Sir Paul McCartney denies swerving Russian attack documentary due to security fears

Sir Paul McCartney has dismissed claims he declined to take part in a documentary about a Russian attack on Greenpeace due to security fears.

The Beatles legend, 81, played an instrumental role in the release of 30 protestors facing up to 15 years in prison on charges of piracy after a mission by Greenpeace in 2013 to highlight the dangers of Arctic oil drilling went terrifyingly wrong.

New six-part series On Thin Ice: Putin v Greenpeace, follows what happened after the group of 28 activists and two journalists were shot at and thrown into a Russian jail.

Viewers learn how Sir Paul agreed to write a letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin - a self-confessed Beatles fan - on behalf of the so-called Arctic 30.

In his letter, he quoted the Beatles hit song Back In The USSR, writing: “Been away so long I hardly knew the place, gee it’s good to be back home. Could you make that come true for the Greenpeace prisoners?”

Sir Paul McCartney wrote to President Putin (pictured) to request he release the Arctic 30 (via REUTERS)
Sir Paul McCartney wrote to President Putin (pictured) to request he release the Arctic 30 (via REUTERS)

Producer Clare Beavis admitted to the Mirror that they had tried “incredibly hard to get an interview with him [Sir Paul[ but were told he wasn’t available to do it, that he was too busy.”

While one producer even “went to his house, with a hand-written letter, in an attempt to convince him to take part”, but it was still sadly a no.

Despite claims reported by the Mirror that Sir Paul’s management feared too many risks could arise from being involved in a potentially incendiary documentary, both a representative for Sir Paul and Beavis insists this is not the case.

Speaking to the Standard, she said: “I was interviewed and made it clear (when asked twice) that Sir Paul declined to be interviewed as he could not make time in his tour schedule.

“I talked about security issues regarding our actual contributors as a separate part of the interview and the two things were put together in the piece to make it sound like this was why Sir Paul declined the interview. This is categorically not what I said to the journalist.”