Documentary, The [World Service]

Episodes

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2009123020100102 (WS)
20100103 (WS)

We delve into Tulsa's tough underworld in the company of two police officers who have d...

We delve into Tulsa's tough underworld in the company of two police officers who have developed dazzling talents as storytellers

2010010120100102 (WS)
20100103 (WS)

How a very special school in Finland is helping visually impaired children.

It's well known that the blind learn to use sound to avoid obstacles - to create a map of their world.

At Jyväskylä School for the Visually Impaired in the Finnish countryside, they teach children this art to a much greater degree: the walls in the corridors are covered with all sorts of noisy objects.

They even have a 'sound room' - every surface covered in things that make stimulating noises - all set against the interesting Finnish soundscape of snow crunching as the children build the confidence to start exploring the world for themselves.

The school's aim is to avoid a total reliance on high tech and expensive navigational aids, by honing the children's natural abilities which most of us possess, but which we don't use to their full potential.

At the same time they are very up to date with an increasing selection of technology available to the blind. Some of the children are highly computer savvy, and they make full use of developments like the internet, GPS, and even the laser cane.

The Jyväskylä school is a specially-designed environment full of dedicated, passionate and highly-trained staff. But some of the staff feel that the environment is sometimes too safe - and neither fully prepares the students for life after the school nor encourages some of them to want to learn and develop essential skills.

Outi Lappaleinen has been at the school for more than 20 years, inventing and building many of the innovative devices, such as the wooden echoboards the children use to navigate around the playground - and the flourescent yellow canes (easier to see against the snow than a white cane) which are bent like skis so that they don't get stuck in the snow as the children push them along.

2010010620100107 (WS)
20100109 (WS)
20100110 (WS)

Rob Walker tells the story of how 'Angolagate', one of the biggest arms deal scandals o...

Rob Walker tells the story of how 'Angolagate', one of the biggest arms deal scandals of modern times, unfolded.

2010011120100112 (WS)
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Prof Jim Al-Khalili, brings alive the stories of the great forgotten Arabic thinkers an...

Prof Jim Al-Khalili, brings alive the stories of the great forgotten Arabic thinkers and their groundbreaking exploits.

2010011820100119 (WS)
20100123 (WS)
20100124 (WS)
20100125 (WS)

Prof Jim Al-Khalili, brings alive the stories of the great forgotten Arabic thinkers an...

Prof Jim Al-Khalili, brings alive the stories of the great forgotten Arabic thinkers and their groundbreaking exploits.

2010012520100126 (WS)
20100130 (WS)
20100131 (WS)
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Prof Jim Al-Khalili, brings alive the stories of the great forgotten Arabic thinkers an...

Prof Jim Al-Khalili, brings alive the stories of the great forgotten Arabic thinkers and their groundbreaking exploits.

2010042820100501 (WS)

Apostle Asafo guides us around his remarkable workshops in Accra, where teenagers can learn trades. Is it really sustainable?

2011041220110413

To celebrate the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton, we take a look back through the archive of Royal Weddings.

2011041220110417

To celebrate the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton, we take a look back through the archive of Royal Weddings.

To celebrate the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton, we take a look back thro.

2011041920110420

Restrictions on commercial fishing in Europe were put in place to aid sustainability, b.

Restrictions on commercial fishing in Europe were put in place to aid sustainability, but are they still appropriate?

2011041920110424

Restrictions on commercial fishing in Europe were put in place to aid sustainability, b.

20110524

The BBC investigates the skyrocketing prices of the worlds basic goods.

20110726
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James Reynolds profiles Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, one of the count.

James Reynolds profiles Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, one of the country's least scrutinised politicians.

20110809

Gordon Corera tells the story of how the Americans hunted their most wanted man, from A.

Gordon Corera tells the story of how the Americans hunted their most wanted man, from Afghan caves to Abbottabad in Pakistan.

2011112220111123

Martin Wolf examines how the world has changed since the beginning of the financial cri.

Martin Wolf examines how the world has changed since the beginning of the financial crisis four years ago.

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20120204 (WS)

Is outsourcing pregnancy to India exploitative or mutually beneficial? We follow the lives of two women involved for 9 months.

20120327

In Turkey every man is conscripted for military service, except homosexuals who are exe.

In Turkey every man is conscripted for military service, except homosexuals who are exempt. Emre Azizlerli reports.

20120915

Bashar al-Assad took over as President of Syria after his father - known to Syrians as the immortal one - died of a heart attack in 2000.

The Assad's have been in control of Syria for the last 42 years, since Bashar's father Hafez took over in a coup - which he referred to as a ""Corrective Movement"".

How has this family survived in power so long? And why has Bashar al-Assad been so determined to hold onto power while other states have seen their leaders swept away by the Arab Spring?

Owen Bennett Jones examines the nature of the House of Assad and its grip over Syria. He traces the story of the Assads from the Baathist coup in 1963 to the present day.

(Image: President Hafez al-Assad and his wife Anisa posing for a family picture with his children (L to R) Maher, Bashar, Bassel (Circa 1990). Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

2012120820121209 (WS)

As Australia approaches the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in 2015, Sharon Mascall...

As Australia approaches the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in 2015, Sharon Mascall asks how true is the Anzac Legend?

20130526

Michael Robinson highlights the hidden benefits aggressive tax avoidance can have for l...

Michael Robinson highlights the hidden benefits aggressive tax avoidance can have for large multinational companies.

20130714

Many people in Kenya go to court with no lawyer, leading to much injustice. Now priso.

Many people in Kenya go to court with no lawyer, leading to much injustice. Now prisoners are acting as lawyers themselves.

2013072020130721 (WS)

To celebrate architect Richard Rogers 80th birthday, he discusses his vision for the future of our cities with Razia Iqbal.

20130721

Gordon Corera reveals the alarming extent to which cyberspace is now being used to stea.

Gordon Corera reveals the alarming extent to which cyberspace is now being used to steal, to spy and to wage war.

20130811

As Tel Aviv celebrates gay pride, Tim Samuels is there to learn how the city rebranded.

As Tel Aviv celebrates gay pride, Tim Samuels is there to learn how the city rebranded itself as the world's number 1 gay city.

2013092820130929 (WS)

The BBC’s Anne Soy in Nairobi recounts the days of terror for those caught up in attack...

The BBC’s Anne Soy in Nairobi recounts the days of terror for those caught up in attacks on Kenya’s Westgate Shopping Mall.

2013100820131009 (WS)

Russian photojournalist Vlad Sokhin examines the high level of violence against women i...

Russian photojournalist Vlad Sokhin examines the high level of violence against women in Papau New Guinea.

2013113020131201 (WS)

Shopping malls have become a permanent feature of modern cities. Mall culture is explored in Brazil, Nigeria and the USA.

2013122120131222 (WS)

Will the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi showcase a resurgent Russia or hide real problem...

Will the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi showcase a resurgent Russia or hide real problems within? Lucy Ash investigates.

20140107

In September 2012, a man was found dead in a London street. Rob Walker follows the poli.

In September 2012, a man was found dead in a London street. Rob Walker follows the police investigation into who he was.

20140205

Robin Lustig heads to Russia to investigate claims of corruption in the build up to the...

Robin Lustig heads to Russia to investigate claims of corruption in the build up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

2014020820140209 (WS)

The mp3 player at war. What role does music play in the lives of soldiers today?

20140219

Ghanaian music journalist Afua Hirsch marks the 30th anniversary of Def Jam - the world...

Ghanaian music journalist Afua Hirsch marks the 30th anniversary of Def Jam - the world’s first hip hop record label.

2014031120140315 (WS)

Jessie Levene looks at the rise of China's magazine culture, its link to consumerism, a...

Jessie Levene looks at the rise of China's magazine culture, its link to consumerism, and the changing face of Chinese fashion.

20140318

Shilpa Kannan investigates corruption in the Indian media, and asks if “paid media ? thr...

Shilpa Kannan investigates corruption in the Indian media, and asks if “paid media ? threatens democracy and press freedom.

20140326

Peter Bowes tells the story of television made in the USA by tribal people, for tribal...

Peter Bowes tells the story of television made in the USA by tribal people, for tribal people.

2014040220140403 (WS)
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Gordon Corera explores the history of the war between governments and geeks to control...

Gordon Corera explores the history of the war between governments and geeks to control computer cryptography.

2014040520140406 (WS)

Mark Doyle tells the story of one of the unsung heroes of Rwanda’s genocide, Mbaye Diag...

Mark Doyle tells the story of one of the unsung heroes of Rwanda’s genocide, Mbaye Diagne, a Senegalese UN peacekeeper.

2014040820140409 (WS)

Kat Arney meets volunteers trying to change the world with maps - they use their free t...

Kat Arney meets volunteers trying to change the world with maps - they use their free time to map the world's unmapped places.

2014041220140413 (WS)

Black history expert Professor Jim Walvin tells the story of the city of Manchester’s p...

Black history expert Professor Jim Walvin tells the story of the city of Manchester’s profound effect on the world.

2014061020140614 (WS)

Edward Stourton examines Vladimir Putin’s strategic vision for Eastern Europe, followin...

Edward Stourton examines Vladimir Putin’s strategic vision for Eastern Europe, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

2014061420140615 (WS)

On the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Heather Jones challenges the familiar...

On the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Heather Jones challenges the familiar image of a war centred on Northern Europe

2014061820140619 (WS)
20140621 (WS)

As many wealthy Russians settle in London, Olga Betko finds out why it has become the f...

As many wealthy Russians settle in London, Olga Betko finds out why it has become the favourite destination of Russia's elite.

2014062820140629 (WS)
20140630 (WS)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Jonathan Agnew looks back at the rebel cricket tours to South Africa that defied the sp...

Jonathan Agnew looks back at the rebel cricket tours to South Africa that defied the sporting boycott of the Apartheid era.

2014071520140716 (WS)

Can Glaswegian native charm be given a polish in time for the Commonwealth Games? And s...

Can Glaswegian native charm be given a polish in time for the Commonwealth Games? And should it be? Aasmah Mir reports.

2014071620140717 (WS)
20140719 (WS)

Neil Kanwal traces Kenyan Asian migration to Britain, including his father's family, ac...

Neil Kanwal traces Kenyan Asian migration to Britain, including his father's family, across 3 continents and 3 generations.

2014081920140820 (WS)

Mark Mardell considers John Steinbeck's novel “The Grapes of Wrath ?, and the relevance...

Mark Mardell considers John Steinbeck's novel “The Grapes of Wrath ?, and the relevance of the book's themes in modern America.

2014090320140904 (WS)
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Mark Coles meets the crate diggers devoted to giving Africa's obscure musical gems a ne...

Mark Coles meets the crate diggers devoted to giving Africa's obscure musical gems a new lease of life.

2014093020141001 (WS)

The Persian Underground: Behzad Bolour talks to Iranian exiles to see how musicians bre...

The Persian Underground: Behzad Bolour talks to Iranian exiles to see how musicians break the restrictions on music in Iran.

2014100820141009 (WS)
20141011 (WS)

Kate Brian investigates why there is an increasing demand for Danish sperm donors, prod...

Kate Brian investigates why there is an increasing demand for Danish sperm donors, producing thousands of babies worldwide.

2014101520141016 (WS)
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India is falling in love with Western classical music, and Zareer Masani looks at the c...

India is falling in love with Western classical music, and Zareer Masani looks at the controversy this is causing in the country

20141104

Andriy Kravets goes on the campaign trail with Mustafa Nayyem, an Afghan refugee now st.

Andriy Kravets goes on the campaign trail with Mustafa Nayyem, an Afghan refugee now standing for Ukriane's new parliament.

20141105

Through the eyes of children caught up in Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, Bobby.

Through the eyes of children caught up in Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, Bobby Friction explores its implications today.

2019102920191030 (WS)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

#grannywisdom20170422

Young stars of social media share lessons in life from their grandmothers.

02/08/201120110807

James Reynolds profiles Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, one of the count.

09/08/201120110810

Gordon Corera tells the story of how the Americans hunted their most wanted man, from A.

10, 9, 8, 72019042120190424 (WS)

Taking place over just eight months, four perilous and eventful space missions laid the foundations for a successful Moon landing. Each pushed the boundaries of technology and revealed new insights into our own planet.

As we count down to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, astronaut Nicole Stott tells the story of the build-up to mankind’s giant leap. She speaks to surviving astronauts and travels to Cape Canaveral to meet the people that made the Moon landings possible.

Apollo 7 was the first test of the spacecraft designed to take men to the Moon. But, with the crew tense and battling head colds, they snapped at mission control, openly ignored orders and discarded experiments. None would ever fly in space again.

Apollo 8 was an audacious trial of the giant Saturn 5, a rocket that had recently failed on its previous unmanned test. The mission took three astronauts to lunar orbit, where they read from Genesis and captured images of the Earth rising above the grey lunar horizon.

Apollo 9 was to be the first test of the lunar lander in Earth orbit. It also had the potential to leave two astronauts stranded in space. Its legacy, however, is astronaut Rusty Schweickart’s revelation of a world without borders.

Apollo 10 was a dress rehearsal for the first Moon landing. But the crew got so carried away with the excitement, they accidentally sent the lander spinning out of control.

Presented by astronaut Nicole Stott.

Image: Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart tests the lunar backpack during a spacewalk (Credit: Nasa)

10, 9, 8, 7: The dramatic missions that made the Moon landing possible.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

19/04/201120110423
19/09/2015 Gmt2015091920150920 (WS)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

24/05/201120110525
25/08/2015 Gmt2015082520150829 (WS)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

26/07/201120110727
26/07/201120110730
27/03/201220120328

In Turkey every man is conscripted for military service, except homosexuals who are exe.

27/03/201220120331
A Cold War Dance20151216

How dance during the Cold War was was designed to challenge America's military image.

Dancers and crew of the Martha Graham Dance Company bring to life their US State Department sponsored tour of South East Asia in 1974.

A ‘soft power’ dance during the Cold War, the tour was designed to refute the image of Americans as military and materialistic. It was the tail end of the war in Vietnam and after Watergate. The dancers were asked to dance and deport themselves as ambassadors for another kind of America. They left for Taiwan the month Nixon left the White House.

They danced with Imelda Marcos in Manila and curtseyed to the King of Thailand in Bangkok, saw off the Bolshoi ballet in Jakarta and bats and salamanders in Rangoon. They tell of how they were transformed by their experience, but were their audiences?

Saigon was the dancers’ last stop – just six months before the US evacuation. Could Modern Dance really compensate for the USA’s military presence in South Vietnam?

Dancers with the Martha Graham Dance Company perform a scene from 'Diversions of Angels', 2007. Credit: Timothy A Cleary/AFP/Getty Images)

A Day In The Life Of An Immigration Lawyer2014081220140813 (WS)

Harjap Singh Bhangal gives advice to migrants seeking visas to work and live in Britain

Every day, from his offices in London, Birmingham and the Punjab, Harjap Singh Bhangal gives advice to migrants who are seeking visas to live and work in the UK. Harjap often advises people from India or Pakistan who have previously applied for visas, but failed many times. Some have visited other lawyers and received incorrect advice for a large fee, while others have entered the UK legally but, due to changes in circumstances, now find themselves without a long-term visa and nowhere to go.

Presenter Nihal Arthanayake spends time in Harjap’s Southall office in London where he meets three immigrants with contrasting stories. Nihal hears from one man who left India for Moscow before walking across Europe to be smuggled into the UK in a van. A woman discusses how she was invited into Britain to work as a nurse, but spent many years on several short-term visas. Finally, another woman explains how she lost her right to stay at the age of 18 having been brought to the UK as a young child by a parent.

Nihal also hears about the many other stories Harjap encounters in his job; from the fake marriage industry – including same-sex fake marriage scams – to ‘paid babies’.

Nihal Arthanayake visits a UK immigration lawyer who gives advice to migrants seeking v...

Nihal Arthanayake visits a UK immigration lawyer who gives advice to migrants seeking visas to work and live in Britain.

A Global Queen20160420

To salute the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, David Cannadine, eminent professor of History at Princeton University explores the worldwide role and significance of the British monarchy.

Starting with the Queen’s accession in 1952, he looks at Her Majesty’s many world tours to her dominions and former colonies across her reign on the British throne, and assesses her role as Head of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

However, 240 years ago, another long-reigning British monarch, George III, was having severe problems with his own world role, as sovereign of the 13 British colonies in America. They were up in arms about new taxes being imposed by the British government and the mood in the rebellious provinces was revolutionary.

David also explores his own archive of memorabilia, preserved in his Princeton home and study, of another British monarch, Queen Victoria. Victoria RI as she was proclaimed – Victoria Regina et Imperatrix (Queen and Empress) – ruled India in pomp and splendour, and in 1897 celebrated her own Diamond Jubilee in the presence of colonial representatives from all over the British Empire.

With the assistance of Princeton British colonial history specialists Martha Groppo and Adrian Young, David Cannadiine examines the very different world roles of these three very long-lived British sovereigns.

(Photo: Queen Elizabeth II after attending the Easter Mattins service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, 2016. Credit: Getty Images)

Marking the Queen’s 90th birthday, David Cannadine assesses the British monarchy’s role

A Greek Drama20151220

This summer, as Greece and its creditors argued over the terms of a bailout, the fate of nations – and perhaps the whole European project – was held in the hands of just a few people. They met behind closed doors. There, in secrecy, they took each other, and all of us, to the very edge of the abyss.

This original drama, tells the inside story of those extraordinary months.

The astonishing inside story of the final days and hours of the Greek bailout deal.

A Home In Space20151213

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti – back on Earth after 200 days in space – tells the full story of the International Space Station.

The International Space Station, in orbit 400 km above our planet, has been continuously occupied for 15 of its 17 years in orbit. Astronauts can perform science experiments in European and Japanese laboratories, operate a Canadian robotic arm, exercise on an American treadmill and eat dinner at a Russian table. It is a place where, every day, Russia and America work together as allies.

Samantha Cristoforetti, from Italy, made the International Space Station her home between November 2014 and June 2015. In A Home in Space, she examines this international collaboration – its history, politics, tragedies and compromises – using original interviews, archive material and first-hand accounts from those who helped negotiate, build and inhabit the Space Station.

We also hear about the vision for the vast space ship, around the size of a football pitch, which is slated to be abandoned in 2024. Cristoforetti explores the possibilities of a replacement, private space stations, a Moon base or missions to Mars.

Hear from European, US and Russian astronauts as well as key figures involved in the construction of the Space Station, space historians and scientists.

A Boffin Media production for BBC World Service. Airing as part of Space Week on the BBC World Service.Image: Samantha Cristoforetti at Star City near Moscow during her training. Credit: /AFP/Getty Images

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is back on Earth after 200 days in space.

A Little Bit Pregnant20170125

The proposed abortion reform that has divided Malawian society

David is struggling to bring up his three young children alone, after his wife died due to complications after an unsafe abortion. Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, and at least 17% percent of these deaths are due to unsafe abortions. At the moment a woman who tries to procure an abortion in Malawi faces up to 14 years in jail, unless doctors can prove that the woman's life would be at risk if she continues the pregnancy.

Malawi’s parliament is now poised to vote on a controversial Termination of Pregnancy Bill after more than two years of fierce debate and consultation. If the legislation passes, it will bring this southern African state into line with many other countries in Europe and North America, where abortion is permitted if the mother or baby's life is in danger, in instances of rape or incest, or where going ahead with the pregnancy would present a mental or physical health risk to the woman. But as Chipiliro Kansilanga reports, the issue has split Malawian society and put many politicians and health officials at odds with religious leaders.

(Photo: David with his three young children)

A Little World Within Itself20170715

Sarah Darwin follows in her great, great grandfather Charles Darwin’s footsteps to see how the Galapagos islands have evolved.

