THE BBC's controversial documentary on the life of Chairman Mao details allegations of the Great Helmsman's taste for group sex and of cannibalism by peasants during the Cultural Revolution. The programme equated him to an evil emperor who could never admit his own failings. Chairman Mao - The Last Emperor was made up of old film footage and a series of interviews with leading figures who knew him well, including his doctor of 22 years, Li Zhusui, now resident in the United States. ''Some women felt honoured to have sex with Chairman Mao. It was a natural thing to do because Mao was God and the supreme ruler,'' he claimed. ''A relationship with such a man was very glorious.'' The programme claimed that like all emperors, Mao led a life about which the people knew nothing. ''Mao was from a peasant family. The only entertainment in rural China was sleeping with women,'' Dr Li said. ''It was a rural Chinese tradition, I think Mao was very influenced by that. For him the best entertainment was to have intercourse with women. Women were toys to Mao . . . The kind of woman he liked was young, inexperienced and poorly educated.'' He said Mao had lots of stewardesses on his special train. One was promoted from serving other officials to eventually sleeping with Mao himself. ''Mao's taste for women was like his eating habits,'' he said. ''When he liked a vegetable he would have a lot of it. When he got bored he would have another, the same with women. ''He would see one woman all the time for a while and then drop her for another.'' The doctor even detailed how Mao's fourth wife, Jiang Qing, found him in bed with two women. They didn't even have time to put on their clothes. Mao was angry and from that time on insisted his wife must make appointments to see him. Later, as Mao's health faded and he could no longer write, two of his mistresses would decide the fate of policy documents by drawing circles on the covers of those he approved. The programme claimed that although Mao led a communist revolution, he took his ruling principles straight from the pages of Chinese history and acted like an autocratic Chinese emperor. It detailed his attraction to Stalin and then his slight against Khrushchev when he visited China after denouncing the dead Stalin - insulting the Soviet leader by meeting at his swimming pool. Mao was only too aware of the dangers Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin might mean for him. He became obsessed with it - leading to the 100 Flowers campaign to bring forward critics of the Government who could then be crushed. Among those appearing in the programme were former UK ambassador Sir Percy Cradock who said Mao was imbued with a sense of history. Sir Percy said Mao had a sense of affinity with the First Emperor and used to boast that he had outplayed him in brutality. The programme examined the disaster of the Great Leap Forward, Mao's lack of understanding of economics, the madness of the campaign to kill sparrows accused of eating grain and the eventual three-year famine in which 43 million starved to death. ''[The Great Leap Forward] had been an attempt by him to jump over the difficulties of economics, the physical difficulties simply by revolutionary fervour and elan,'' Sir Percy said. Dr Li claimed that Mao once told him he wished America would bomb Fukian and kill 10 or 20 million Chinese. ''That would show the true nature of American imperialism and show the world who was good and who was bad,'' the doctor said. ''I was shocked to hear that. To kill 20 million people just to make a comparison. It was grotesque.''