Russian Embassy hits out at BBC over ‘McMafia’

UK's Russian Embassy isn't happy about the portrayal of "Russian gangsters" in the show

The UK’s Russian Embassy has hit out at the BBC for depicting Britain “as a playground for Russian gangsters” in new drama McMafia.

McMafia is a new crime thriller about Alex Godman (played by James Norton)  – the British-raised son of a Russian mafia boss who is drawn into his exiled family’s world of international crime after tragedy strikes. The eight-part series is based on Misha Glenny’s 2008 non-fiction book McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime.

Despite positive reviews and much hype, the Russian Embassy has taken exception to the portrayals of Russians in the series, accusing the BBC of “spreading clichés”.


A tweet from the Russian Embassy recently read: “BBC’s #McMafia depicts Britain as a playground for Russian gangsters. But do you know how many Russian offenders there are actually in UK jails?”

Another added: “Correct answer- fewer than 10. Crime rate among Russians in UK is well below national average. Good that our followers are not buying into the cliches BBC is spreading.”

You can see those tweets below.

The BBC has not yet responded to the criticism.


Meanwhile, McMafia star Norton recently spoke out to distance himself from rumours about being Daniel Craig’s successor to be the new James Bond.

“It’s lovely, wonderful and complimentary to be involved in that conversation but it’s just a rumour mill and that’s as far as it goes,” he said.  “I did mention at the time that those scenes would possibly contribute to the [Bond] rumours but McMafia is its own beast.”

“I hope Daniel Craig does five more movies and can keep the rumours on himself. I’m a big fan of his and – selfishly – I’d like him to carry on.”


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