When Charles Darwin first saw the Galapagos Islands he was not impressed – he said that “nothing could be less inviting than the first appearance ? But later he recognised the unique nature of these islands, which he called “a little world within itself ? They set him thinking about how animals change and ultimately inspired his theory of evolution.

Sarah Darwin follows in the footsteps of her great, great grandfather in this “little world within itself ? to see how the Galapagos islands themselves have evolved and changed since he visited in 1835.

Far from being the uninhabited wilderness of Darwin’s writings and wildlife documentaries, today the Galapagos now receives over 200,000 visitors a year who come to swim with sea lions, or go scuba diving with the hammer-head sharks and the most northerly penguins in the world. Four of the islands of the archipelago are also home to some 30,000 people. Can a balance be found between the demands of conservation and sustainable development?

(Photo: A Galapagos tortoise. Credit: Ruth Evans)

A New Church For The Red State20171022

The story of the struggle of Russians to redefine their faith even as it was being destroyed by the revolution 100 years ago.

One-hundred years ago the Russian Revolution of 1917 brought a radical political change. But at the same time, a lesser known group of religious reformers were busy plotting a better future for Russia’s souls – and a new more democratic Orthodox Church, closer to the people. Caroline Wyatt explores whether they were simply being used by the Bolsheviks, or was there a chance that the Revolution’s answer to Martin Luther could prompt a real Russian Reformation.

A New Church For The Red State20171025

How a reforming priest brought revolution to Russia’s Orthodox Church

One hundred years ago, the Russian Revolution of 1917 brought a radical political change. But at the same time, a lesser-known group of religious reformers were busy plotting a better future for Russia’s souls – and a new, more democratic, Orthodox Church, closer to the people. Caroline Wyatt explores whether they were simply being used by the Bolsheviks, or was there a chance that the Revolution’s answer to Martin Luther could prompt a real Russian Reformation.

Producer: Adam Fowler

(Photo: St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square)

A New Ear On The Universe2015092620150927 (WS)
20150930 (WS)

Visions of the universe exert an eerie silence. But as Aleem Maqbool reveals in A New Ear on the Universe all this is set to change. Physicists are racing to develop a cosmic hearing aid which will bring us the Universe’s equivalent of sound - gravitational waves

It’s the largest lab on the surface of the planet - located in the Columbia Basin region of southeastern Washington. LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, with its giant laser beam arms totalling 5 miles across the remote Hanford desert, is seeking to detect gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of space-time. First predicted by Einstein in his theory of general relativity, gravitational waves are produced by exotic events involving coalescing black holes, neutron stars and objects perhaps not yet discovered and even the remnants of gravitational radiation created by the birth of the universe. The giant lab is atmospherically set adjacent to a former nuclear reactor whose village workers have long disappeared, to be replaced by a new community of scientists.

Aleem Maqbool journeys to Hanford home to the remote LIGO observatory as, following a major upgrade, the detector completes the final trial runs as it prepares to go live. He examines the science of gravitational waves, and how it’s both an eye and an ear on the motion of distant objects. He scrutinises its cutting edge technology of almost unimaginable sensitivity to enable detection of some of the universe’s most dramatic events. And he examines the passion and the motivation of individuals who have worked for nearly three decades on a single science experiment, engaging in the stories of those who invented a whole new branch of physics in order to prove the last piece of Einstein's theory of general relativity, and to “hear ? the universe in a whole new way.

With its laser beam tubes the observatory will be chasing a signal from deep space as small as a thousandth the diameter of a proton What will we expect to hear? The death cries of a supernovae? The mating calls of merging black holes?

(Photo credit: Advanced Ligo)

The hunt for gravitational waves from space as the LIGO observatory prepares to go live.

A Profile Of Aung San Suu Kyi20151110

With her party now in power in Myanmar, what does the future hold?

Known by many in her country as 'The Lady', Aung San Suu Kyi has become one of the world's most famous female politicians. And yet she has never exercised any power in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, until now.

Aung San Suu Kyi's political career, which began dramatically with the failed uprising of 1988, has been shaped by the memory of her father, General Aung San, who is regarded as the founder of modern Burma. Her life has been marked by loss: her father was assassinated when she was two, her older brother died six years later and her British husband, Michael Aris, died when she was under house arrest. How has Aung San Suu Kyi remained committed to her struggle to bring democracy to the country?

Presenter: Mark Coles

Producers: Peter Snowdon and Katie Inman

Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition politician, chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, arrives at the polling station to cast vote on November 8, 2015 in Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

A Soldier's Eye View Of Afghanistan20170416
A Soldier's Eye View Of Afghanistan20170419

Russian, American, British and Afghan soldiers talk about fighting in Afghanistan

A Song For Syria2016122520161228 (WS)

Since war broke out in Syria over a million people have sought refuge in Lebanon - a small country of just over 4 million people. The reporter Lina Sinjab left her home in Damascus in 2013 to live in Beirut, and for her, as for so many Syrians, the poignant music of home has become a crucial source of comfort and resilience. As the war drags on, music and songs provide a strong link to the past and hope for the future.

Lina joins refugee musicians across Lebanon and hears how their music is one of the few things they were able to bring with them. In the Bekaa Valley, close to the border with Syria, she meets an oud player, a percussionist and a piper who arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their precious instruments. And she visits a refugee youth choir who have found new joy and hope by singing with others who have been uprooted from their homes.

In Beirut, the Oumi ensemble use music as a counter to religious extremism, taking their inspiration from the peace-loving Sufi poet Mansur Al-Hallaj. The arrival of Syrian musicians has also had a big impact on the cultural scene in Lebanon, and Lina discovers how this has inspired bands and artists in the capital.

Image: Ahmad Turkmany who plays the Mizmar, Credit: Just Radio Ltd

How music has become a crucial source of comfort and resilience for refugees in Lebanon

Lina Sinjab reveals how music is vital to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

A Swedish Tale2016032220160326 (WS)

Sweden received more asylum seekers per capita than any other country last year. But an open borders policy was slowly rowed back as accommodation started to run out and the authorities struggled to cope with the arrival of so many newcomers. It is not just cities like Stockholm and Malmo that have seen an influx of newcomers.

Ånge is a community of 9,000 people in the north of Sweden which is now home to 1,000 asylum seekers. An hour's drive away from the nearest big city, it is a place of picturesque natural beauty, but where in winter the sun sets as early as 2.30 in the afternoon and temperatures can plunge to as low as -30C. Keith Moore spends time in the community with locals and asylum seekers as they get used to the each other and to their new lives.

(Photo: Refugee women take pictures by the sea in Kladesholmen, Sweden, 2016. Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

How the northern Swedish town of Ånge is learning to live with 1,000 asylum seekers

A Tale Of Two Theatres2014073020140731 (WS)
20140802 (WS)

Istanbul-born former DJ, Mehmet Ergen became the toast of London's theatre scene by creating venues- and careers- from scratch. In 2000 he transformed a derelict clothing factory in Dalston into a destination venue. Not content to run 'a powerhouse of new work' in his adopted city, he later opened its opposite number back in his hometown.

Tensions have been rising in Turkey between artists and politicians ever since the prime minister's daughter was mocked on stage, allegedly for wearing a headscarf to the Ankara State Theatre in 2011. In 2012, a performance of Chilean play Secret Obscenities was censored by Istanbul's Mayor Kadir Topbas. Prime Minister Erdogan then threatened to withdraw subsidies of up to 140 million Turkish Lira from approximately 50 venues, employing roughly 1500 actors, directors and technicians. Although wholesale privatisation has yet to be enacted, theatre companies openly opposed to Government tactics during 2013's Gezi Park protests promptly had their funding withdrawn.

Entrepreneurial expat Mehmet Ergen acts as our guide to this politically charged arts scene, as he negotiates national and cultural borders to stage work that is as unpretentious as it is provocative.

(Photo: Theatre actors and staff protest in front of the Culture and Tourism Ministry in Ankara. Placard reads: 'We will not allow places of art be closed!' Credit: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

A guide through the politically charged arts scene of Turkey

A Tempest In Rio2016071920160723 (WS)

Shakespeare's plays appeal to Brazilians for their mix of sex, politics and intrigue

On the eve of the Olympics, Shakespeare’s mix of sex, politics and intrigue plays out in Rio. 400 years after Shakespeare’s death, his plays have come to Brazil and are being played to packed houses in front of enthralled audiences who respond instinctively to their passionate mix of political corruption, violence, sex, death and the supernatural.

This summer, a unique collaboration between international directors, academics and Brazilian actors has brought one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, The Tempest – in which he writes about the ‘brave new world’ of the Americas – to Rio de Janeiro.

This programme hears from Suellen Carvalho, who will play Miranda in The Tempest. High in the hills overlooking Copacabana she explains how she turned her back on the drug gangs to take up Shakespearean acting. Her brother was killed in gang warfare and so her family has suffered from the violence that plagues the city of Rio. It was Shakespeare that helped her escape. “I thought the language of Shakespeare was very difficult at first ?, she says, “But when I heard Shakespeare being spoken by black actors from the favelas (shanty towns) of Rio then it’s another language. I thought, I can do that too. ?

For Suellen it has been an extraordinary journey. As a black actress she had no hope of playing the part that she saw as exclusively for white performers. “When I was told I would play Miranda I was amazed! Black actors in Brazil are normally given the roles of the house servant, prostitute or drug dealer. ?

Presented by Professor Jerry Brotton, Queen Mary College, University of London

Image: Suellen Carvalho, Credit: Mark Rickards

A Very British Election20170606

A portrait of the UK Election campaign and the role of populism in the 2017 UK election

When London was attacked in the final days of the British general election campaign, it was the second attack to take place during the campaign.

Susan Glasser, the chief international columnist for Politico, has followed politics in Washington DC for over 20 years – in late May she travelled to the UK to bring an American perspective to the election and to present a documentary about it. The assumption was it would focus on the scale of Theresa May’s anticipated landslide for her Conservative Party.

But on 22 May, as she was packing her bags to fly to London, news began to break of an attack in the UK that would change all of that. By the time the overnight flight had landed, the campaign had been suspended.

A Very British Election is Susan Glasser’s account of the four days after the Manchester bombing when politics stopped in Britain – how the campaign re-started with the polls tightening – and what this might mean for politics everywhere.

(Photo: People pass a mock ballot box erected to encourage people to vote, Bristol, 2012. Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A Woman Half In Shadow20170510

Poet Jackie Kay tells the story of African American novelist and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston's literary rebirth.

The story of African-American novelist and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston

A.k.a. Mystery Island20171029

A tiny South Pacific island hosts 25,000 cruise ship tourists a month. For the local villagers there is gain, but what's lost?

What is the fastest growing sector in tourism? It is cruise ship holidays, increasing exponentially and globally. Twenty-five million cruise vacations were taken this year and that will double very soon. International cruise lines want remote, pristine and idyllic places to satisfy the appetite of passengers to be somewhere beautiful, especially in the Pacific.

In a remote, tiny community in the southern tip of Vanuatu in the South-West Pacific, a village is earning more than ever through hosting gleaming white giant cruise ships that regularly appear over the horizon. Most months more than 25,000 visitors step ashore. The attraction is Inyeug, marketed to tourists as Mystery Island - a tiny offshore reef-ringed island, fringed by a beautiful beach and surrounded by sparkling clear turquoise shallow water.

Susie Emmett listens to villagers as they prepare souvenirs and village tours. She asks the captain of a cruise ship about the effects of the ships on the environment. And she joins tourists as they explore and meets the teams dealing with the debris after their departure.

(Photo: Locals hold up their catch from fishing in the island of Inyeug. Credit: Green Shoots)

Across Jamaica's Gay Divide2013110920131110 (WS)

Psychologist Dr Keon West assesses the campaigns for and against homosexuality in Jamaica

The social psychologist Dr Keon West returns to his native Jamaica to assess the state of the country’s gay rights and anti-homosexuality movements. Gay rights activists made the first legal challenge in Jamaica's history earlier this year, appealing for the so-called ‘buggery law’ to be re-assessed. The law, which is a colonial legacy prohibiting certain sexual acts, is the focus of much controversy in Jamaica and at its heart is the question of whether or not homosexuality is culturally or even morally acceptable.

From a group of activists standing silently promoting gay tolerance, to a march that calls for sexual purity, including maintaining of the Buggery Law, West speaks to both sides, asking if attitudes are now inexorably changing. The Christian tradition of Jamaica is central to this debate, where Biblical interpretation underpins many of the arguments against homosexual behaviour.

With contributions from the pastor Reverend Lenworth Anglin, the prominent Jamaican gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson and Rastafarian poet Mutabaruka, West considers what it is like to be a gay person in Jamaica from day-to-day, when many consider this ‘lifestyle’ to be un-Jamaican by its very nature.

(Photo: The riverside bar where Jamaican teenager Dwayne Jones attended a dance party and was murdered by a mob. Credit: Associated Press)

Across Jamaica's Gay Divide - Part One2013110920131110 (WS)

Psychologist Dr Keon West assesses the campaigns for and against homosexuality in Jamaica

Social psychologist Dr. Keon West assesses the state of his native Jamaica's gay rights...

Social psychologist Dr. Keon West assesses the state of his native Jamaica's gay rights and anti-homosexuality movements.

Adelia Prado - Voice Of Brazil20160810

Poet Adélia Prado has shunned the spotlight since her discovery in 1976 – then a 40-year-old mother of five. Her literary career was launched by Brazil's foremost modern poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, with the announcement that St Francis was dictating verses to a housewife in the backwaters of the interior state of Minas Gerais.

She writes about the transcendent in ordinary life, of how the human experience is both mystical and carnal. Now aged 80, her sensual, devout, sometimes provocative poetry is read and admired around the world.

In the company of her long-time translator and fellow poet Ellen Doré Watson, Adélia Prado invites us into her home to talk about her life and work.

Picture: Adelia Prado, Credit: Eve Streeter

Her sensual, devout, sometimes provocative poetry is read and admired around the world

Afghanistan Death Lists2014080620140809 (WS)

David Loyn investigates how a lost document is helping Afghanistan come to terms with its painful past.

It revolves around the lesser-known moment when Afghanistan began to fall apart - 1978, a year before the Soviet invasion. It's lesser-known, partly because the world wasn't really paying attention but also because evidence of state murder and disappearance was covered up after the so-called Saur Revolution.

But now, a war crimes trial in the Netherlands has unearthed a list of 5,000 prisoners detained, tortured and killed by the radical communist regime in 1978 - 79. This ""Death List"" has fewer than half the total number of people unaccounted for during that period but it has finally given some families of the disappeared confirmation of the fate of their loved ones, and allowed them to mourn. The reverberations of this are being felt strongly in Afghanistan.

Image: Kabul citizens reading newspapers during the period of the communist regime. Credit: Getty

A list of people killed by the authorities in Afghanistan has been unearthed

African Books To Inspire20161102

Which African books deserve a wider audience?

A panel of writers talk to Audrey Brown about the African books which have had the biggest impact on them, their writing and the wider world. What makes a great book? Which African books deserve a wider audience? What is the power of reading to influence both the personal and the political?

On the panel are black British rapper-poet Akala; Abdilatif Abdalla, the Kenyan poet and activist; Nigerian novelist Sarah Ladipo Manyika; and Yewande Omotoso, South African poet and academic.

(Photo: Clockwise from top left - Akala, Yewande Omotoso, Abdilatif Abdalla and Sarah Ladipo Manyika. All images courtesy of the Royal African Society)

African Perspective: Living On Death2012070320120704

Two mortuary attendants in Zambia discuss their work and the stigma they must deal with.

They are some of Zambia’s most courageous workers, quietly getting on with their job - a job which is shunned by most of their compatriots.

Meet Mwanza and Kapemba, two mortuary attendants working in Lusaka.

In this programme, they reveal what their work entails, but also what it feels like to deal with the stigma they face. In Zambia, strong cultural beliefs mean that they are feared and avoided by family members and neighbours.

(Image: A funeral in Lusaka, Africa)

Africans In The Holy Land2014041920140420 (WS)

Paul Bakibinga travels to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to explore the lives and experiences of people from three different African communities.

Mahmoud Salamat takes Paul around the narrow alleyways of the old city of Jerusalem to the hidden African quarter and introduces a small but close-knit community, who are descendants of Muslim pilgrims or soldiers who came to the Holy Land during the time of the British Mandate.

Paul also explores the experiences of different Ethiopian Jews who have returned to their ancient homeland, including rising star musician Ester Rada.

And he spends time in South Tel Aviv, where the bulk of African asylum-seekers live – stuck in a legal limbo amid growing hostility from politicians and local residents. The state cannot deport them – but neither will it grant them refugee status.

Picture: A 'Kess', a leader of the Ethiopian Jewish community, Credit: Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Bakibinga travels to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to explore the lives and experiences o...

Paul Bakibinga travels to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to explore the lives and experiences of people from three different communities

Africa's Drone Experiment2019011620190117 (WS)

While the idea of retail giants like Amazon dropping parcels from the sky via drone may be a long way off, in East Africa momentum is building over the idea of drone delivery in hard to reach places. In the island of Juma near Mwanza, one of hundreds of remote inhabited islands in the vast expanse of Lake Victoria, an ambitious new drone project called the Lake Victoria Challenge (backed by international organisations like The World Bank and the private sector) is taking place.

Technology reporter Jane Wakefield visits Juma to see first-hand how the concept could work. Are they a cost-effective solution for getting goods quickly to rural areas?

Jane interviews Zipline, currently the only commercial drone delivery company operating in Africa. A year on from announcing a deal with the Tanzanian government, Zipline is still nowhere near setting up in the country. Why? Do drones bring insurmountable regulatory and security issues, or are they going to be a lifeline for Africa's neglected rural communities?

Jane also speaks to Tanzanian drone pilot and entrepreneur Frederick Mbuya of Uhurulabs about why technology needs to work in an African context, and to The World Bank's Edward Anderson, who is running the Lake Victoria challenge project, about what drones could bring in terms of economic development opportunities.

(Photo: LVC drone in flight to Juma. Credit: Sala Lewis)

Is there a viable case for drone deliveries in East Africa?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

After The Boats2019052820190529 (WS)
20190601 (WS)

During the Migrant Crisis thousands of Nigerian women were trafficked into Italy for sexual exploitation. In 2016 alone 11,000 made the perilous journey through lawless Libya and then in flimsy boats across the Mediterranean. Naomi Grimley asks what became of them when they got to Europe?

Before these women left home, they were made to take part in a juju ceremony which might involve burning pieces of their clothing or public hair. Traffickers use this as a way of controlling their victims by telling them that if they don't pay back their debts, terrible things will befall them. The psychological effects of these curses are huge, even for those who escape exploitation.

Naomi Grimley speaks to some of the Nigerians who arrived in Sicily between 2015 and 2016. She also speaks to a clinical psychiatrist who helps bring them back to emotional stability. She visits a drop-in centre which encourages the women to integrate into everyday life in Palermo. And she hears from a tough-talking female prosecutor on a mission to “save lives.”

Some of the stories are uplifting, such as Gloria who learns Italian in a local college. But others – like Pamela – are still on the streets, plying her trade on a country road outside Catania. And for the final part of this programme she heads north to Antwerp – a city with one of the highest proportions of Nigerian prostitutes in Europe. How are the authorities there trying to help these women and, crucially, stop the traffickers?

(Photo: Magdalen, a former prostitute, praying in church in Palermo)

What happened to the Nigerian women trafficked to Europe during the migrant crisis?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Ageing And Caring20131013

As the global population ages is it time for a re-think about how we view old people?

