Vishal

4.5/5

Critic Rating

On the day Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer a young boy in the crowd vanishes. 40 years later in 2020 a BBC reporter gets a mysterious call that blows the case wide open. 29th July 1981. Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer and the eyes of the world are on London. In the crowd an eight-year-old boy watches the celebrations. An hour later he is missing. Despite a huge police search young Vishal Mehrotra is never seen alive again. Forty years on, and despite the emergence of new evidence, no-one has been brought to justice for what happened to Vishal and the police appear to have exhausted all their leads. Then one day, as the world is going into lockdown in 2020, a BBC local reporter receives a secretive message from a person who says they have worked within the police – they tell the reporter they’ve seen something extraordinary that could blow the case wide open. That call sets in motion an epic true story - an astonishing podcast investigation, three years in the making, which has consequences no-one could have imagined. The child’s family have one last chance to find out what happened to their boy and put decades of grief and guilt to rest. This is their story. The disappearance of Vishal Mehrotra is a case that haunts our age. It has fallen through the cracks so many times in the past 40 years – the cracks of our justice system, of our collective attention, of who we choose to listen to and who we don’t. In this extraordinary podcast series Vishal’s 30-year-old half-brother Suchin Mehrotra and investigative reporter Colin Campbell will finally set out to gather the pieces and try to get some answers. What they uncover takes them deep into the disturbing underworld of what appears to be a completely separate crime - and sends them halfway across the globe in a search for the truth. Alongside a deeply moving personal story of the effect of this tragedy on one family across generations, what also emerges is a picture of all of us and the world we live in now.


Critic Reviews

Score: 4

James Marriot • The Times UK Apr 28, 2023

"These early episodes summon the drama of a vanished child with startling immediacy. And, as I say, you may not find this easy to listen to. After Suchin’s introduction, Colin Campbell, an investigative journalist, takes over the narration. On his watch the podcast becomes a more traditional true crime tale. And one with more than its fair share of twists and surprises. The close involvement of the victim’s half-brother ensures it is more sensitive than some of the more garish examples of the true crime genre I periodically have cause to deplore in these pages. If you’re going to do true crime, do it like this."

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Score: 5

Fiona Sturges • Financial Times Apr 24, 2023

"I won’t reveal the details of the document, or where it leads, though Campbell’s methodical linking of seemingly unconnected pieces of information makes for remarkable listening. Vishal is simultaneously a story of a family left in limbo, a murder mystery and a vivid portrait of a moment in time."

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