Dispatches: Toff at the Top (found Channel 4 documentary; 2007)

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A 1987 picture of David Cameron at the infamous Bullingdon dining club, heavily featured in the documentary.

Status: Found

Date found: 2 Sep 2023

Found by: Henry Blaine Silver, Edward_Howard97

Dispatches is a long-running British investigative series hosted by Channel 4 since 1987. It covers many subjects, from politics, pop culture and vaccines among many others. It is often an awards favourite, despite some occasional controversy from some of the subjects involved.[1]

One episode, 2007's Toff at the Top, concerning David Cameron's rise to leadership of the Conservative Party, was lost for the longest time, until its recent recovery in 2023.


The episode, which aired initially on Channel 4 on March 26th, 2007, concerned the rise of David Cameron as the head of the British Conservative Party in 2005, as well as his political career in general. It is presented by prominent Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, who in an infamous part of the show he often reflects upon, gets dressed up as someone attending the Bullingdon dining club, remarking on how it reflected the so-called 'toff' status of Cameron in stark contrast to the normal image he was trying to present to the country at large.[2]

The show is often heavily critical of Cameron and his political approach, regarded by many in the program as at best too liberal, and at worst extremely opportunistic. The latter is demonstrated by how Cameron, a seeming Thatcherite at the start of his career, embraced liberal politicking in order to enhance his position, alongside several instances whereby he used family connections to gain certain positions within the party.

Hitchens concludes by warning that Cameron's liberal takeover of the party would lead to British politics losing its adversarial edge, and therefore the freedom that affords. The show was well received in the Guardian[3] and Times newspapers.[4]


The show was considered lost for quite some time. It was initially found in 2022 by a YouTube account called Gary Smith, but that was eventually closed, while the link wasn't archived properly.[5]

In September 2023, Lost Media Wiki user Edward_Howard97 found the documentary through the Google Drive account of Henry Blaine Silver,[6] through a since-deleted tweet. He then uploaded the documentary on YouTube[7] and the Internet Archive[8] on September 2nd, 2023.