We are all getting older and the United Nations predicts that by 2050, for the first time in human history, there will be more old people alive than young. So how are people in the 21st century experiencing old age? As the global population ages, is it time for a radical re-think about how we view old people? Ruth Brook is a psychotherapist, she is about to retire and she is in her 80s. In this programme “Ageing and Caring ?, Ruth shares her thoughts on four very different stories of growing older and on how the world cares about ageing.

As the global population ages, is it time for a radical re-think about how we view old.

Ahmadinejad: The Populist And The Pariah2013060420130605 (WS)
20130609 (WS)

The rise - and legacy - of outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Devil or Popular Hero? As President Ahmadinejad steps down, we assess his legacy. Since his election in 2005, Mr Ahmadinejad has challenged his country’s Supreme Leader and goaded the United States. He has become perhaps the most well-known Iranian politician since the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini. This documentary looks at the rise of Ahmadinejad and explains how this provincial politician with a PhD in traffic management came to take on his country’s ruling clerics.

(Image: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

All That Stands In The Way - The Debate2014052420140525 (WS)

Gender inequality, sexism and balancing traditional attitudes with modern ambitions

Ros Atkins brings three teenage girls from ‘All that Stands in The Way’ together in New York City with two other girls, for a unique debate on gender inequality. The group, which includes girls from London, Lesotho and Iceland meet media star Tina Brown and delegates at the Women in the World summit, for a conversation ranging from everyday sexism to the problems of balancing traditional attitudes with modern ambitions.

All That Stands In The Way - The Girls2014052020140521 (WS)
20140524 (WS)

The four teenage girls from the BBC World Service programme All That Stands In The Way, meet for the very first time. Lulu from London, Shoeshoe from Lesotho, Vigdis from Iceland and Mira from Jordan discuss their reaction to seeing each other’s lives and experiences depicted on the BBC. What has made them question their choices and freedoms and how do they see gender equality as they stand on the threshold of adulthood?

(Photo: From top-left clockwise, Shoeshoe from Lesotho, Vigdis from Iceland and Mira from Jordan and Lulu from London)

Four teenage girls, who featured in the BBC World Service programme ""All that Stands in...

Four teenage girls, who featured in the BBC World Service programme ""All that Stands in the Way"", meet for the first time.

All That Stands In The Way - The Parents2014052120140522 (WS)
20140524 (WS)

The parents of four teenage girls in the BBC World Service programme All That Stands In The Way, meet and talk for the first time. What did they think of the freedoms and limits to each girl’s life and has the documentary made them reconsider their views on trust, discipline, relationships and fashion. As their children reach adulthood and independence what do they think of gender equality and their daughter’s chance in the modern world?

The parents of the four teenage girls from the BBC's ""All That Stands in the Way"" meet...

The parents of the four teenage girls from the BBC's ""All That Stands in the Way"" meet and discuss their daughters' experiences.

Amar: Alone In The World2019052520190526 (WS)

He was known as “the little boy who lost everything”. In 1991, Amar Kanim’s disfigured face was shown on newspaper front pages around the world, an innocent young victim of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime. His entire family, it was reported, had died in a napalm attack. The British politician Emma Nicholson found him “alone in the world” during a visit to an aid camp. She took him to the UK. He was, the world assumed, an orphan.

Amar’s story unfolded, captured by TV cameras - a new life.

But no-one has told Zahra’s story. Zahra is a mother. She had to bury a daughter, killed in that napalm attack. Her son is also missing. But without his body, she held on to a desperate hope he might still be alive. Despite displacement and losing another son, she pressed her government, charities and the media for over 30 years to help find him, without success. Her brothers told her to give up. She says at points she lost her mind.

Then one day, clutching a picture of the missing boy, she sees a television crew. She interrupts their live TV report to share her story. This generates appeals on social media and a message is sent to Amar who is living alone, unemployed, in south-west England. BBC news correspondent Jon Kay joins Zahra and Amar as they search for the truth – to find out if they are really the missing mother and son they have each yearned for over three decades.

(Photo: Amar Kanim looking over the Iraqi landscape)

Amar was orphaned in an Iraqi bombing so who is the woman claiming he is her son?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Amerasians - Children Of The Dust20150819

Trista Goldberg looks at the story of Vietnamese Amerasians - children fathered by Amer.

The unique story of Vietnamese Amerasians is shaped by hardship, rejection and courage. Born of relationships between Vietnamese women and American servicemen during the Vietnam War, many were simply abandoned and left to fend for themselves when the conflict ended by mothers fearful of retaliation from a victorious Communist government. A great number were lost to illness and malnutrition in those challenging post-war years and those who survived were widely ostracized by a society still coming to terms with the war.

Trista Goldberg was one of a minority who managed to escape the country as a baby and was raised by an adopted family in the U.S. In both America and Vietnam she discovers how Amerasians have survived in the forty years since the end of the war.

(Photo Credit:Trista Goldberg)

America's Child Brides2019092920191002 (WS)

A tense debate is taking place in states across America. At what age should someone be allowed to marry? Currently in 48 out of 50 states a child can marry, usually with parental consent or a judge's discretion. In 17 states there is no minimum age, meaning in theory, a two year old could marry. But there is a campaign to change the law and raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 without exceptions across all American states. But changing the laws state by state is not as easy as one may think. There is resistance and raising the minimum age to 18 has often been blocked by legislators.

Jane O'Brien speaks to child brides, the campaigners pushing to make it illegal, and the people who say that the laws do not need to change.

Presenter/Reporter: Jane O’Brien
Producer: Rajeev Gupta

(Photo: Unchained at Last protesters campaign against child marriage in Boston. Credit Susan Landmann)

In America children can get married legally in most states. Jane O'Brien investigates.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

America's Friends2019042420190425 (WS)

From a US president who is turning the world upside down – with a relish for dismantling global agreements – the message is clear: it’s America first. But where does that leave old European allies? Few expect the transatlantic relationship to go back to where it was before Trump. Europe, says Angela Merkel, now has to shape its own destiny.

James Naughtie explores the uncertain future for America's friends.

(Photo: G7 leaders meet in Italy 2017. Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

What the Trump presidency means for America's old European allies.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

America's Independent Voters2016062820160702 (WS)
20160703 (WS)

What motivates Ohio's volatile 'independent' voters who are not Democrats or Republicans?

America is in the middle of its most volatile presidential election season in half a century. The traditional political parties are being shaken to the core by voters who are not necessarily Democrats or Republicans, so called 'independent' voters. So far independents have led to the polarising figure of Donald Trump gaining the Republican nomination and the unlikely figure of Bernie Sanders leading a serious challenge to the Democrats', HIllary Clinton.

What might the independents do next?

Michael Goldfarb travels to the key state of Ohio - a state that has voted for every presidential winner over the last 50 years - to meet with independent voters. He explores the anger that is motivating independents this year. He places their views in the deeper historical context of changes in American society - changes that have hit Ohio hard.

(Photo: Voters go to the polls for the Ohio primary at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer March 15, 2016 in Cincinnati. Credit: ohn Sommers II/Getty Images)

An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth20140101

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in Space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, been confronted by a live snake while piloting a plane, been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft, and became a YouTube sensation with his performance of David Bowie's Space Oddity in space.

The secret to Chris Hadfield's success and survival is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA - prepare for the worst, and enjoy every moment of it.

Read by Garrick Hagon.

An Eton Experience20160309

Each year some of the poorest pupils in the country enter the hallowed corridors of Eton on full scholarships. Penny Marshall meets some of those applying for places and follows them and those they inspire as they prepare for exams that could change the course of their lives.

Andrew Isama reflects on the move from one of Liverpool’s toughest comprehensives to the cobbled square, 15th century chapel and Olympic rowing lake at Eton. He says that preconceptions about the school get turned on their head when scholarship pupils like him arrive. Far from being with boys who eat pate and listen to classical music he was surprised to find out just how normal his fellow pupils were: “People had the same interests as me. ?

The Headmaster at Eton, Simon Henderson, wants more bursaries for boys from disadvantaged backgrounds, so that anyone with the necessary talent can be financially supported at the £35,000-a-year school. Penny joins him and some of the pupils to find out what they hope to gain from the experience. The transition can be a difficult one and some struggle with the move to an institution which has educated 19 British prime ministers, including the present incumbent.

But Andrew Isama believes that the influx of scholarship pupils like him also helps those who have come from privileged backgrounds - “A lot of them have never been exposed to anything else. They want to be successful but to do that they have to know how to get on with a range of people. ?

(Photo: Scholars at Eton College have lunch in their house dining room. Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Image)

Each year some of the poorest pupils in Britain enter Eton school on full scholarships

An Interview With Edward Snowden20151010

After three months Peter Taylor managed to secure an interview with Edward Snowden, the US national security whistle blower. He was eventually told to send an SMS with the number of his Moscow hotel room and wait for a knock on the door. The knock, to his relief, came on time. Snowden was offered asylum in Russia two years ago. He says he has been in negotiation with the American authorities and is prepared to go to jail, but expresses no regret for revealing to journalists details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence and their British counterparts. He denies that he is a traitor and asks who has caused more damage – himself or those conducting what he says were unlawful programs. The US Justice Department has filed criminal charges against Snowden, accusing him of espionage and theft of government property.

(Photo: Edward Snowden. Credit: Reuters)

Argentina’s Playlist For Freedom2014092320140924 (WS)

Natalio Cosoy of BBC Mundo, reports on his 30-something generation growing up in the shadow of the violence of military rule in the 1970s and 1980s. He talks to musicians, friends and the half-brothers whose left-wing militant parents were killed by the military. It is a story of survival and the music that helped them and the country forge a new Argentine identity.

Argentina’s Rock and Roll: Natalio Cosoy reports on his generation growing up in the sh...

Argentina’s Rock and Roll: Natalio Cosoy reports on his generation growing up in the shadow of military rule.

At The End Of Death Row2014072220140723 (WS)

Following recent botched executions, what is the future of the death penalty in the US?

Following recent botched executions in several states, Rajini Vaidyanathan asks whether the future of the death penalty in the US is itself now in question. She travels to Tennessee to investigate how the case of one death row inmate started a legal process which has created a severe shortage of drugs for lethal injections – making the death penalty more difficult, expensive and legally complex to carry out across the country.

What might come next if the drug shortage becomes worse? Tennessee state legislators recently passed a bill replacing lethal injection with the electric chair if drugs cannot be found, while other states have moved to hide their suppliers and diversify their supplies.

Rajini also speaks to death penalty supporters, and a new breed of opponents, about how they are trying to change the political debate around the death penalty. Is it possible that the United States could give up on the death penalty?

(Photo: The gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Credit: AP)

Atlantic Crossing2014083020140831 (WS)

Air traffic controllers have guided trans-Atlantic flights since 1919

When Christine Finn's in-flight entertainment was accidentally tuned to cockpit radio on a transatlantic flight, the voice of air traffic control as they reached Irish airspace seemed to be welcoming her as well as the pilot.

As a creative archaeologist, she wanted to unravel the connections between those who fly the Atlantic and those who guide them safely over, especially when she discovered that datalink - effectively text messaging - is increasingly being used, so that voice communication is on the wane.

Listening to archive of transatlantic flights from the first by Alcock and Brown in 1919, Christine discovered that the west coast of Ireland looms large in the history. She visited Shannon airport in County Clare, scene of many departures and reunions and - in the 1950s and 1960s - before the advent of the jet engine, a stop-over for most of the popular icons of the day as their planes re-fuelled after the 3000 mile flight. Every US president since JFK has visited Shannon and many of its classic stars from Marilyn Monroe to Fred Astaire.

And at the North Atlantic Communications Centre in nearby Ballygirreen, Christine met the faces behind the voices she heard coming out of the dark on her own Atlantic Crossing.

Picture: Shannon Airport, 1950. Credit: Clarke/Fox Photos/Getty Images

Atom Man20170131

Former US Defence Secretary William Perry argues that the world is risking sleepwalking into nuclear war.

Aymara And The Ants20171004

Argentina’s women have had enough. They’ve taken to the streets. Now it’s time for office.

All over the world women hold families together, work hard all hours of the day and have little power to change their lives for the better. To make that happen they need to organise. In a small corner of the Buenos Aires district of Argentina one woman has achieved something remarkable by doing just that.

Aymara Val has been working with her neighbours to change their living conditions for eight years. The women have fought for sewage and water systems in a community where a truck is the normal source of water. They are starting cooperative businesses to create steady and liveable incomes for themselves. They meet every week to discuss the challenges they face as women in a sexist and macho society. They march to demand the government stop the onslaught of femicides and gender-based violence. And now they’re showing up at the ballot box with a new party and a chance to make new policies and change their world.
Argentinians call it ‘ant work.’ When ants work together they are invincible.
Presented by Zoe Sullivan, as part of the 100 Women season.

(Photo: Protest in front of the Lomas de Zamora City Hall)

All over the word women hold families together, work hard all hours of the day and have little power to change their lives for the better. To make that happen they need to organise. In a small corner of the Buenos Aires district of Argentina one woman has achieved something remarkable by doing just that.

Bangalore's New Beat2014053120140601 (WS)

How young India is expressing itself in the rise in independent music and festivals

Bobby Friction traces how young people in India are expressing themselves through music and the massive rise in independent music and festivals. Recorded on location at NH7 in Bangalore, India’s Glastonbury.

Indian culture is changing rapidly and with the rise of a young middle class population who are having a new voice, disposable income and want a say in their futures, changes in music culture are reflecting this. They are moving away from their parents’ perspective - a culture where Bollywood music dominates. They are moving away too from Western dominated music to create something fresh. India has seen a massive rise in home grown rock, indie, electronica and even reggae, fusing Indian music with Western influences. We ask if these changes have caused tensions between the generations.

British DJ Bobby Friction, who regularly plays at India’s clubs and at festivals speaks to musicians, music producers, festival goers and organisers, to find out how the youth movement is reflecting cultural changes in India. With the narrative of Bangalore’s NH7 Festival as the back-drop, Bobby sees a buoyant and confident new sector of India’s youth who are expressing themselves as independent global citizens.

Interviews include NH7 founders Vijay Nair and Stephen Budd (the man behind Africa Express) who wanted to alter the idea of only having the likes of Sting and Simply Red visiting India. We also speak to Indian superstar Kailash Kher, Indian electronica band Shaa’ir and Func and music producer Miti Adhikari.

Picture: Bobby Friction at NH7

Bank Account Bans2015081120150815 (WS)

Why has one of the world’s largest banks, HSBC, closed the accounts of a number of British Muslim individuals and charities? The account holders were told only that the bank did not have the ""risk appetite ? to handle their money.

Could the mysterious closure of these accounts have anything to do with the links some of their holders have to the Muslim Brotherhood movement or to charities working in Gaza? Did any government influence the bank’s decision?

Journalist Peter Oborne knows some of the account holders affected. In this programme he investigates why the HSBC decided it no longer wanted them as customers.

(Image: Peter Oborne)

Why did HSBC close the accounts of a number of British Muslim individuals and charities?

Batman And Ethan2016031520160316 (WS)
20160319 (WS)

The 10-year-old blind boy and gifted musician, learning echolocation from Daniel Kish

Ethan was born blind. He is now a 10-year-old boy who collects sounds on his 51 dictaphones, composes music, and performs on stage in concerts. Until now he has been home-schooled, but last year he was offered a place at St Mary's Music School in Scotland - one of the best in the country. The problem is he struggles to get around.

This is where Batman comes in. His real name is Daniel Kish and like Ethan he is blind. He is a master of echolocation. He makes clicking noises - like a bat - to build a picture of the world around him. Neuroscientists have done experiments on him and found that he has managed to activate the visual part of his brain. He has taught people all over the world to ""see through sound"" and he is so good at it that he goes hiking, cycling and rock-climbing.

Batman"" (Daniel) comes to Scotland to spend 10 days with Ethan, to teach him echolocation and help him prepare for his new school. The BBC's Helena Merriman follows Ethan's progress as he learns from Daniel Kish. Listeners are introduced to the principles of echolocation, they follow Ethan practising at home, on the train and at his new school. They are brought into Ethan's world, through music composed specially by Ethan, and they are with him on his birthday, on long walks in the Scottish hills, right through to his experience at school.

We follow Ethan up to his final day of term to find out how he has done, and see how he copes with his biggest challenge yet - playing an accordion solo with the orchestra at the school concert.

*This programme was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4*

(Photo: Ethan (left) and (right) Daniel Kish)

Bbc School Report: Destination Hamburg20160310

Hamburg now has 39,000 refugees living in and around the city. The city's government expects that figure to double by the end of this year. The influx of people is the topic of conversation in the city, and one which is followed by all ages. Each year the BBC recruits young people to tell the stories of interest to their community. This year we have a special documentary made by the students of Helene-Lange Gymnasium, a bi-lingual secondary school, in Hamburg. They chose to investigate how Migration was changing their home town. For BBC News School Report, School Reporter Cathleen, who is 15, takes us on a tour of her city to meet politicians, townspeople and the new migrants as they make Hamburg home.

(Photo: Christoph Barthe, AfD Chairman in Eimsbuettel, Hamburg with his students and two school reporters from Helene-Lange Gymnasium. Credit: BBC)

Beats, Rhymes And Justice: Hip Hop On Rikers Island20170917

MC and producer Ryan Burvick takes us behind bars as inmates learn to rap on Rikers Island, New York’s notorious jail.

MC and producer Ryan Burvick takes us behind bars on Rikers Island, New York’s largest and troubled Jail. He leads a music production programme there called Beats, Rhymes and Justice, which helps inmates write rhymes, make music and imagine their future off the island in a different light.

We hear from three of its students, all aged between 18-21 and awaiting trial. Ayosay has been on Rikers for five months. He’s an experienced rapper from New York who dreams of making it in hip hop. Trigger is working on two tracks that express his desire to make a better life for his four-year-old daughter. Suave, a former student from the Beats, Rhymes and Justice programme, has recently been released after spending over two years in jail and is trying to adapt to life at home with his mother in the Bronx. We hear these student making music in Ryan’s portable studio on Rikers.

Rikers Island is located on an island in the East River, between the Bronx and Queens. Around 8,000 people are incarcerated there, across multiple complexes. Rikers’ has a long history of violence. Earlier this year Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to close the jail, with the council calling it “a stain on our city’s great reputation. ?

The Beats, Rhymes and Justice programme, organised by Columbia University’s Centre for Justice, is one of many attempts to reform the jail. Ryan and the team from Columbia University use hip hop to take the inmates out of their cells and their immediate surroundings, to encourage self-expression and to give them hope.

(Photo: L-R, Darnell Hannon, Ryan Burvick and Cameron Rasmussen who lead the Beats, Rhymes and Justice programme on Rikers Island. Credit: Jason Bergman)

Beats, Rhymes And Justice: Hip Hop On Rikers Island20170920

Behind the bars of New York’s notorious jail, Rikers Island, inmates are learning to rap

MC and producer Ryan Burvick takes us behind bars on Rikers Island, New York’s largest and troubled Jail. He leads a music production programme there called Beats, Rhymes and Justice, which helps inmates write rhymes, make music and imagine their future off the island in a different light.

We hear from three of its students, all aged between 18-21 and awaiting trial. Ayosay has been on Rikers for five months. He’s an experienced rapper from New York who dreams of making it in hip hop. Trigger is working on two tracks that express his desire to make a better life for his four-year-old daughter. Suave, a former student from the Beats, Rhymes and Justice programme, has recently been released after spending over two years in jail and is trying to adapt to life at home with his mother in the Bronx. We hear these student making music in Ryan’s portable studio on Rikers.

