They say the camera never lies. But when it comes to so-called reality television, the lens can certainly distort. There's genuine outrage in Northern Moor, Wythenshawe about a fly-on-the-wall documentary featuring the Duchess of York visiting the area which is due to be broadcast next week. We haven't seen the programme yet, the production company haven't given us that courtesy, but if the pre-publicity issued by ITV is anything to go by residents are right to fear the worst.
Their press material features claims that the area is ridden with crime and lacking community spirit. It was even claimed that a building she was using there had been blasted with a shotgun, prompting hysterical headlines in several national tabloids.
In truth two small holes had been made in windows by a pellet gun. Of course any such incident should be taken seriously. And of course Northern Moor, like many other places around the country, has its challenges.
But this sort of exaggeration helps no one - and certainly not the many people, residents very much included, who are working to address them.
It only serves to demoralise and undermine the enormous good work and investment which is going into improving the area. For example Parkway Green - the main community landlord there - is investing more than £30 million in enhancing properties and the environment and there is a brand new Sure Start Children's Centre. Progress is being made.
After all the headlines this week, the Council had lots of calls from residents who were hurt by the misleading depiction of their area and wanted to do something about it. The irony is that they are all demonstrating exactly what the TV publicity had claimed didn't exist in Northern Moor - community spirit. Indeed when I met the producers it was clear that the very reason they picked Northern Moor was because they knew it already had the community spirit needed to make their project a success. Let's hope the programme is more accurate than the publicity that has preceded it.