Ferry Across The Mekong

In 1979, Blue Peter launched an appeal to buy a ferry for the people of Cambodia.

Now Simon Groom, a former Blue Peter presenter, returns to track down the fate of both the boat and the country, once ravaged by the Khmer Rouge.

He finds a society that appears vibrant, but the tragic legacy of the regime soon emerges.

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01The Return Ticket2005062020060730

In 1979, Blue Peter launched an appeal to buy a ferry for the people of Cambodia.

Now Simon Groom, a former Blue Peter presenter, returns to track down the fate of both the boat and the country, once ravaged by the Khmer Rouge.

He finds a society that appears vibrant, but the tragic legacy of the regime soon emerges.Simon tries to do his bit by taking the ferry manager to task over charges of corruption, with results that are both touching and only too human.

02 LASTCross Currents2005062720060806

Simon Groom visits the set of the glamorous Cambodian soap opera Taste of Life to meet Cambodians who were born after the fall of the Khmer Rouge and contrasts their outlook with the older generation he met last week.

Although some of the young are highly sceptical that the genocide under Pol Pot actually happened and think the forthcoming war crimes tribunal a waste of time and money, a chance encounter propels Simon into the dark heart of modern Cambodia.

Is the trauma of the past being meted out painfully to the children of today?