Rikers Island is located on an island in the East River, between the Bronx and Queens. Around 8,000 people are incarcerated there, across multiple complexes. Rikers’ has a long history of violence. Earlier this year Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to close the jail, with the council calling it “a stain on our city’s great reputation. ?

The Beats, Rhymes and Justice programme, organised by Columbia University’s Centre for Justice, is one of many attempts to reform the jail. Ryan and the team from Columbia University use hip hop to take the inmates out of their cells and their immediate surroundings, to encourage self-expression and to give them hope.

(Photo: L-R, Darnell Hannon, Ryan Burvick and Cameron Rasmussen who lead the Beats, Rhymes and Justice programme on Rikers Island. Credit: Jason Bergman)

Behind The Hong Kong Protests2020031520200319 (WS)
20200318 (WS)

What motivated the demonstrators on the city’s streets – and their opponents? It all began as a peace movement to block a piece of legislation. Millions of people came out onto public spaces calling for greater democracy. Protests have ended in violence between protesters and the police. Thousands have been arrested.

Laura Westbrook travels to her birthplace to find out what’s behind the protests, which are now continuing on a smaller scale because of the outbreak of coronavirus. She finds a city which is divided: protesters who are willing to die for freedom: a former police officer who has switched sides: and an entrepreneur who supports the police and is suffering online abuse for her views.

(Photo: Anti-government protester during clashes with the police outside the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. Credit: Thomas Peter/Reuters)

What's motivating the demonstrators on the city's streets \u2013 and their opponents?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Being Bisexual20170801

Openly bisexual journalist Nichi Hodgson explores what it means to be bisexual.

More and more people are identifying as bisexual yet bi-phobia is rife and the world's media remains guilty of regular bi-erasure. Journalist and writer Nichi Hodgson who is openly bisexual herself, examines what it is like to be bisexual for both men and women in different parts of the world.

In the 1950s, the Kinsey scale suggested sexuality for many people was not necessarily 100% heterosexual or homosexual, yet understanding of bisexuality among the media and the wider public is still largely unchanged.

As we hear bisexuality can mean different things. There are people who identify more straight or gay but still feel bisexual. Others who feel completely 50:50 and others for whom sexuality is fluid and has shifted hugely over time.

Nichi will reflect on how bisexual men and women are often treated differently and ask if it is more difficult to be a bi man than a bi woman? And she hears how misunderstandings about what being bisexual means often leads to prejudice from both the straight and gay communities.

We head to the world’s first bisexual themed Pride event in Tel Aviv, hear what it is like to be bisexual in Iran and find out how activists are trying to develop safe spaces for bisexual people in South Africa.

As part of the programme Nichi will also challenge her own mother about her perception of her daughter’s sexuality.

(Photo: Kite in the shape of a sailing ship displays LGBT rainbow colours)

Betty In The Sky With A Suitcase2013101520131016 (WS)
20131019 (WS)
20131020 (WS)

Insight into the airline industry with air hostess Betty Thesky

“Anything that can happen on earth, at some point happens in the sky. ?

Betty Thesky (not her real name) has worked as a flight attendant for the past 25 years. It was always her dream job, as the ‘golden ticket’ of free flight allowed her to escape her humble beginnings in Pennsylvania and see the world in style. She’s lost count of the number of countries she’s visited, but she’s lost none of the wide-eyed wonder that originally fuelled her desire to travel.

An average day at work can see her meeting and greeting nearly 1,000 people, all travelling for different reasons, and all with different needs, wants and personalities. On the whole, she finds people a delight – but despairs when someone will interrupt an on-board medical emergency to ask her for a diet coke or an extra pat of butter.

But what’s it really like to travel so far, so often? Does the glamour of Paris fade after your 20th visit? How do you spend your leisure time in Dublin when you only have five hours free? Can you really get to know a place when you’re picked up from the airport, ferried to an anonymous hotel, and then whisked back to the airport the next morning?

Betty’s industry has changed too. Flight attendants are trained more in sales now than in service. Passengers, in turn, have become somewhat immune to the ‘miracle’ of flight – and act and dress accordingly. Betty misses the ‘golden era’ of airline travel, when becoming a stewardess was a true aspiration.

Yet despite the often mundane routine, and in spite of everything the passengers throw at her, Betty insists that she never entirely feels at home unless she’s 35,000 feet in the air.

In “Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase ?, we join Betty as she travels to London, Brussels and Barcelona.

Air hostess Betty Thesky shares the weird, wonderful, and wacky things that happen on a...

Air hostess Betty Thesky shares the weird, wonderful, and wacky things that happen on a plane at 35,000 feet.

Beyond Binary2016042420160427 (WS)
20160428 (WS)

Stories from people who identify as ‘non-binary’ – not male, not female

In communities around the globe, non-binary people are rejecting the categories of ‘male’ and ‘female’, and attempting to redefine gender identity. Queer, gender-queer, gender-fluid, gender-variant, third gender – these are all terms non-binary people use to describe themselves.

In Beyond Binary, for the Identity Season on the BBC World Service, Linda Pressly hears stories from activists who are part of this contemporary movement, and from those simply trying to live free from the constraints of the expectations of gender. And she travels to Thailand and Canada to find out more about gender non-conformers in ancient cultures.

Beyond The Pitch20170107

Farayi Mungazi hears dramatic, funny and poignant tales exploring how Africa’s football and politics are bedfellows.

Black Girls Don't Swim2019080620190807 (WS)
20190810 (WS)

Seren Jones swam competitively for 13 years in the UK and in the US collegiate system. But in that time she only ever saw six other black girls in the pool. Why so few? A survey published by the University of Memphis and USA Swimming found that black respondents were significantly more concerned about getting their hair wet, and about the negative impact of chemicals on their appearances, than white respondents.

Seren explores whether maintaining ‘good’ hair really is the leading factor behind why black women do not take part in competitive swimming. And what, if anything, is being done about it?

(Photo: Members of Howard University women's team relax in an ice bath after swimming practise Credit: Noelle Singleton)

Does maintaining good hair stop black girls from getting into the water?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

(Photo: Members of Howard University women's team relax in an ice bath after swimming practise Credit: Noelle Singleton)

Black Lives Matter: The Story Of A Slogan2016013120160203 (WS)

Can the Black Lives Matter movement change America?

Can the Black Lives Matter movement change America? It has become a familiar pattern over the last 18 months, in cities across the United States. An African-American is killed by police. News crews descend on the city. Protests break out - occasionally leading to arrests, or riots. And online, one phrase trends - 'Black Lives Matter'.

The slogan was coined after a jury acquitted a Florida neighbourhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, of the murder of black teenager Treyvon Martin. It was a polarising decision, and young activists were so upset about the verdict that their heartfelt Facebook posts and tweets became the basis of a grassroots movement. But it was events in Ferguson, Missouri which turned those words into a worldwide rallying cry.

Activists poured in to protest the shooting death of Mike Brown. The events of one day in August 2014 are among the most disputed in recent American history. A federal investigation found no grounds to press charges against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown, but many people refuse to accept its conclusions, and a separate report did find systemic abuse of the civil rights of black people by local police. Mike Brown’s father tells us he’s heartened by the reaction to his son’s death hopeful that his son’s death will lead to change in America.

Although the protests in Ferguson led to violence - both police and protesters point the finger at the other side for causing it - it also thrust the slogan 'Black Lives Matter' into the spotlight. Activists returned to their home towns with a renewed sense of purpose. The movement has picked up steam with every report of a police shooting, or death in police custody, and many are trying to broaden the agenda to include education, economics, and politics – all of which, they say, are affected by the lingering effects of slavery and racism in America today.

It’s often been controversial – many are opposed to the movement, and they have their own hash tags: 'All Lives Matter' and the pro-police 'BlueLivesMatter'. Some law enforcement officials blame the movement for what’s called the “Ferguson effect ? – where cops are holding back for fear of being accused of being racist. They say it’s hurting their ability to fight crime.

Within the movement itself, there are broad areas of consensus but also disagreements about tactics and goals. Some believe in working within the political system – raising money, meeting with police and politicians and devoting energy to conventional politics. Others believe the activism should stay staunchly outside the system, and concentrate on community organising, confrontational protest and civil disobedience.

Mukul Devichand and Mike Wendling have been traveling around the United States, talking to Black Lives Matter activists, the parents of young black men shot by police, civil rights elders like the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and police officials. In an election year that will be crucial to the country’s future, can Black Lives Matter change America?

(Photo: People march at a Black Lives Matter protest on Black Friday in Seattle, Washington, 2015. Credit: Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images)

Black, White And Beethoven20160615

Why is the UK's classical music scene so resolutely white, and how might it evolve?

Britain's music scene today is a rich, multi-cultural feast that draws on talent from all corners of society. Unless, that is, your passion is classical music. In Britain, and across Europe, performers, composers, teachers and institutions remain resolutely, predominantly white.

Why should this be, and is this a concern? Many believe steps to redress this imbalance are now long overdue, and that urgent action is required. But what should these actions be, and would they be successful?

Chi-chi Nwanoku and members of her Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first professional Black and Minority Ethnic orchestra, talk about their lives in classical music. We also hear from other Black classical musicians about the circumstances of their work.

Joseph Harker explores these issues - taking stock of where we are, and exploring some ideas that could help classical music to engage and reflect the full diversity of contemporary society.

(Photo: Members of the BBC Symphony Chorus perform during the last night of the Proms at The Royal Albert Hall, 12 Sept 2015. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

Blasian Love2020021120200212 (WS)
20200215 (WS)

Ithra and Tumelo have the world at their feet. Both 24, both in the last year of medical school, both from loving families, and in love. Ithra is Asian and Tumelo black, and both are born in post-apartheid South Africa (part of the Born Free generation). But is love enough to keep them together as they prepare to introduce their families to each other for the first time?

Very few countries have lived through a more divided and racist history than South Africa.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994 interracial marriages between black and white people in the country has increased by threefold. Now new data obtained exclusively by the BBC shows that love between black and Asian South Africans is also on the rise.

We follow three Blasian (black and Asian) South African couples, at various stages of relationships, to see if this new generation can heal the wounds of a painful and tumultuous political history that pitted their ethnicities against each other.

Presenter: Megha Mohan
Producer: Kevyah Cardoso

(Photo: Ithra and Tumelo)

Relationships between black and Asian origin South Africans

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Bob Dylan - In So Many Words2016121120161214 (WS)

The lyrics of the 2016 Nobel Literature Prize winner

Marco Werman explores what makes the lyrics of Bob Dylan worthy of a Nobel Prize?

In typical mercurial fashion, Bob Dylan has turned down the offer to go to Sweden this week to pick up his Nobel Prize for Literature. Instead a speech he has written will be read out and Patti Smith will perform in his stead.

Marco Werman speaks to people who know Dylan, have worked with him and to those who have simply observed his topsy-turvy career to find out why the musician’s lyrics have such resonance.

Why has Dylan become the first songwriter to win such a prestigious award?

Writers deconstruct the verse of some of the most famous songs that have become worldwide soundtracks and discuss whether Dylan is a poet following the grand tradition.

Contributors include Pulitzer Prize winning poet and literature professor Rae Armantrout, Richard Thomas, Classics professor at Harvard University, the Lebanese American novelist Rabih Alemeddine, and Dylan authors Howard Sounes and Sid Griffin.

(Photo: US legend Bob Dylan performs on stage at a music festival in Carhaix-Plouguer, western France. Credit Getty Images)

Bombay Jazz2014070920140710 (WS)
20140712 (WS)

Sarfraz Manzoor explores a fascinating period of music history in India when American violinist Leon Abbey brought his jazz band to Bombay in the 1930's, leaving behind an incredible legacy.

The early years of jazz calls to mind places such as New Orleans, Chicago and Paris. What is often overlooked is that the Indian city of Bombay, now Mumbai, had its very own thriving jazz scene in the 1930's that lasted three decades.

Manzoor charts the extraordinary story of jazz in India when some of the world's most accomplished musicians including Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong brought their talents to the east and mixed with performers such as Chic Chocolate, Micky Correa, Teddy Weatherford and Frank Fernand - all regarded in India today as jazz legends. This cultural exchange produced music that wove threads into Bombay's story. These threads would later become inextricably a part of the city's own definitive creation - Bollywood, and its music in particular.

Manzoor travels to Mumbai to visit Naresh Fernandes author of the critically acclaimed book The Taj Mahal Foxtrot. He meets with musicians and singers, the widow of Micky Correa and the daughters of Chic Chocolate and explores the development of jazz with saxophonist Braz Gonsalves, the first man to play Be-Bop in India. His journey ends in Goa, now regarded as the new 'jazz capital of India' by music promoter Colin D'Cruz.

(Photo: Leon Abbey and his band. From Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay's Jazz Age, courtesy of Roli Books)

Sarfraz Manzoor explores a fascinating period of music history, when a thriving jazz sc...

Sarfraz Manzoor explores a fascinating period of music history, when a thriving jazz scene grew in Bombay in the 1930s.

Boy For Rent2014011120140112 (WS)

Exploring the surprisingly professional world of male sex workers in London.

Prostitution is regarded as the world’s oldest profession – one that has traditionally been the domain of women. Today, it is common to also find men selling sexual services - particularly gay men - and rather than a job they have been forced into, for many it is viewed as a legitimate career choice.

As both a leading financial centre and tourist destination, London is seen by many male escorts as the number one place to ply their trade. BBC reporter Mobeen Azhar meets up with men from countries such as Brazil, France and Australia, who have come to the city to cash-in on the high demand for their services.

He discovers a surprisingly professional world where escorts, as they prefer to be known, talk about their ‘brand’ and their role as ‘service providers’ - business savvy which can earn them thousands of dollars a week. He also meets men who use their services, asking why in an age where sex is seemingly so freely available, do they feel the need to pay for it?

While the internet has modernised the old ‘rent boy’ scene where young men would solicit on the streets - making the job significantly safer - escorts still face risks such as sexually transmitted diseases, violent clients and the potential battle with personal demons over what their job entails. The programme also speaks to men who are caught in a cycle of selling sex to fund their drug addiction - an addiction which began in order to cope with the self-loathing which came from selling sex for a living.

However, sexual health charities explain how these negative experiences are not typical for most of the male sex workers in London – the majority are in control, calling the shots, and selling sex out of personal choice. But while many of these young men are content with their career – proud, even - is society ready to accept them? Or will the stigma of selling sex for a living still remain for years to come?

Reporter: Mobeen Azhar

Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith

Brazil: Confronting The Past20140325

Fifty years after the coup, Brazil is dealing with the legacy of its long dictatorship.

Singer and reporter Monica Vasconcelos returns to her native Brazil as the country faces up to its dark past, fifty years after the military coup and ensuing dictatorship. Her journey was prompted by the novel 'K' by Brazilian writer Bernardo Kucinski. The book is about the disappearance of his late sister who was tortured and killed by the dictatorship. And what about Monica's own family's past? For the first time, she now asks her father questions about the years of repression. But why is he still afraid, even now?

Monica also meets some of the people who are now tackling the legacy of the dictatorship. People like the psychoanalyst who runs therapy sessions for victims of torture; the head of the Sao Paulo Truth Commission; a member of a group of activists who go and 'out' former agents of the repression, by telling their neighbours about their past.

Thanks to an amnesty law from 1979, no one has gone to prison for the human rights abuses committed during the dark years. And not everyone thinks the dictatorship was wrong. Monica goes and meets a Brigadier General who defends the coup as a legitimate way to stop Communism during the Cold War. Killings and torture were necessary methods to ""eliminate the enemy"" and win this war, he says.

Presenter: Monica Vasconcelos

Producer: Arlene Gregorius

The book 'K' by Bernardo Kucinski is published in English by the Latin America Bureau, translated by Sue Branford.

The song 'Aparecida', composed by Ivan Lins with lyrics by Mauricio Tapajos, is performed by Monica Vasconcelos. Guitar by Swami Jr. Translation of the lyrics by David Treece.

Other music by Heitor Villa-Lobos, performed by pianist Clelia Iruzun.

Breaking News20170314

The media in the United States is broken. Most journalists and media organisations dismissed the possibility of Trump Presidency. Many backed Hillary Clinton to win. It has left them in a precarious position with serious questions about their credibility, fuelled by the President and his inner circle who have branded them ‘enemies of the state’. Kyle Pope, Editor of the Columbia Journalism Review asks how the media should respond to a hostile administration and more importantly how can they gain the trust of the vast numbers of people who think they are hopelessly biased.

(Image: US President Donald Trump takes questions from reporters. Credit:REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

How should the media report on Donald Trump?

Brexit By Interrail20161112

What deal will the EU offer Britain as it departs?

What kind of deal will the EU offer Britain as it departs? Politics professor Anand Menon investigates by hitting the rail tracks to visit four European nations facing elections over the next year. He followed the Interrail route - the discount train ticket allowing young people unlimited train travel across the continent for a set period.

While British ministers squabble over what they want for a post-Brexit UK, little attention is paid to the other 27 countries in the negotiations. Each can veto any long-term deal between Britain and the European Union. And each, critically, has its own politics to worry about.

Professor Menon visits the Netherlands, France, Germany and the Czech Republic, all countries where politicians will face their electorates. What forces will decide their political survival? And how will those forces shape the EU's future relationship with the UK?

(Photo: Anand Menon on his Interrail trip across Europe. Credit: BBC)

British Music's Caribbean Roots2019120120191204 (WS)
20191205 (WS)

The Windrush generation have made a significant contribution to British black music for many generations - from grime to UK garage, to drum to jungle, to gospel to Lovers rock, from Roots and Dub to Ska, to Reggae and Calypso. Narrated by Young Warrior, the son of historic dub legend Jah Shaka, we explore the colourful roots of how British black music has entered the UK mainstream and how it is now embedded across many music genres.

With first-hand accounts from record producer, Dennis Bovell, DJ, David Rodigan, singer, Marla Brown (daughter of the late, great Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Emanuel Brown) and musician and son of Bob Marley, Julian Marley, we explore how Calypso and West Indian culture made huge inroads into the UK mainstream in the 1950s and signified the birth of British black music.

We look at the 1960s which saw Chris Blackwell, founder of Islands Records, bring Millie Small to Britain with My Boy Lollipop and the birth of Trojan records with the release of Do the Reggay by The Maytals in 1968, which was the first popular song to use the word ‘reggae’ and defined the developing genre by giving it its name. We also explore the music of the 1970s which saw the first major influx of British reggae with bands such as Aswad and Matumbi and hear about how Jamaican music began to influence British pop music with the rise of bands, such as The Specials and Madness.

(Photo: Young Warrior and Marla Brown. Credit: John-Offord)

The colourful roots of how British black music has entered the mainstream

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Burn Slush! The Reindeer Grand Prix2016122020161225 (WS)

Competitive reindeer-racing is a popular sport across the Arctic Circle. In Finland, the season runs from November to April and good jockeys are local celebrities. They need strong biceps and serious guts: strapped onto cross-country skis they're hauled behind reindeer at up to 60km/hour. Meanwhile, the animals are trained to peak fitness. Owners give their reindeer massages and whisper last minute instructions in their ears.

Cathy FitzGerald travels to the snowy north of Finland to find out more about the sport. She visits the little town of Inari, where the cappuccinos come with tiny antlers sketched in the foam and the local bar (PaPaNa, ‘The Reindeer Dropping’) serves pizza topped with bear salami. Each year, the top 24 fastest reindeer compete here to be crowned: The Reindeer King. They fly around a two-kilometre race track carved on the surface of icy Lake Inari to the cheers of hundreds of spectators.

