving and personal programme, Lorraine, 61, speaks to survivors and families, which brings all the memories of that day flooding back.

She said: “It never really does go away and (I think about it) any time I see a sign for Dunblane or whenever there is something in America, where as we know it happens far too often.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life and I don’t think there will be anything else like that. Going back, I was remembering a lot of things.

“I remember the press conference and journalists are pretty hard-bitten – they have to be just to survive – but I was seeing grown men in tears.

“I remember the quietness and nobody quite knowing how to absorb this and how to cope with it.

“It’s things like that you remember and it just makes you realise how lucky you are.”

Scottish band Glasvegas have written an original musical score for the documentary, which also highlights the enduring spirit and resilience of the Dunblane community, who came together to change UK gun-ownership laws as a result of the attack.

Some have even become activists for those advocating gun control in the United States, following an increasing number of school shootings across the country.

“The programme aims to throw light on how the community at its heart somehow, quietly and resiliently, pulled together,” Tom Giles, ITV controller of current affairs, says.

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