Written and Presented By Francis Richard Conolly
Francis Richard Conolly was born May 23rd 1957 in Wallsend – so named because it denotes the exact spot where the Roman Emperor Hadrian finished his wall, which stretches right across England about fifty miles from the border with Scotland. One of his grandparents organized the famous Jarrow March. His parents were Emmanuel John Conolly, a shipyard tradesman, and Anastasia Rose Fortune, a nurse and Irish immigrant. Although singled out and praised from the very beginning of his school years as a gifted artist (being able to draw better than his teachers aged 5) he was equally singled out by school bullies and hated school so much he regularly played truant until a brush with the law landed him in boarding school. Released from what he considered prison aged 16 he studied art at college and gained entry to York University. Although many said he would be “the next Dali” his efforts in the film department attracted even more attention, with university staff members constantly assailing him to produce documentaries about them and their departments; a situation which in turn led to his first professional commission, making a series of documentaries for the UK health service. But whilst the world seemed ready to accept his talent, the BBC, which seemed not to like his grandfather’s anti-establishment past, did not. Passed over for every producer’s position he tried instead to write screenplays and found himself plagiarized by Paramount Pictures. It was a disaster which did at least force the BBC to sit up and take notice. Although they could have given him his own sci-fi series (the plagiarized script was for Star Trek) the BBC chose instead to put him into a new writers competition, which he won. This in turn led to his first drama commission, a play for BBC7 about a girl who wakes up in her coffin to discover she has been buried alive but somehow still has her mobile phone, and finds that when she calls around her friends to beg them to come and dig her out they are not exactly keen to help a spoiled brat who has been cyber-bullying everyone. In spite of being hugely well-received, and being aired all over the planet on the BBC world service, it was nonetheless plain that mainstream media were not going to allow this budding talent to write about what he wanted to write about. Things came to a head when the BBC tried to force him to take a job writing ‘Casualty’ a dreary, predictable BBC Medi-Drama. Francis refused and was forced to go supply teaching to make ends meet. Although a hugely-admired and respected physical education teacher and pro-athlete (he made his debut for York playing against a young Nick Matthew who was soon to be World Number One) he continued to write screenplays and almost made a breakthrough with Oscar-winning Hollywood producer David Parfitt, who evinced interest in bringing two of his stories to the big screen. The project was killed when the world first heard of 911, and Francis soon found his enduring interest in the Kennedy assassination was linking up all too neatly with the government disinformation campaign about what really happened to the Twin Towers. The end result was the cult Youtube movie ‘JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick’ which was given the distinction of being the first documentary ever banned from Youtube in spite of it’s achieving way over a billion hits.
Original Hidden Reality’s video: https://youtu.be/4oVpt_I9iQQ