There’s a social side to the competition, of course: a winter village grows up around the track, where herders can browse for cow-bells, snow-mobiles and fox-fur hats. And at night, there’s dancing under the northern lights at Hotel Kultahovi, where Eero Magga croons his big hit, ‘Poromiehen Suudelma’ – ‘The Reindeer Herder’s Kiss’ – to an appreciative reindeer-racing crowd.

Picture: Competitors and their reindeer set off across the snow, Credit: Kirsten Foster

Cameroon's Mma Champion2019110520191106 (WS)
20191109 (WS)

By the age of 10 Francis Ngannou was working in a sand quarry where he dreamed of becoming a world class boxer. As a young man he traversed the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea to find himself homeless in Paris. From there, within an extraordinarily short amount of time, he exploded through the ranks to the highest echelons of the fastest growing sport in the world, Mixed Martial Arts.

He is now a leading contender for heavy weight champion of the world and a global star. He returns to his village in western Cameroon where he is investing in the next generation. Zak Brophy travels to Cameroon to hear the story of his incredible life and his dreams of becoming a role model within his community.

(Photo: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon poses for a post fight portrait backstage during the UFC Fight Night 2019. Credit: Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

An epic odyssey from child labour in a sand quarry to superstardom in the UFC

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Can You Murder A Robot?2019031720190320 (WS)
20190321 (WS)

A couple of years ago a cute little robot was sent out to hitchhike, to prove how well humans and robots could get on. It was an exercise in trust, and it went very wrong. Hitchbot was found decapitated, slumped next to some bins in Philadelphia. The robot’s head has never been found. Neither has the “killer”.

Robots are machines, they are tools to help humans. But we seem unable to stop anthropomorphising them, and manifesting the worst of ourselves onto these machines we make ourselves, and increasingly in our likeness. We explore robot torture, and whether there is an ethical issue with harming a machine, other than damage to property. Does it display a lack of empathy in a person?

We also explore the flipside - robots designed to do our worst - in war.

There is a rising chorus of governments wanting to ban automated weapons or robots from the battlefield and we hear from the campaign to stop killer robots which argues that killing must never be automated.

That seems obvious but does putting humans in control actually raise questions of its own? We also meet Norman—a psychopathic robot—and hear about what happens if the brains behind machines (AI) go bad, thanks to human programming.

We meet a robotics maker who specialises in entertainment robots, but has been repeatedly asked to make assassins, and he explains how worrying the human robot relationship could be. We also take a resurrected Hitchbot for lunch, and ask what the robot’s story says about us all.

Presenter: Jane Wakefield

(Photo: Robot 'hitchBOT' holds a sign reading Neuschwanstein as he waits for a lift at the roadside in Munich. Credit: Sven Hoppe/ AFP)

Robots are designed to help us, so why do humans like to hurt them?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Candela: The Lives Of Cuban Women20161123

Five ordinary Cuban women on their lives, their passions and their struggles

From a Bolero concert to a cancer ward, and from the apartment of a guy who helps Cubans get foreign visas to an Afro-Cuban Santeria ceremony, reporter Deepa Fernandes finds out how ordinary Cuban women have lived, loved and invented their way through dwindling resources and political isolation.

Two decades ago reporter Deepa Fernandes spent a year in Havana. What she learned by living amongst Cubans ended up in an hour-long radio documentary for ABC Radio National. It was the stories of diverse Cuban women that delved deep into the life and culture of a largely unknown people.

Twenty years later Deepa Fernandes want back to find the women, and see how they, and Cuba, have progressed. Five of the women in the original documentary tell a rich and vibrant story of Cuba today, Cuba yesterday, and looks ahead to Cuba’s future.

(Photo: Norma Guillard)

Carols Of The Times2018122320181226 (WS)
20181227 (WS)

From the age of eight, Bob Chilcott sang with the world renowned King's College Choir in Cambridge. Every Christmas Eve the choir gather in the chapel to sing for a service that is known and loved across the globe. At 3pm a boy chorister steps forward to sing the opening verse of "Once in Royal David City" and so begins the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

To mark the centenary of this Christmas tradition, composer Bob Chilcott returns to King's College Chapel to explore the history of the service, to meet the people involved and to reflect on why this sequence of carols and readings has had such a major impact. He'll discover how the tradition bloomed from the smoke and ashes of World War I, how it spread throughout the world in broadcasts and publications and how it has developed through new pieces of music written for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols by great contemporary composers. The likes of Judith Weir, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Arvo Pärt and John Rutter have all contributed to this series of new carols, bringing this 100 year old Christmas tradition into the modern day.

(Photo: Kings College choir. Credit: Kings College Cambridge)

Composer Bob Chilcott explores the history of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Cassandro - Queen Of Lucha Libre2016020920160213 (WS)

Mexican wrestler Cassandro performs in drag and is challenging ideas of masculinity

Cassandro is no ordinary Mexican wrestler. He is an exotico - or drag queen - who wears long Liberace gowns, sequins and flamboyant make-up. Over an extraordinary 27-year-career, Cassandro has won two championship belts and pioneered the idea that a Mexican wrestler can be openly gay. At home, in the training ring, and backstage before his big fight, Cassandro takes us into a spectacular world of lucha libre and shines a fascinating light on Mexican culture and ideas about masculinity.

(Photo: Wrestler Cassandro wears a flamboyant dress. Credit: Arturo Lopez)

Cassini's Last Adventure20170822

The Cassini spacecraft will soon plunge to its death in Saturn’s toxic clouds

After twenty years in space, NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission is coming to an end. But it will go out with one big bang. Launched in 1997 on a billion-mile trek to Saturn, Cassini has transformed our knowledge of the planet, its rings and more than sixty moons. The spacecraft has discovered plumes of water on the moon Enceladus and the European Huygens lander has snapped images of Titan’s surface, revealing riverbeds, lakes and mountains carved by liquid methane. Both moons are possible candidates for life, maybe better candidates than Mars.

Cassini’s fuel light is flashing red and so to protect the moons from accidental contamination, a dramatic ‘grand finale’ has been planned. On 15 September 2017, Cassini will dive into the toxic clouds of Saturn, burning up to become a part of the gas giant itself. The data the spacecraft collects, as it descends to its death, will give new insights into Saturn’s atmosphere and many scientists are even looking forward to its demise.

In Cassini’s Last Adventure, space scientist Professor Lucie Green celebrates the spacecraft’s achievements and discovers how it has changed our views on where to find life elsewhere in the Universe.

Photo: One of the images of Saturn's rings, sent back by the Cassini spacecraft Credit: NASA/JPL

Cathedral Of The Fallen20170502

Giles Tremlett takes us on a journey to the The Valle de los Caidos, the monument at the heart of Spain’s tortured past.

Ceo Guru20130421

Chief executives talk about values, dreams and how to lead their companies to success

With China now becoming the world's second biggest economy, it increasingly looks as if Asia will be the place which will provide much of the impetus for global growth for many years to come. But as the centre of economic gravity begins to move from West to East, what impact will there be on the world of business? What new challenges will companies face? And how can business leaders ensure that they steer their enterprises in the right direction?

Steve Tappin is an author and management expert who coaches the chief executives of many huge businesses from China, Europe and other places around the world. In the BBC World Service documentary CEO Guru, Steve Tappin talks to a range of top chief executives about their values, their dreams and how they hope to lead their companies to success in the 21st century.

Contributors include Liu Chuanzhi, founder of the vast computer company Lenovo, and Sir Martin Sorrell of global advertising giant WPP.

(Image: Liu Chuanzhi, founder of the vast computer company Lenovo, Credit: AFP/Getty)

Steve Tappin talks to chief executives about their values, dreams and their future success

With China now becoming the world's second biggest economy it increasingly looks as if Asia will be the place which will provide much of the impetus for global growth for many years to come. As the centre of economic gravity begins to move from West to East, Steve Tappin examines the possible impacts on the world of business. He will look at the new challenges business leaders will face and how they can ensure that they steer their enterprises in the right direction.

Change In America2016110520161106 (WS)

How has the US changed since 2008? As the world chews its nails, waiting to see how the US election story ends, Lizzie O’Leary tries to do something a little different: looking at data to figure out how America is different now, in November 2016, from the country which elected its first black president eight years ago. Lizzie – from the US radio show Marketplace – is joined in New York City by the political analyst Amy Holmes, demographer Bill Frey and the journalist Meghan McArdle. She’s also armed with audiographs, illustrating some surprising data in sound.

Producer: Ben Crighton

Audiographs producer: Neal Razzell

Editor: Richard Knight

(Photo: Girl with Flag, Credit: ThinkStock)

Producers: Ben Crighton

Chaplains Of The Sea20170514

Mark Dowd reports on the extraordinary work of port chaplains helping the world's 1.5 million merchant seafarers.

Chaplains Of The Sea20170517

Port chaplains provide support to the world's 1.5 million merchant seafarers

Chasing West Africa's Pirates2014111520141116 (WS)

The highly complex world of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

There are now more pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea than off the coast of Somalia - once considered the global 'piracy hotspot'. The BBC’s Mary Harper travels to Lagos, one of the busiest ports in Africa, to explore what is a highly complex world of piracy.

She tells for the first time the story of seafarers who have been caught up in violent and highly-organised attacks, speaks to former militants who themselves committed acts of piracy and who are now controversially being employed, at a high cost, to tackle piracy and examines the economic cost to communities who depend on maritime trade.

(Photo: Oil tankers wait to go into Lagos harbour. Credit: Penny Dale)

Che Today20171003

50 years after his death, what would Che Guevara have thought of today’s Cuba? Will Grant talks to Che's children and friends.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. His face can still be seen all over Cuba. For the Cuban Government, he is a symbol of rebellion and revolution, an icon of socialism and sacrifice.

A doctor from Argentina, Guevara fought in the Cuban revolution and became a member of the government. But he left to spread socialist revolution first in the Congo, then in Bolivia where he was executed by a soldier on 9 October 1967.

The Cuba Guevara left behind has gone through big changes in recent years. Relations with the United States, what Che called the 'great enemy of mankind', have improved and private enterprise is on the rise. Has Che Guevara's legacy stood the test of time?

Will Grant, BBC's Cuba correspondent, meets Guevara's daughter Aleida, also a doctor, and his son Ernesto who runs a motorbike tour company taking tourists round the island to sites associated with his father. Men who fought and worked with Guevara talk about the future of the revolution. Is it in safe hands?

Young Cuban singer, Silvito Rodriguez, son of singer Silvio Rodriguez, left Cuba to live in Miami. But fashion blogger Migue Levya and the owners of design store Clandestina are determined to stay and create new opportunities. Five decades after his death, how important is El Che for young Cubans today?

(Photo: A poster of Revolutionary hero Che Guevara is seen next to the road a day after diplomatic talks to restore diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, 2015. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Chemsex2016032020160323 (WS)

The new sub-culture of sex and drugs that is growing amongst gay communities

A hedonistic party lifestyle is a cliché perhaps unfairly associated with the gay community for decades but in recent years a new, extreme sub-culture of sex and drugs has become a way of life for a growing minority of gay men.

The so-called chemsex scene involves an unholy trinity of drugs – Mephedrone, GHB/GBL and Crystal Meth – and together they can keep men awake for days. While ecstasy and cocaine have been used by clubbers for decades, these relatively new drugs are taken to enhance one thing in particular - sex.

Mobeen Azar travels to San Francisco - one of the first cities to see the ‘party and play’ scene emerge - and London, where chemsex is a relatively new phenomenon. He speaks frankly to men involved in the lifestyle, from young club kids to middle-aged professionals.

While chemsex drugs may enable men to push their sexual boundaries, they also lower inhibition and unprotected sex is common, making men vulnerable to life-changing infections such as HIV, Hepatitis and Syphilis. So how do you protect men who are unwilling to use condoms?

The programme investigates a new treatment which prevents the transmission of HIV. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis – or Prep – has proven highly effective yet controversial, with critics claiming it will encourage condom-less sex.

Chemsex is complex and not all men are victims. For some, ‘chems’ provide instant pleasure without boundaries. For others, they are a convenient escape from the reality of a world in which they feel rejected.

(Photo: A man holds a brown bottle)

Childish Gambino: This Is 20182018123020190102 (WS)
20190103 (WS)

In May 2018 the American actor and singer Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) released what has been described as “the most talked about music video in recent history”. The controversial video of This is America addresses the issues of gun violence, mass shootings, racism and discrimination in the US. It has been viewed more than four hundred million times on YouTube. It has also spawned covers of the song and, importantly, the video across the world which have also garnered millions of views.

Why and how did This is America become so popular across the globe? And why have artists in so many different countries taken the Childish Gambino song and created their own versions? For example, within three week of the original, the Nigerian rapper Falz released This is Nigeria, commenting on corruption and organised crime. His video has had 15 million views. The rapper I-NZ released his version called, This is Iraq, decrying the consequences of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

This programme examines the global impact of This is America, asking those who made their own versions why they did so and why they chose to focus on the themes they did.

Presenter: Ladan Osman
Producer: Monica Whitlock

(Photo: Childish Gambino performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images)

How and why Childish Gambino's This is America video echoed around the world in 2018

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Chimp Smuggling20170131

David Shukman exposes the illegal trade in baby chimpanzees, captured in Africa and exported as pets or to private zoos.

Chimp Smuggling20170201

The illegal trade in baby chimpanzees, exported as pets or to private zoos

The BBC exposes the illegal trade in baby chimpanzees, captured in Africa and exported to the Gulf or Asia as pets or for private zoos. Capturing a baby chimp means killing the parents and often other adult chimpanzees. The trade is starting to threaten chimp populations in the wild. Although they can be kept as pets as babies, adult chimps can be dangerous and so they are often killed once they are fully grown.

Reporter David Shukman infiltrates a smuggling ring based in Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast. For a cash payment he receives CITES certificates which would allow an unscrupulous buyer to get round the ban on the export of the animals. With the help of Interpol and the Ivorian police, David helps bust a smuggling ring centred on the infamous ""blue room"" where captured baby chimps are held. And he discovers the scale of this illegal trade which crosses several continents.

(Photo: A captured baby chimpanzee is freed during the police raid of an illegal wildlife smuggling ring)

Christmas With Melania2018122520181226 (WS)
20181229 (WS)

Melania Trump is the second foreign-born First Lady and Donald Trump’s third wife; an ex-model, 24 years his junior, who once posed pregnant in a gold bikini on the steps of her husband’s jet. It was modelling – for GQ, Sports Illustrated and others – that took Melania from small-town Slovenia to New York and her fateful first encounter with the future President. The most notable thing about Melania Trump as First Lady has so far been her absence. It took her five months to relocate from New York to the White House. Friends have described her as someone who likes to stay at home, who often retires early from events and who dislikes being the centre of attention. Some unkind commentators have speculated that she is a kind of hostage, shackled by marriage to Donald and a role in public life which she did not seek and does not enjoy. But others have claimed that far from being a victim of her husband’s success and inimitable style, she is a formidable force in her own right.

So who is Melania? What does she believe? And what might she do on the global stage which – however improbably, given her origins in far away Slovenia – she now shares with the President of the United States? Lizzie O’Leary hears from people who know and who follow one of the most recognisable women in the world.

(Photo: First lady Melania Trump attends the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington, DC. Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

A profile of US First Lady Melania Trump, one of the world's most recognisable women

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

City Of The Future20170103

Dealing with immigration, an exploding population, and a divide between rich and poor

How does Houston, Texas, a massive city, deal with the pressures of immigration, an exploding youth population and a widening divide between rich and poor? The answer could be critical to the future success of the US. Sociologists who have studied the city for decades believe that many US metropolitan areas could look like Houston in 30 years' time. Since the election of Donald Trump, these issues have become even more critical.

Catherine Carr travels to Texas to see how the city’s authorities and inhabitants are coping with the radical changes to Houston’s demographics and meets the pioneers attempting to intentionally build bridges across city divides.

(Photo: Houston's buildings. Credit: Getty Images)

Clearing The Air2014091020140911 (WS)
20140913 (WS)

The impact of smoke-free laws - on health and society - in Europe over the last decade

Ten years ago, Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace. The air cleared in Ireland's bars, restaurants and other buildings - and there was hardly any backlash. The pub-loving nation became the model for a global health revolution. In the decade since, countries across the world have passed smoke-free laws of their own.

Denis Murray looks at the impact of this type of anti-smoking legislation across Europe - and considers the future of tobacco.

Denis's journey begins in Dublin, where he recalls how radical a move the smoking ban was at the time. His old haunt, Mulligan's bar, used to be memorable for its blue, reeking fug. And the success of the ban in Ireland made international news - leading other countries to follow suit.

So Denis travels to two very contrasting cities to compare attitudes to smoking ten years on.

The Czech Republic has the most liberal smoking laws in the European Union. In Prague, going to a bar can feel like stepping back in time - many of them permit smoking.

France, so long synonymous with romantic movies featuring characters speaking to each other through clouds of smoke, has followed Ireland's lead and banned smoking in public places. Paris is a city with a fascinating relationship with tobacco - where the debate is often about philosophy as much as science.

In a journey across three countries, with a cast list of doctors, politicians and businesspeople - with the odd musician and philosopher thrown in - Clearing the Air poses and answers many questions about the effect which smoke-free laws are having on health and society.

Picture: A sign on bar door reads 'No Smoking' Dublin, Ireland, 2004, Credit: Fran Veale/Getty Images

Colombia's Lost Children2014080520140806 (WS)

The ex-guerrilla fighters in Colombia looking for the children they had to give up

In Colombia’s decades-long Marxist guerrilla war, thousands of rebel fighters have been female. But what happens when a woman gives birth in the jungle? Having babies is against guerrilla rules, and many of those who got pregnant were forced to have abortions. But those who managed to conceal their pregnancies for long enough were able to give birth.

And then they were forced to give their babies up.

Now, many of these rebel mothers have demobilised, or deserted as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) would see it. And they’re trying everything to find the children they had to give up.

The BBC World Service’s Margarita Rodriguez, herself Colombian and pregnant with her first child, returns to her native country to meet some of these former fighters who are desperately looking for their children, and witnesses a reunion.

Comrade Africa2019111020191113 (WS)
20191114 (WS)

How Communist East Germany tried to influence Africa via radio, during the Cold War. The West often saw the GDR as a grim and grey place, so it’s something of a surprise to find a radio station based in East Berlin playing swinging African tunes. Yet Radio Berlin International (RBI), the ‘voice of the German Democratic Republic’, made it all happen over the many years it broadcast to Africa. It built on the little known strong bonds between East Germany and several large states in Africa such as Tanzania and Angola during the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Dr Emily Oliver, a historian of postwar Germany from Warwick University, finds out why multicultural Radio Berlin International was a special place within East Germany and what happened behind the scenes. The government set tight reporting restrictions on output. Staff faced the dilemma of following the rules while competing with the likes of the BBC World Service. They were also conscious of the output of the station’s main direct rival, West Germany’s Deutsche Welle, which portrayed the world quite differently. And how did RBI employees coming from nations like Tanzania cope with working for the oppressive East German regime?

Emily hears how RBI appealed to listeners in Africa, reveals how East Germans and Angolans made friends over coffee and tractors, and discovers how the Cold War played out in Africa at a time when many African states were fighting for independence.

Presenter: Emily Oliver
Producer: Sabine Schereck

Picture Credit: Getty

How Communist East Germany tried to influence Africa via radio during the Cold War.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Presenter: Emily Oliver
Producer: Sabine Schereck
Researcher: Balthazar Kitundu
Editor: Hugh Levinson
Readers: Neil McCaul, Leone Ouedraogo (podcast only), Ian Conningham and Adam Courting
The Two Comrades: Will Kirk and Greg Jones

Photo: A hand turning a dial on a radio
Credit: Getty Images

How Communist East Germany tried to influence Africa via radio during the Cold War

Congo: A River Journey2018121620181219 (WS)
20181220 (WS)

A journey in sound along the mighty Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This adventure transports you to the heart of the country on the eve of long-delayed elections. You’ll encounter busy ports, vibrant markets and rare gorillas. You’ll learn why this mineral-rich country the size of western Europe is so poor. You’ll ride on the river to the soundtrack of its music, meet its wrestlers, its acrobatic fishermen and explore how history has shaped what the Congo is today.

