BBC pulls documentary featuring Grenfell Tower fire victim

A BBC documentary which was to feature one of the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been pulled.

Artist Khadija Saye, who is believed to have died in the blaze, had been filmed for the BBC2 documentary Venice Biennale: Sink or Swim, which was due to air on Saturday at 7.30pm.

However the BBC confirmed in a statement that the documentary would not be shown.

A spokesman said: “The BBC Two programme Venice Biennale: Sink or Swim features various artists, one of whom is Khadija Saye.

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“Our deepest sympathies are with Ms Saye’s family and friends and all of those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

“We have made the decision to postpone the programme and further information about the transmission will be made available in due course.”

Ms Saye’s career seemed to the cusp of recognition, with her work being exhibited at the important Venice Biennale gallery.

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The 24-year-old had written on Facebook: “It’s been a real journey, tears shed, highs and lows, but mama, I’m an artist exhibiting at the Venice Biennale and the blessings are abundant!”

She lived on the 22nd floor of the 24-storey block of flats.

London MP David Lammy has paid tribute to Ms Saye, describing her as “part of my family”.

Speaking of his friend, Mr Lammy said: “This is a tale of two cities. This is what Dickens was writing about in the century before the last, and it’s still here in 2017. It’s the face of the poorest and the most vulnerable.

“My friend who lost her life was a talented artist, but she was a young, black woman making her way in this country and she absolutely had no power, or locus, or agency. She had not yet achieved that in her life.

“She’d done amazing things: gone to university, the best in her life. But she’s died with her mother on the 22nd floor of a building. And it breaks my heart that that’s happening in Britain in 2017. Breaks my heart.”

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