Why Biswas wasn't made

In response to Tariq Ali's fanciful article ("No house for Mr Biswas", The Back Half, 29 October) I would like to make the following points. Channel 4 decided not to commission his television adaptation of V S Naipaul's wonderful novel A House for Mr Biswas for one simple reason: despite the huge strengths of the novel, the adaptation, sadly, didn't hit the mark.

I left Channel 4 amicably, of my own volition, to return to doing what I like best - producing quality TV drama, including a new Jimmy McGovern drama documentary on the events of Bloody Sunday, which will be shown on Channel 4 in the new year.

Gub Neal
Box TV, London W8

This article first appeared in the 12 November 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The New Statesman Essay - The Empire strikes back