You will travel into the heart of the Ebola outbreak with United Nations peacekeepers, go hunting with pygmies, wander through former President Mobutu’s ruined palace in a town trapped in time, and explore the cobalt mines which will drive the electric cars of the future.

So put your headphones on, shut your eyes and let Alastair Leithead, the BBC’s Africa Correspondent, take you on an epic adventure in sound in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You’ll find a binaural version, with additional immersive technology, at bbcworldservice.com/documentaries

Produced by Becky Lipscombe
Presented by Alastair Leithead

(Photo: An unidentified fisherman steers his dugout canoe on the Congo River. Credit: Getty Images)

A sound-rich immersive journey along the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Coronavirus: Questions And Answers20200302

Are you worried about the Coronavirus? Or do you think that people are worrying too much? In response to concerns about the spread of the virus, we bring together a panel of experts to answer questions from listeners around the world.

Image: People line up to buy face masks at a department store in Seoul, South Korea (Credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

A panel of experts answers questions from listeners around the world

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Court In The Centre2016073120160803 (WS)
20160804 (WS)

Jeffrey Rosen explores how the US Supreme Court, once derided as the third branch of government, has become the busiest and most powerful institution in American politics, and how that makes the court’s current vacancy a particularly valuable prize in this presidential year.

With the justices’ black robes, sober judgements and air of mystique, people often imagine that the Court acts as a kind of impartial arbiter in the America body politic. But that has rarely been true, and in recent decades the Court has become a battleground for some of the most contentious issues in American society, from abortion and contraception to civil and voting rights, affirmative action and immigration reform.

As the current session comes to an end, Jeffrey will hear from some of those whose lives are affected by decisions and from interest groups explaining their tactics. He will hear from the partisan activists who carefully groom lawyers from their side, from White House insiders who vet them, and members of the Senate who must confirm them. And he will reveal how the current dysfunction elsewhere in Washington is pushing the Court to take on even more contentious cases.

Supreme Court appointments rarely feature in presidential elections, but that may be different in 2016, and Jeffrey will explore the dangers to the Court in appearing to be just another part of the political process, and show how hard the justices themselves work to avoid that impression.

(Photo: People wait in line to enter the US Supreme Court building, Washington, DC, 2016. Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

How did the US Supreme Court become the most powerful institution of American politics?

Crossing Divides: The Exchange2020021820200219 (WS)
20200222 (WS)

Casey is a beef rancher in New Mexico – and runs a sustainable business with a responsible approach to irrigating the land. Thousands of miles away in Free State South Africa, Tracy Khothule Marobobo is a beef farmer, on land redistributed as part of a post-apartheid settlement. She now faces the challenge of establishing a business in an increasingly difficult climate. Open minded and willing to share their knowledge, the pair begin a digital dialogue that spans continents. Two countries, two women, both with an eye on learning more about each other and their approach to farming land.

Producer: Kevin Core

A US cattle rancher and an environmental expert in Kenya swap their perspectives

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Casey Spradley is a beef rancher in New Mexico – and runs a sustainable business with a responsible approach to irrigating the land. Thousands of miles away in Free State South Africa, Tracy Khothule Marobobo is a beef farmer, on land redistributed as part of a post-apartheid settlement. She now faces the challenge of establishing a business in an increasingly difficult climate. Open minded and willing to share their knowledge, the pair begin a digital dialogue that spans continents. Two countries, two women, both with an eye on learning more about each other and their approach to farming land.

Image: Tracy Khothule Marobobo and Casey Spradley (Credit: BBC/Courtesy of Tracy Khothule Marobobo and Casey Spradley)

Cattle farmers from the USA and South Africa share perspectives

C-section Brazil20171018

Brazil is the caesarean capital of the world. Julia Carneiro finds out what’s behind this C-section “epidemic ?

Brazil is the C-section capital of the world. In a country where caesareans account for over half of all births and 88% in the private sector, BBC correspondent Julia Carneiro investigates what some call the “C-section epidemic ?

Mariana is a TV producer who recently gave birth to baby Artur at a private clinic in Rio. She wanted a natural birth but feels she was forced instead into a last-minute caesarean by her doctors through intimidation and misinformation.

Mariana’s case, though extreme, is not isolated, with many instances of 'obstetric violence' reported across the country. These come as no surprise to Heloisa Lessa, a midwife who sees a link between Brazil's culture of machismo and its high rate of caesareans. For obstetrician Maria Helena Bastos, birth in Brazil has become a medical procedure, with natural birth perceived as primitive and unnecessarily painful - an image fuelled by the Brazilian media. Doctors are accused of discouraging natural birth because it is time consuming and unpredictable, as well as less profitable.

Julia Carneiro’s hometown of Poços de Caldas has some of the highest C-section rates in the country. She returns to Poços to find out why from staff and patients at the local maternity hospital, where she witnesses a birth.

Some of Rio’s private clinics offer makeovers immediately after a C-section, with family members following the procedure on cinema screens. But caesareans are not only the preserve of the rich. Alba Valeria, who lives on the edge of a violent favela, is having a C-section after two previous natural births.
Julia examines recent government measures to counter a C-section culture which remains dangerously strong.

Producer: Olivia Humphreys and Nicolas Jackson

(Photo: A baby born by C-section)

Cuban Voices2019010820190109 (WS)
20190112 (WS)

Ordinary Cubans reveal what their lives have really been like under Castro’s socialism and, more recently, its transformation into a more capitalistic economy. For some, the Cuban Revolution was the last bastion of the communist dream; for others, a repressive, authoritarian regime. Largely missing from those debates were the voices of ordinary Cubans.

Almost 60 years on from the Revolution, professor Elizabeth Dore discovers how people from different walks of life and generations have experienced life, work, housing, racism, sexism and corruption on the island.

"Cuban Voices" is based on the first large oral history project permitted by their government in more than 30 years. Professor Dore and her team of researchers got unprecedented access to ordinary people for over 15 years, and she has now returned for the BBC, visiting small villages and rural enclaves as well as the bustling metropolis of Havana, to hear how those same people's ideas have changed about the achievements and failures of socialism in Cuba. What she discovers frequently defies the official narrative of the Revolution.

While many welcomed the State’s provision of basic food, health care and housing, now they increasingly bemoan the widening gap between rich and poor. You will hear the Communist party member whose State salary barely allows him to survive in the damp one-room flat he shares with his sister, while others make a fortune earning hard currency from hiring out rooms to tourists or, in the case of one petty entrepreneur, by running a small computer business using software smuggled in from the US. While once ‘egalitarianism’ was seen as central to socialist society, that has been replaced by ‘equal rights and opportunities’, so has the Revolution, as some would say, abandoned its ideals?

(Photo Credit: Cathy Howieson)

Ordinary Cubans reveal what their lives have really been like under Castro's socialism

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Cuba's Digital Revolution2019101320191016 (WS)

2019 is the 60th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, but it’s also the year of the country’s digital revolution.

In August 2018, Miguel Diaz-Canel joined Twitter. Soon after, a flurry of Cuban politicians followed suit. It was the first time in Cuban history that politicians had opened themselves up to interactions in such a public way, and it happened online.

Just a few months later, 3G was switched on in the country. That prompted a surge in internet activity – albeit from a low level. Since the upgrade, there has been a surge in the number of Cubans joining Twitter. And they haven’t been shy about talking politics.

In some ways the online debate has mirrored the country’s existing system. Among the new Twitter users are staunch supporters of the regime who using the government’s favourite hashtag #SomosContinuidad (We are for continuity). Others call for change and call the government a dictatorship. They organise under the hashtag #AldeaTwitter (Twitter village) and they are as savvy in using their new social media tools as anyone else in the world.

For instance – after an annual gay pride march was cancelled by the authorities, activists took it on their own to hold a renegade event in Havana. It was one of the first stirrings of an independent and organised activist movement outside of government auspices – although clearly the authorities were ambivalent, at first allowing the march and then arresting some of the organisers.

We explore how people are using the internet in one of the most censored countries in the world, and how the government is reacting to it.

60 years since the Cuban revolution, the country is going through a digital revolution.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

A revolution is underway in Cuba. The country’s communist leaders, who normally retain tight control of the media, have encouraged Cubans to become more connected online.

Internet access used to be the preserve of a privileged (and relatively rich) few. But prices have come down, public wifi spots are popular, and less than a year ago 3G data access became available on Cuban phones.

Along with a huge uptake in the internet has come a flood of Cubans signing up to social media accounts. Even President Miguel Diaz-Canel is on Twitter.

And unlike staid and traditional state-run media, Cuban social media is relatively open, freewheeling, full of jokes, criticism of the government and, of course, memes.

Prices are still high and the government keeps a close eye on dissidents or “counter-revolutionaries”. But online, Cubans are exploring new ways to communicate that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

The BBC’s Cuba correspondent Will Grant and BBC Trending reporter Reha Kansara have been meeting the Cubans at the forefront of their country’s digital revolution.

They meet political podcasters, a lesbian activist, a pro-government blogger, a gamer-turned-protester, a dissident journalist and one of Cuba’s biggest YouTube stars.

How are Cubans making their voices heard in a way they never have before – and how might social media transform the country?

Presenters: Will Grant and Reha Kansara

Photo: A young Cuban standing by the waterfront in Havana accesses the internet on his phone.

Cubans are getting online \u2013 so how is the internet transforming this communist country?

60 years since the Cuban revolution, the country is going through a digital revolution.

Dalida - A Life Unbearable20170222

Mark Hodkinson looks at the story of Dalida, who sold millions of records but is remembered for her tragic life.

Damming Afghanistan: Lost Stories From Helmand2014080920140810 (WS)

An epic tale of dreams, grit and folly half a century in the making, Monica Whitlock tells the story of the Helmand valley dam complex, the biggest engineering project in Afghanistan.

The project, still unfinished, began more than 50 years ago when American engineers first arrived in Helmand. They brought their families, drive-in movies and even Santa Claus. Afghans and foreigners rubbed shoulders without a thought. Lashkar Gah became a model town with electric lights and the first school in the country in which boys and girls studied together. As Afghanistan experimented with modernity and technology, a great future seemed in touching distance.

But then came the Soviet invasion. The engineers fled; the optimistic schoolchildren turned into refugees. The Americans in their turn bombed the dam in 2001; paying millions once again to reconstruct it and fit a hydropower turbine, transported across the desert by the British army in one of the most famous operations of the current Afghan war.

Monica Whitlock tells the unexpected story of the Helmand valley dam complex - the bigg...

Monica Whitlock tells the unexpected story of the Helmand valley dam complex - the biggest engineering project in Afghanistan.

Dark Fibres And The Frozen North2019043020190501 (WS)
20190504 (WS)

If data is the new oil, are data centres the new oil rigs? Far into the north of Europe, under half a year of darkness, where the landscape has inspired folklore and legend, are some of the biggest data centres in the world. The frozen mountains and deep fjords under the aurora hide the “dark fibre“ for the modern internet to function in the way we all want it to – instantly and reliably. 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last few years, and as a more internet enabled future, with Ai and the internet of things, becomes reality – data more than ever needs a physical home. This requires energy, and by 2020 some estimate around 20% of the world’s energy supply will be used to process data. This can be hugely costly, and damaging for the environment.

Norway – which became so rich from oil and gas thinks data mines might be part of a new economic future away from fossil fuels. Abundant renewable energy means it’s cheap to cool the hot whirring servers – the cold landscape itself also lends itself to housing data. We visit a huge data mine in a former mineral mine, next to a deep fjord, and hear how the data is pinged back and forth across the globe.

But it’s not as simple as that, as the Sami, the traditional people of the region have found traditional lands in some parts spoiled by huge hydroelectric dams. Modernity and tradition go hand in hand in the far north of Europe, where legends of trolls in mountain caves sit alongside some of the most high tech companies in the world.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

If data is the new oil, are data centres the new oil rigs? Far into the north of Europe, under half a year of darkness, where the landscape has inspired folklore and legend, are some of the biggest data centres in the world. The frozen mountains and deep fjords under the aurora hide the “dark fibre“ for the modern internet to function in the way we all want it to – instantly and reliably. Ninety percent of the world’s data has been created in the last few years, and as a more internet enabled future, with AI and the internet of things, becomes reality – data more than ever needs a physical home. This requires energy, and by 2020 some estimate around 20% of the world’s energy supply will be used to process data. This can be hugely costly, and damaging for the environment.

(Photo: Data center interior, server racks with telecommunication equipment in server room. Credit: Getty Images)

Darkness At Noon20170820

Physicist Dr Frank Close examines the mythology and psychology behind solar eclipses.

Eclipses have inspired dread and awe since antiquity. The earliest Chinese mythology saw solar eclipses as dragons eating the sun. We speak to native American astronomer Nancy Maryboy who tells us about the Navajo and Cherokee beliefs, many of which are still held today.

We visit Stonehenge to examine theories that the ancient Aubrey holes, burial pits on the outer edge of the monument, were used to predict eclipses. The saros – the cycle of eclipses- has been used since the time of the Babylonian to predict eclipses. We hear how Christopher Columbus used prior knowledge of an eclipse to save his shipwrecked crew. The ability to predict eclipse has been used as a literary device over the centuries, in anything from Rider Haggard to Herje's Tintin adventures.

Darkness at Noon meets eclipse chasers, that strange community of people from whom no expenses is too great or distance too far to satisfy their fascination with a total solar eclipse of the sun. We meet the psychologist Dr Kate Russo who has studied her own and others obsession with eclipses to examine the reactions so many people report. The euphoria peoples experience is, she says caused by the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine but she suggests intriguingly that people who witness eclipses exhibit similar symptoms to those of patients with trauma.

Join Frank Close as he prepares to take his own grandsons to see their very first eclipse and experience their very first 'Darkness at Noon".

(Photo:Digitally-generated image of solar eclipse. Credit: Getty Images)

David Bowie - The Music And The Legacy2016011620160117 (WS)

David Bowie's lasting impact on music, fashion, teenage culture and attitudes to gender.

Behzad Bolour considers the music and influence of the British singer who died of cancer on 10 January 2016. We hear Bowie’s music, from people who helped him make it and from the man himself. The programme assesses the lasting impact on music, fashion, teenage culture and on attitudes to gender, of the boy from south London.

Image: David Bowie performing in London UK, 1976 Credit: BBC

Default World2016040220160403 (WS)

The technology of the internet is changing our lives irrevocably. But machines are made by man, and the model of life, these modems, smart phones, connected homes, virtual reality and predictive algorithms fit the imagined way of living. How are the ethics, philosophy and lifestyles of the internet pioneers determining the way we all live? Do we have any choice but to live the way they live, or rage against what? The machine? David Baker travels to Silicon Valley to find out what shapes those who are shaping the way we live.

(Photo: Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

How the ethics, philosophies and lifestyles of the tech elite influence the way we live

Defining The Decade: Mission Accomplished2010010420100105 (WS)
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After 9/11, the new global world order and China's economic rise.

Who would have thought, when the Millennium dawned, that it would end with both British and American troops dying in Afghanistan.

Would you have believed that millions would be communicating and doing business over the world wide web? And would you have agreed that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism?

This has been a decade when history has been on fast forward. Now, as we near the end of the decade, Edward Stourton looks at the big picture, charting the revolutions in science, technology and politics.

What are the underlying themes of the past ten years and what does it all add up to?

The decade began with China being awarded the Olympics in 2001, then two months later came 9/11.

President Bush turned from being a daddy’s boy to America’s Commander in Chief, heading a global coalition dedicated to fighting terror.

There would be a new world order, but not in the way many had imagined - defined as much by China and its rise, as it is by America and its struggles.

Edward Stourton speaks to Francis Fukuyama; former Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage; Robert Kagan, and Professor Timothy Garton-Ash.

Defining The Decade: The Heat Is On2009122820100102 (WS)
20100103 (WS)
20100104 (WS)

Edward Stourton explores how, in the past 10 years, the world woke up to climate change.

Who would have thought, when the Millennium dawned, that it would end with both British and American troops dying in Afghanistan.

Would you have believed that millions would be communicating and doing business over the world wide web? And would you have agreed that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism?

This has been a decade when history has been on fast forward. Now, as we near the end of the decade, Edward Stourton looks at the big picture, charting the revolutions in science, technology and politics.

What are the underlying themes of the past ten years and what does it all add up to?

In 2000 the world’s leaders did not seem to be troubled by the notion of global warming.

Alarm bells were beginning to ring amongst the scientific community, but there were others who dismissed the threat as fanciful and scorned any idea that any changes in the climate could be man-made.

By the middle of the decade that began to change - report after report seemed to confirm that the world was heating up and went on to predict that it would get much worse.

Edward Stourton speaks to Dr David King; former IPCC Chairman Bob Watson, and environmental campaigner Bill McKibben.

Delivering The King's Speech2014090220140903 (WS)

George VI's speech declaring war on Germany in 1939 and its broadcast around the world

Marking the 75th anniversary of King George VI’s declaration of war against Germany, Louise Minchin hears the untold story of the King’s Speech and discovers how it reached the entire world.

Inspired by the discovery of the original pressing of the speech in the EMI Archives – bound in goatskin leather and signed by the King himself – Louise uncovers how the King’s words reached the furthest corners of the British Empire. Starting with the fascinating history of royalty releasing records, and incorporating rare material from the EMI archives, the documentary explores how the British Empire was united by vinyl.

Louise examines the recording of the speech – not from the point of view covered in the 2010 Oscar-winning film, but from the perspective of the EMI employees who have located previously unpublished letters and production notes from the original sessions.

Delivering the King’s Speech delves into the earliest days of the BBC Empire Service – later to become the BBC World Service – to find out how the King’s message was sent across the globe and how it enabled the Empire Service to win the fight against the anti-British propaganda broadcast by the Germans.

A TBI Media Production for BBC World Service.

Destination Education2019061820190619 (WS)
20190622 (WS)

Despite the political uncertainty in the UK at the moment the country’s reputation for top-class education, if you can afford it, is still on the rise. Chinese students are worth around five billion pounds a year to the British economy, and brands like Eton, Harrow, Cambridge and Oxford attract pupils from across China with their promise of a traditional, privileged education.

But what’s it like for young Chinese students to go to school so far from home and away from their parents? And is it really worth the money?

Liyang Liu meets two very different school children who have travelled thousands of miles to go to private boarding school in the UK. Recorded over six months she finds out what happens when they get there.

Liyang Liu talks to Chinese school students studying in the UK.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

(Photo: Students receive their straight A results from Queens College. Credit: Getty Images)

Dickens And India - Mutual Friends2012020720120208
20120211 (WS)

Writer Ayeesha Menon explores India's love affair with Charles Dickens.

To celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens' birth, Indian born writer Ayeesha Menon explores India's love affair with Dickens.

India loves Dickens because contemporary India feels Dickens was writing about them.

His themes resonate deeply with Indians: the importance of the extended family, familial bonds, the rich-poor divide, child labour, domestic violence, social injustice, the class system, and the plight of the deprived and displaced.

Ayeesha has recently adapted Martin Chuzzlewit for radio, setting it in India.

Disagreeing Better2020012220200123 (WS)

Why do we hold our opponents in contempt? Former British politician Douglas Alexander believes that disagreement is good, it's how the best arguments get refined. But, today, public discourse has become so ill-tempered, snide and lacking in respect that we are no longer engaged in a battle of ideas but a slanging match. He talks to people with personal tales about how we might all raise our game and disagree better, among them a relationship counsellor, an ex-soldier, a peace broker and a foster mother. Their tips? Civility is not enough. And knowledge is essential, as well as radical honesty, fierce intimacy and openness. So, dial down the rhetoric, rein in the insults - they will persuade no-one that your opinion is worth listening to - and pay attention.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Does The House Always Win?20151209

In-game betting is becoming hugely popular but does it threaten the integrity of sport?

Betting on the outcome of sporting fixtures is so last century. Now you can take a punt on practically anything that happens within a game – from who will win the first set in tennis to who will score the first goal in a football match. The world of in-game betting, where gamblers test their skill and luck almost as the action happens, is growing as the lucrative new frontier for the betting world - and is particularly popular in the huge Asian market.

With events unfolding so quickly, time is everything. But because the television pictures are always a few seconds behind the real-time action, punters at live events will have an advantage over those watching at home or in a betting shop.

Simon Cox looks at how some exploit the TV delay either by betting online directly from the event or by sending in scouts with hidden devices to feed the information about what is happening ahead of the official television pictures. He speaks to the first person to be arrested whilst court-siding in Australia and accused of trying to corrupt a betting outcome.

So what lengths are people prepared to go to gain those crucial seconds that give them an advantage? And what evidence is there that in-game betting poses a threat to the integrity of some our most popular sports?

(Photo: A punter fills out a sports betting slip. Credit: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump: The People's Billionaire2016031220160316 (WS)

Donald Trump - billionaire, celebrity and now politician. Justin Webb tells his story

Before he announced he would run to become the Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump was already known around the world. He had amassed a fortune through his real estate company and his career in reality TV which had made him famous. But what about his politics?

The BBC’s former North America Editor Justin Webb has been to New York to explore Donald Trump’s political roots. How does an Ivy League educated billionaire manage to appeal to people from across the political spectrum? Justin hears from Mr Trump’s friends and former colleagues including the woman who built Trump Tower.

(Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, 2016. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Don't Hide My Son2019060420190605 (WS)
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When Tanzanian Elly Kitaly gave birth to her son she found out he had Down syndrome.

She barely knew what the condition was. Growing up, she hardly ever saw anyone with Down's in the streets, at church or at family events.

So where were these children?

Listen to Elly’s conversations with mothers about the pressure they come under to hide their children with Down's, the shame they are made to feel and their defiant determination to change this.

A mother asks why barely anyone in Tanzania knows about Down syndrome.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

When Elly Kitaly gave birth to her son she found out he had Down’s syndrome. She barely knew what the condition was. Growing up in Tanzania, she hardly ever saw anyone with Down’s in the streets, at church or at family events. So where were these children?

She suspected they were prisoners, locked up in their own homes.

Listen to Elly’s conversations with mothers about the pressure they come under to hide their children with Down’s, the shame they are made to feel and their defiant determination to change this.

Producer: Clare Spencer

(Photo: Elly Kitaly and her son Chadron in a swimming pool. Credit: Clare Spencer)

A mother asks why barely anyone in Tanzania knows about Down's syndrome

Drugs And The Dentist20161011

The dentists in the US fixing the teeth of drug addicts to help fix their lives

Drugs like crystal meth and opiates wreck the teeth as well as the mind. In America, more than just about any country, good teeth are a sign of success and so dentists like Dr Bob Carter are helping fix addicts’ teeth. They are also bringing together other health professionals. Despite the Affordable Health Act the different social and health agencies can be very disjointed.

The dentist's surgery is a safe place where a person is not found wanting for the choices they have made in life. It is a neutral arena where the only judgements being made are about their teeth and how to heal them. And it can be the first step for them to get back on course.

As Dr Bob Carter says ""I have met many, many meth addicts. To tell you the truth I was surprised by them. They are not bad people, they are not criminals, they are just normal people who made a decision that was not good for them. Once they went down that road...well it was hard, very hard for them to get off. Some of them didn't make it. It is my job to make them better."

(Photo: Standardised patient actor Alex Jones)

Dust Bowl Ballads2016070520160709 (WS)

A fierce drought in Oklahoma’s ‘No Man’s Land’ stirs up dust storms, memories and myths

A fierce drought in Oklahoma’s ‘No Man’s Land’ – a region that was the heart of the 1930s Dust Bowl – stirs up dust storms, memories and myths. In this parched terrain of ghost towns and abandoned ranches, the wells are running dry, but the stories continue to flow.

Around ‘the Liars’ table’ at a roadside diner in the small prairie town of Boise City, old timers and young farmers share tales of dust storms past and present, trying to outdo each other in the retelling of local legends. Voices of Dust Bowl survivors entwine with stories of today’s drought. Stories blow out like drifts of sand, embellished with fine layers of imaginative silt.

Storytelling spins out of the landscape itself. Boise City was founded on a fiction by fraudsters who enticed people to buy plots of land in a town that did not exist. Expecting elegant, tree-lined streets and fountains, the newcomers found nothing but dirt. And when they ploughed it up, the dirt soon turned to dust.

Millard Fowler (who has sadly died since being recorded) was 102 years old, and remembers the ‘Dirty Thirties’, when relentless winds scooped up the topsoil and rolled it through the town in billowing black clouds, turning day to night.

Many families packed up and left, but those who stayed have a deep attachment to the land. The stories that echo through it today “may not all be straight down the bean line, ? but they offer a subtle architecture of hope and survival.

(Photo: Joe Dixon, rancher and windmill engineer. Credit: Cicely Fell)

Dying To Talk20170423

People are sharing their thoughts and fears about dying at Death Cafes around the world

Ebola Voices2016072420160727 (WS)
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The Sierra Leonean children expressing their views via an Ebola lifeline radio project

Radio producer Penny Boreham and Sierra Leonean storyteller, Usifu Jalloh, travel from the UK to Kailahun district, the remote eastern area of Sierra Leone bordering Guinea and Liberia, to meet the children they have been working with remotely in a radio project but as yet never met.

This is the area where Ebola first took hold in the country, and the radio project, initiated by the international child-rights agency, Child to Child, has been a lifeline allowing children to communicate health messages and support each other throughout the crisis and in its aftermath.

Usifu Jalloh is greeted as a popular hero; his stories have encouraged a renaissance of storytelling in the region. Children, speaking out about the issues that matter to them, have had huge impact in the community.

However, amid the joy of the meeting, Penny and Usifu grow more aware of the difficulties the children face. There are the problems directly resulting from the epidemic; orphans have been abandoned and stigmatised, families have been torn apart. There are the pre-existing problems exacerbated by the crisis - a huge increase in teenage pregnancies and escalating sexual violence.

Children complain that the porous nature of the border, which allowed both Ebola, and before that the long and bloody civil war, to enter the country, now allows sexual predators to escape justice. Penny and Usifu discover the radio project provides a window into these profound issues affecting children, whilst allowing children’s views to be taken seriously for the first time.

(Photo: A child under quarantine sits outside a care centre in Lokomasama, 2014. Credit: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt’s Challenge €Ⓚ Far From Cairo2013052120130522 (WS)
20130526 (WS)

What impact has the revolution had on rural life outside of Cairo?

Our view of Egypt has been focussed on the capital. Yet much of the population still live in rural areas, with ways of life that have changed little for decades. Shaimaa Khalil accompanies a young revolutionary back to his home town in Upper Egypt to hear about discrimination, poverty, the role of religion and of women and asks whether the revolution is likely to change anything so far from Cairo. Episode 5/6.

(Image: A boy sitting cross-legged on a wall reading. BBC Copyright )

Egypt’s Challenge €Ⓚ Free To Speak2013043020130505 (WS)

Shaimaa Khalil listens to the new voices of the Egyptian revolution.

Episode 2/6.

Shaimaa Khalil examines the challenges facing her country two years after the Egyptian revolution. Under former President Mubarak there was a strong tradition of diverse but restricted media in Egypt. Post revolution, the restrictions have been lifted, allowing new voices to be heard from across the political spectrum.

Political satirist Bassem Youssef invites Shaimaa to watch his hugely popular TV show where he cracks jokes about Egyptian politicians and even targets it’s President, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. She also visits a hardline Salafi TV station where the output is very different and where any criticism of religion or religious leaders is considered unacceptable. All challenges for Egypt’s new democracy.

(Image of political satirist Bassem Youssef’s show in the Cairo Cinema Radio Theatre. BBC Copyright)

Egypt’s Challenge €Ⓚ Free To Speak - Part Two2013043020130501 (WS)

Shaimaa Khalil listens to the new voices of the Egyptian revolution.

Shaimaa Khalil examines the challenges facing her country two years after the Egyptian revolution. Under former President Mubarak there was a strong tradition of diverse but restricted media in Egypt. Post revolution, the restrictions have been lifted, allowing new voices to be heard from across the political spectrum.

Political satirist Bassem Youssef invites Shaimaa to watch his hugely popular TV show where he cracks jokes about Egyptian politicians and even targets it’s President, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. She also visits a hardline Salafi TV station where the output is very different and where any criticism of religion or religious leaders is considered unacceptable. All challenges for Egypt’s new democracy.

(Image of political satirist Bassem Youssef’s show in the Cairo Cinema Radio Theatre. BBC Copyright)

Egypt’s Challenge €Ⓚ Making A Living2013050720130508 (WS)
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Shaimaa Khalil examines the state of Egypt’s economy two years on from its revolution.

Episode 3/6.

President Mubarak’s crony capitalism was one of the driving forces of the revolution – but, inequality, corruption and bureaucracy appear to have continued unhindered. While the economy was already in the doldrums, since the revolution things have become markedly worse.

In the third programme in this series, Egypt’s Challenge, Shaimaa Khalil examines the state of Egypt’s economy two years after its revolution. Then people were calling for bread, freedom and social justice – have those demands been met? Shaimaa discovers that insecurity on the streets and political instability have frightened off investors. She also looks at how the unofficial , illegal economy has so far prevented complete economic collapse and, with the help of economists, looks at the mysterious role played by the military in Egypt’s economy.

Produced by John Murphy.

(Image of a textile mill in Mahalla, one of Egypt’s most famous exports Egyptian Cotton. BBC Copyright.)

Egypt’s Challenge €Ⓚ Men In Uniform2013051420130515 (WS)
20130519 (WS)

Can Egypt’s police force rebuild its reputation and will the army stay out of politics?

The army has long been the dominant force in Egyptian society, while the police have ruled the streets with a rod of iron. For now the military has relinquished its hold on politics and the police officers have retreated to their barracks.

With special access to Egypt’s Police Academy, which is training up a new generation of officers, Shaimaa Khalil asks if the police can rebuild their tarnished image and re-instil badly needed security to the streets. She also asks if the military men will remain out of politics, despite the chaos in the country.

Produced by John Murphy.

(Image of police recruits being put through training. BBC Copyright)

As Egypt struggles with its new democracy, Shaimaa Khalil examines the dramatic changes...

As Egypt struggles with its new democracy, Shaimaa Khalil examines the dramatic changes and challenges facing Egyptian society.

Egypt’s Challenge €Ⓚ The Next Generation2013052820130529 (WS)
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With half of Egypt’s population under 25 Shaimaa asks what the future holds for them?

Episode 6/6.

Egypt has one of the world’s fastest-growing populations; already 90-million strong, it’s growing by over a million each year and around half of that population is under the age of 25.

It was Egypt’s youth who were at the forefront of the revolutionary protests in Tahrir Square in 2011. They were demanding an end to corruption, cronyism, poverty and to social injustice. Two years on has the revolution delivered for them? In this final programme in the series, Egypt’s Challenge, Shaimaa Khalil talks to young people in Cairo and Alexandria and finds a generation caught between hope and despair.

Producer: Daniel Tetlow

(Image: Skate Impact on the steps of Saad Zaghlool Square in downtown Alexandria. BBC Copyright)

As Egypt struggles with its new democracy, Shaimaa Khalil examines the dramatic changes...

As Egypt struggles with its new democracy, Shaimaa Khalil examines the dramatic changes and challenges facing Egyptian society.

Egypt's Challenge - Part One2013042320130428 (WS)

How has Alexandria changed since the revolution of 2011?

After decades of stifling stasis, Egypt is in flux. The political system has gone through total upheaval following the overthrow of President Mubarak and Egypt is struggling to understand its new democracy. Shaimaa Khalil assesses the underlying challenges facing her native land in a major series for the BBC World Service.

In the introductory programme, Shaimaa returns to her hometown, Alexandria, to see how it has changed since the revolution of 2011. She visits old haunts and talks to family, friends and people on the streets to gauge their feelings on a range of political, economic and social issues. In the city they call the mermaid of the Mediterranean she finds a new sense of empowerment but also a distrust of the newfound voice of political Islam and an overwhelming sense of personal insecurity.

Image: The Alexandria skyline

Eleanor Roosevelt2015100620151010 (WS)

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who first took the ambiguous position of First Lady and turned it into an institution within the American political system.

Despite being born into New York aristocracy, she had an unhappy childhood – and was both painfully shy and prone to bouts of depression. History, though, forced Eleanor to change.

In 1921, when Franklin Roosevelt was struck down by a polio attack he began to rely on his wife's campaigning verve more than ever. Eleanor was even coached in public speaking by her husband's aides. Marriage itself also played its part in shaping her. FDR’s infidelity meant their partnership became more of a political one than an intimate one. Instead, Eleanor found solace in close relationships with other strong women and in her role as an inveterate campaigner for causes such as minorities, refugees and women’s rights.

By the time she became America's First Lady in 1933, she had developed her own distinctive style - holding press conferences for female journalists and writing a regular syndicated newspaper column. Even after her husband's death, she continued her own career as a champion for the United Nations – crucially helping to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Naomi Grimley tells the story of how Eleanor transformed the place of women in American politics. She looks at how life’s disappointments shaped Mrs. Roosevelt and how she learnt to cope with the scrutiny and fascination of the mass media.

(Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt on the BBC, 1942)

How Eleanor Roosevelt helped shape the role of First Lady

Emperor Complex2019112620191127 (WS)
20191130 (WS)

In the span of five years, Chairman Huang turned farmland in China’s Sichuan province into Seaside City. The ocean-themed town, which Huang says was inspired by Dubai and Disneyland, is now home to more than 120,000 people. In the city centre, numerous maritime spectacles attract visitors from afar. The crown jewel is the world’s largest aquarium with several whale sharks and a community of sea turtles.

Huang says that his motivation for building the fast-growing city was to “move the sea 2000 kilometers inland” and to create “the most dazzling spectacle in the entire world”. But in actuality he is doing something almost as ambitious. Seaside City is China’s first 'privatised city', a paradigm-shattering model of Chinese urbanism. In this city, utilities, security, and land are operated by a private individual. Even the local media is run by Huang, which airs a news program once a week – starring himself.

But is Seaside City a forward-thinking economic experiment or the personal fiefdom of a megalomaniac? What do former peasants in the area think of the city? What about residents living the lives that Huang designed for them? How could this city exist in China, a country founded in a peasant result against landlords?

Welcome to Seaside City, an entirely new type of urban experience that Chairman Huang hopes to export to the whole world.

Presenter/Producer: David Borenstein
Editor: Philip Sellars
Additional producer: Jesper Jack, Zhang Xian
Additional reporter: Peng Ge
Sound Mix: Timothy Masters

(Photo: Chairman Huang. Credit: David Borenstein)

Huang built China's first 'privatised city'. Is it utopia or his personal fiefdom?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Eng12g Drowning City (the Doc) 12013022620130227 (WS)

Isabel Hilton looks at the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy in New York. As sea levels...

Isabel Hilton looks at the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy in New York. As sea levels rise, how can coastal cities can prepare?

Eng13g Gene Doping (doc) 120140114

Tim Franks investigates what could be the future of cheating in sport – altering our ge...

Tim Franks investigates what could be the future of cheating in sport – altering our genes.

Eng17b Who Decides If Gay Is Ok? Billboard 120170729
Europe Moves East2013010820130109 (WS)
20130113 (WS)

Forty years ago, the EU was a small and loose association of nations on the western edge of the continent. Germany was still divided, with its capital in the sleepy town of Bonn near the Belgian border. France - with its long-standing commitment to the sovereignty of nation states - was the driving force of the European project.

But the last decade has seen a profound and irreversible shift. Europe's centre of gravity has moved dramatically east. After reunification in 1990, a much more powerful Germany has emerged.

The countries of the old Eastern bloc look to Berlin for leadership. Their experience of Soviet occupation and communist dictatorship has committed them to building a much stronger and more tightly integrated Europe, one that will help secure their young and still vulnerable democracies.

I want the European Union to become a superpower,"" the Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tells the programme. This changing dynamic is the subtle, hidden undertow to the continuing tensions over the Euro.

Power in Europe has shifted, from the old and familiar Paris-Bonn relationship to the new and much more dynamic Berlin-Warsaw. This is the new Europe. It is one in which France - once the unchallenged leading voice - is increasingly marginalised.

(Image: An EU flag as seen through the branches of some trees, Credit: Getty Images)

The EU's power dynamic has shifted from France and Germany to Germany and Poland. How?

Europe's Drug Wars20170701

Irish crime journalist Paul Williams asks if Europe’s drugs wars are out of control.

Irish crime journalist Paul Williams asks whether Europe’s drugs wars are out of control.

Gangland killings in Ireland and death threats to journalists more than 20 years after the assassination of crime reporter Veronica Guerin mask a much bigger problem. The bloodshed in Ireland has its tentacles across Europe where law enforcers struggle to contain an out of control drugs war. Here, Veronica’s friend, colleague and fellow crime reporter Paul Williams looks at the continent’s drug crime hotspots and examines the different policies used to control the illegal sale of drugs across Europe.

Paul will ask if the different policies implemented by EU countries serve to make controlling the illegal market almost impossible for the authorities. A complex criminal matrix draws in vulnerable people and extortion, with violence and even murder regularly at the heart of the battle between those profiting from the importation and sale of illegal drugs.

This programme looks at the situation in Holland, Portugal, Britain, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and Ireland. It examines whether parts of the UK could follow Portugal’s decriminalisation model and asks why Holland has become a hotbed of violent attacks over drugs. Other areas of discussion include exploring if Sweden’s zero tolerance approach works, how the taking of so-called ‘spice’ is becoming a major problem in some countries and how technology is enabling the illegal drugs market to be controlled from inside prison in parts of Europe.

Paul examines what has changed, whether the authorities are succeeding and ultimately whether the battle to control the movement and sale of illegal drugs can ever really be won.

A Made in Manchester Production for BBC World Service.

(Image: Major drugs haul seized by federal police force. Credit: Getty Images)

Europe's Terror Networks20160406

The so-called Islamic State has brought terror to the streets of Paris and Brussels, killing hundreds of civilians and wounding many more. But how does the organisation operate in Europe? And who has masterminded the deadly attacks?

Award winning journalist Peter Taylor has been given access to secret intelligence documents that reveal how IS has carried out its attacks in Europe. Peter shows how IS operatives are supported by a sophisticated logistics network that supplies them with weapons and ammunition. And he also details how multiple intelligence failures led to the murder of 130 people in Paris.

The mastermind of the attacks in the French capital was a man called Abdelhamid Abaaoud. During the course of the programme Peter Taylor unveils how this man recruited and trained radicalised young men to carry out attacks. And he also details how the western intelligence services were engaged in a desperate race to stop Abaaoud from bringing terror to streets of Europe.

Presenter: Peter Taylor

Producer: David Rhodes

Image: A memorial outside the French Consulate in Los Angeles one day after the Paris terrorist attacks. Credit: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

How the so-called Islamic State operates in Europe.

Falling Rock2019061120190612 (WS)
20190615 (WS)

Jacob Rosales, a 20-year-old student at Yale, takes a closer look at some of the varied challenges facing Native American young people today. With alarmingly high rates of alcohol abuse, suicide and unemployment, Jacob delves behind the stats to reveal human stories of both suffering and hope.

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is a tough place to grow up, being one of the poorest and most underdeveloped places in the US. It is often likened to the developing world. Graduating from university remains nothing more than a dream for the thousands of young people like Rosales, who call it home. Indeed, only one in every 10 Native Americans in the country attain a bachelors degree. Yet Jacob was offered a place at seven of the eight Ivy league universities in the country when he finished high school.

Returning home for break, Jacob meets Yvonne ‘Tiny’ DeCory, who comes face to face with the obstacles facing Native youth every day. A suicide epidemic has grabbed the headlines in recent years and Yvonne and her team at the Bear Project have helped many young people turn their lives around. Eighteen year old Sky opens up to Jacob on why he almost took his own life, before seeking Tiny’s help.

As the Cheyenne River Youth Project are holding a celebration to honour their young people, Rosales reflects on the importance of his own Lakota culture, and Jeremy Fields from Oklahoma explains why he travels around the continent teaching Native students about historical trauma.

Presenter: Jacob Rosales
Producer: Neil Kanwal
Executive Producer: Peter Shevlin

(Photo: Jacob Rosales at the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation)

The challenges faced by Native American young people

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Feeding The World2013081320130818 (WS)

Can Obama's international aid reforms of sending money rather than grain be implemented?

Since the end of World War II, America's Food for Peace programme has shipped American-grown food in sacks across the world to feed the world's starving people. Virtually all experts agree it is an inefficient way to send aid, and the EU stopped doing it decades ago. Former head of USAID Andrew Natsios says 'I've watched people die in front of me waiting for food to arrive.'

Now President Obama wants to reform the system to send more of emergency aid as money, and to buy food locally. But there is opposition to his plans for change and it looks likely the reforms will go nowhere.

BBC international development correspondent David Loyn travels to Afghanistan and meets farmers who say they stopped growing wheat and changed to opium poppies when American wheat flooded the local market during a time of plenty. And he travels to Kenya to look at pioneering efforts to deliver aid in a way that helps the local economy and puts power back in the hands of the poor.

(Picture: A farmer holds some grain and pulses. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Flat 113 At Grenfell Tower2019042820190501 (WS)

On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in West London; it caused 72 deaths and more than 70 others were injured and 223 people escaped.

On the fourteenth floor of Grenfell Tower, firefighters moved eight residents into one flat – 113. Only four would survive. Piecing together evidence from phase one of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, Katie Razzell tries to understand what went wrong that night in flat 113.

The answer reveals a catalogue of errors which could help explain the wider disaster.

(Photo: The charred remains of Grenfell Tower after the fire on 16 June 2017. Credit: Getty Images)

What went wrong in flat 113 at Grenfell Tower? Katie Razzall pieces together the evidence.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Follow That Tractor2016061220160615 (WS)
20160616 (WS)

Susie Emmett hears stories at the world’s biggest monthly second-hand tractor auction.

Each month in a flat piece of English Fenland a site the size of 40 football pitches hosts the biggest second hand farm machinery auction in the world. It is both uniquely British and international – buyers from four continents arrive by truck, taxi, or hire car with their tractor shopping lists and hopes. Presenter Susie Emmett meets some of the remarkable people in this extraordinary supply chain that deal and distribute these mighty tools and spare parts from field to field.

On auction day there is anticipation before the bidding begins and high hopes of bidders – whether Portuguese first timer or Sri Lankan old hands – once the eight simultaneous auctions are underway. Amongst more than 2500 gleaming or rusty lots in lines, Susie hears how a group of Kenyans are building farming community fortunes with the tractors they buy. Somalis talk about the power of tractors to rebuild a nation. A Sri Lankan explains his favourite tractor of all and why he bought an incredible 86 of them on one auction day.

Bidding over, Susie learns about the bang-crash logistics that start the tractors’ next journey. She meets the much-respected tractor dismantler whose job it is to cram as many tractors into a shipping container as he can. Susie also hears tips on how to be a better bidder, why old machinery is better than new and reflections on how the rise and ebb of conflict affects the tractor trade.

(Photo: A trusty Massey Ferguson awaits a buyer. Credit: Susie Emmett/Green Shoots Productions)

Food For Peace2013081320130814 (WS)

David Loyn looks at America's ""Food for Peace"" programme, its effects in Afghanistan, and a new way of delivering aid in Kenya.

Forever Young20170920

Meet the self-experimenters and scientists trying to add years to our lives

In 2015 Liz Parrish performed a risky experiment - on herself. She took a gene therapy entirely untested on humans in the hope of “curing ? what she says is a disease: ageing. Her gamble was criticised by some in the scientific community, but she is not the only one that thinks scientific advances will help humans live longer healthier lives.

In Silicon Valley and beyond, vast sums of money are being invested in research that seeks to push back the effects of old age for decades, or perhaps longer still. Gabriella Torres meets the self-experimenters and scientists trying to defeat the diseases of ageing, and in some cases ageing itself.

(Photo: Liz Parrish)

Forgetting Igbo2016042620160430 (WS)

Nkem Ifejika examines the fall of Igbo, one of West Africa’s most widely spoken languages

Nkem Ifejika cannot speak Igbo, the language of his forefathers. Nkem is British of Nigerian descent and comes from one of Nigeria's biggest ethnic groups the Igbo. He is one of the millions of Nigerians, who live in the diaspora - almost 200,000 of them living here in Britain. Nkem wants to know why he was never taught Igbo as a child and why the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Unesco, has warned that Igbo faces extinction in the next 50 years.

Nkem travels to the Igbo heartland in the south-east of Nigeria to explore the demise of a once proud language. He discovers that recent history has had profound effects on Igbo culture and identity. He discovers too that some Igbos are seeking to reassert their language and culture. Part of this is a resurgence of Igbo identity under a new 'Biafran' movement. Is this likely to find traction or will it ignite painful divisions from the past and lead to renewed tensions across Nigeria.

(Photo: A young boy in Nigeria)

Found In Translation2016030820160312 (WS)

Sixty-five-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa survived the 2011 Tsunami by riding the tin roof of a destroyed home. He spent two days alone and adrift at sea on his makeshift raft before rescue. Shortly afterwards he met Miwako Ozawa, a young Japanese translator hired by a journalist to interview him. Five years on, Hiromitsu’s remarkable story of survival and renewal is told through the two halves of their unlikely friendship.

(Photo: Hiromitsu Shinkawa as crew members of Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) sail to rescue him on 13 March 2011. Credit: JIJI Press/AFP/Getty Images

How a young Japanese translator Miwako Ozawa met tsunami survivor Hiromitsu Shinkawa

Francis Ngannou: Cameroon's Mma Champion2019110520191106 (WS)
20191109 (WS)

By the age of 10 Francis Ngannou was working in a sand quarry, where he dreamed of becoming a world class boxer. As a young man he traversed the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea to find himself homeless in Paris. From there, within an extraordinarily short amount of time, he exploded through the ranks to the highest echelons of the fastest growing sport in the world, mixed martial arts.

He is now a leading contender for heavyweight champion of the world and a global star. He returns to his village in western Cameroon, where he is investing in the next generation. Zak Brophy travels to Cameroon to hear the story of his incredible life, and his dreams of becoming a role model within his community.

(Photo: Francis Ngannou of Cameroon poses for a post fight portrait backstage during the UFC Fight Night 2019. Credit: Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

Francis Ngannou's odyssey from child labour in a sand quarry to superstardom in the UFC

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Freedom Songs2014091620140917 (WS)

I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free became an anthem for the American Civil Rights

Immortalised by Nina Simone, I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free, was recorded in the early 60s by Jazz pianist Billy Taylor for his young daughter. Candace Piette talks to Kim Taylor Thomson, to Nina Simone’s guitarist and to poets and writers and singers about what the song meant when it was first written and what resonance it has now in contemporary America.

(Photo: American jazz pianist Billy Taylor performs at the Peacock Alley night club, St. Louis, Missouri, 1974. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From The Ground Up2019010520190106 (WS)

The Central African Republic is one of the least developed countries on earth. Years of conflict have left hundreds of thousands of people displaced. Sexual violence is rife and extreme poverty is endemic. Yet despite this dire humanitarian situation, reporting from CAR is rare.

Anna Foster explores the challenges facing this nation from the inside, and hears from those trying to improve its fortunes. She also assesses whether the deep religious divisions will prove a lasting barrier to real peace. In the capital Bangui, the PK5 Muslim enclave is a scene of regular violence. Anna visits a maternity unit that transforms into a casualty centre at times of crisis, and hears what it is like to live in one of the most tense places in the country.

She discovers how people are struggling to live in the divided city of Kaga Bandoro. Beyond the capital there is almost no infrastructure, and the lack of electricity, running water, police officers and teachers makes improving the country for the next generation a tough task.

Russia and China are keeping a keen eye on CAR. They see potential in the chaos, not least because of the untapped mineral riches it holds. But how do the people of this struggling country view that interest?

From the rape survivors and former child soldiers to the very heart of government, Anna hears forgotten voices and sheds a new light on this most brutal of conflicts.

(Photo: Young girl in green scarf. Credit: Antony Sherlock)

The Central African Republic and its struggle to develop after years of conflict

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Funeral Punks2020031720200321 (WS)
20200318 (WS)

A new wave of end of life rituals is emerging across northern England. As funeral costs increase, the influence of the traditional undertaker is declining. Communities are building pyramids containing their dead loved one's ashes and a growing number of people are choosing to organise their own bespoke events.

(Photo: Presenter, Kim Tserkezie (L) and alterative funeral organiser Carl Marlow. Credit: Highlights PR)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Game Changer: 20 Years Of The Premier League2012090420120905 (WS)

Clubs or corporations? Jim White reports on the Premier League's first 20 years.

Big business or community concern, club or corporation?

Journalist Jim White reports on the first 20 years of England's Premier League when it has established itself as the most marketable and valuable domestic football competition in the world.

But with new overseas players, managers and owners, has the sport become divorced from the communities it came from?

Or is it accurately reflecting modern Britain?

(Image: The Manchester City players celebrate with the trophy following the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium on 13 May 2012 in Manchester, England. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Gene Doping2014011420140118 (WS)
20140119 (WS)

Could altering our genes become the future of cheating in sport?

It has taken scientists almost 50 years to cure rare diseases through gene therapy. The risks are still great but the field is developing fast, bringing hope to those with untreatable conditions. Now there are growing concerns that athletes will abuse this pioneering technology. Tim Franks speaks to David Epstein, an American journalist and sports enthusiast, who has been investigating the issue of gene doping. David reveals how athletes have 'inundated' researchers with requests to improve their abilities through genetic manipulation.

Tim also speaks to French geneticist Philippe Moullier, who was left in shock after a group of former Tour de France cyclists visited his lab. They wanted to learn whether the technology he developed to cure children with a rare muscle disease could be used to enhance sporting performance. Although the World Anti-Doping Agency banned the practice in 2003 there is still no test which can detect gene doping. Athletes do not have to look hard if they want to experiment. Moullier tells Tim how it’s possible to buy genes on the internet and grow them at home. Tim Franks finds out just how easy it is.

(Photo: A genetic researcher carries blood samples to have their DNA tested at his Laboratory in the Lebanese-American University. Credit: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany: Justice And Memory2020011220200115 (WS)
20200116 (WS)

This year, 2020, sees the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Its legacy remains. Nowhere more so than in Germany, where the rise of Nazism led to the war, and terrible crimes against humanity. Chris Bowlby explores how post-war Germans have faced this inheritance and discovers how a search for justice in relation to Nazi crimes has continued, despite heavy pressure to stop. Alongside that, a powerful culture of remembrance has emerged, as each new generation makes its reckoning with the past.

We meet the little-known small team of Nazi crime investigators, working discreetly behind walled premises in Ludwigsburg in Southern Germany. They used to carry guns for self-protection, such was hostility to their work. Through their research they have identified more than 28,000 Nazi crime scenes. But soon those who lived through the Nazi period will all be dead. What difference will it make when there are no more victims alive to tell their stories, no more prosecutions or trials? Will this history still be remembered and understood? And we hear from a new, young and diverse generation of Germans what they think about their country’s Nazi past.

Presenter: Chris Bowlby
Producer: Jim Frank

(Photo: Israeli PM Ehud Olmert (R) lays down a wreath during a ceremony at Grunewald railway station. Some 50, 000 Jews were deported from the station between 1941-45. Credit: Thorsten Leukert/Getty Images)

How has Germany tried to come to terms with the legacy of its Nazi past?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

This year, 2020, sees the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2. The legacy of that war remains. Nowhere more so than in Germany where Nazism both caused the war and led to terrible crimes against humanity being committed. In “Germany Justice and Memory” Chris Bowlby explores how post-war Germans have faced this appalling inheritance and discovers how a search for justice in relation to Nazi crimes has continued, despite heavy pressure to stop. And alongside all that, a powerful culture of remembrance has emerged, as each new generation makes its reckoning with the past.

We meet the little known small team of Nazi crime investigators, working discreetly behind walled premises in Ludwigsburg in Southern Germany, who used to carry guns for self-protection such was hostility against their work. Through their painstaking work, they’ve identified more than 28,000 Nazi crime scenes.

Think about that number.

But soon those who lived through the Nazi period will all be dead. What difference will it make when there are no more victims alive to tell their stories, no more prosecutions or trials? Will this history be still remembered and understood?

And we hear from a new, young and diverse generation of Germans to find out what they think about their country’s Nazi past.

75 years on from the end of the second world war the programme is a powerful and often moving reminder that we ignore the lessons of history at our peril.

Germany: Reluctant Giant20170620

Chris Bowlby examines why Germany is such a reluctant military power.

Why is Germany such a reluctant military power? Germany has grown in international influence. And its potential military role has been hitting the headlines. US President Donald Trump’s criticised Germany in particular for not spending enough on defence. And Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Europe can no longer completely depend on the US - or the UK after Brexit. Germany, she argues, must do more in the military sphere.

But Germans themselves are very reluctant to do this. As Chris Bowlby discovers in this documentary, German pacifism has grown since World War Two, when Nazi armies caused such devastation. Today’s German army, the Bundeswehr, was meant to be a model citizen's force. But it’s often poorly funded and treated with suspicion by its own population.

Some now say the world of Trump, Putin and Brexit demands major change in German thinking - much more spending, more Bundeswehr deployments abroad, even German nuclear weapons. But most Germans disagree. So could Germany in fact be trying something historically new - becoming a major power without fighting wars?

(Photo: German Bundestag. Credit: Getty Images)

Give Back The Land20170704

The story of black South African farm workers who want their land back and the white landowner who has to give it back.

Give back the Land is the cry from millions of black and brown South African farm workers who have been dispossessed of their land for centuries. They expected to gain an equal share in the wealth of the land when Nelson Mandela was elected in 1994. That has not happened. And their patience is running out, leading to fears of a racial conflagration that the country cannot afford. A white land owner, together with the workers on the farm he inherited, have embarked on a bold project to share ownership of the land they all love and live on. This is the story of their struggles and triumphs as they find a way to give back the land.

Presenter: Audrey Brown

(Photo: Farm workers sit on the back of a tractor during harvest time. Credit: Solms Delta Estate)

Give back the Land is the cry from millions of black and brown South African farm workers who’ve been dispossessed of their land for centuries. They expected to gain an equal share in the wealth of the land when Nelson Mandela was elected in 1994. That has not happened. And their patience is running out, leading to fears of a racial conflagration that the country cannot afford. A white land owner, together with the workers on the farm he inherited, have embarked on a bold project to share ownership of the land they all love and live on. This is the story of their struggles and triumphs as they find a way to give back the land.
Presented by Audrey Brown.

Giving Peace A Chance2019120320191204 (WS)

Francine Jones was a young attaché at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal when John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their week-long bed in for peace there 50 years ago. She was one of dozens of young people who were inspired by the bed in protest and here she hears from several who joined John and Yoko for that week in spring 1969. She returns to the actual bedroom suite and reunites with others in the very room where the now famous peace anthem Give Peace a Chance was penned and first performed.

The protest happened during the height of the Vietnam War and followed a replica event at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam two months earlier.

We hear the voices of John and Yoko recalling their earliest musical memories in a lost and only recently re-discovered interview with young Radio Quebec reporter Gilles Gougeon who managed to record an extra-long discussion with the couple during the bed in.

Francine hears from Andre Perry who explains how, as a young 20-something, he ended up recording Give Peace a Chance.
Then 20 year old Allan Rock describes the surreal moment, having met John and Yoko at the bed in, he finds himself driving them around Canada's capital, Ottawa, singing Beatles’ songs and stopping off to pin a note on the door of flamboyant Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's official residence at 24 Sussex Drive.

Meanwhile Legendary British singer Petula Clark tells of her role in the bed in while Christine Kemp explains the painstaking process of having to prove to a museum half a century later that a quilt she'd donated to the protest was actually hers.

(Photo: John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "bed-in for peace" protest, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, 1969. Credit: Queen Elizabeth Hotel)

Francine Jones returns to the scene of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 bed in for peace.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

God's Trombone: Remembering King's Dream20130901

Luther King stepped to the podium in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Around 10 minutes into his speech, King sounded as though he were wrapping up when Mahalia Jackson, the gospel singer and King's friend, shouted: ""Tell them about the dream Martin"". He ignored her at first. Then she shouted again. He put the text to the left of the lectern, grabbed the podium and - after a pause more pregnant than most - started to riff.

King's adviser Clarence Jones turned to the person next to him and said: ""Those people don't know it, but they're about to go to church."

It's 50 years since Martin Luther King gave the speech that stands as one of the world's favourite addresses delivered by one of its most beloved figures. But ""I have a dream"" wasn't in the text of the speech and its mainstream popularity only grew after King was assassinated.

Gary Younge looks behind the scenes of the speech and explores what made it both timely and timeless. Why do we remember it? How do we remember it? Does the way we remember it say as much about us today as it does about those events 50 years ago?

We'll hear from King's colleagues and friends including his speechwriter Clarence Jones; and King's aide, former Mayor of Atlanta and later US ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young.

We explore how King was influenced by African-American preachers: he was firmly rooted in a tradition of orators described by influential Harlem Renaissance poet and intellectual James Weldon Johnson as ""God's Trombones"".

The speeches and images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been licensed by Intellectual Properties Management, Inc. (IPM) manager for the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. This license is in no way an endorsement of the views, policies, opinions, statements, and actions of the featured participants.

Going Green In The Oil State20170823

Joe Miller asks why climate change sceptics in Republican Texas are embracing renewable energy.

Why has a heavily Republican city in Texas, chock full of climate change sceptics, become the first city in the South to be powered entirely by renewable energy? And why, just a few miles away, has a small town consisting of a lone truck stop and a deserted dirt road they call “Main Street ?, become the richest area in the entire United States?

As Donald Trump pulls the US out of the Paris Climate Accords, and talks up the use of fossil fuels, we explore the unexpected reality of the energy industry in the “oil state ?, which, on its own, would be the 10th largest economy in the world. We speak to the beneficiaries of the Eagle Shale fracking boom: migrant workers making $120,000 a year working on oil fields, and cattle-ranch owners who became millionaires overnight, thanks to the “pennies from heaven ? that arrive via a monthly payoff for the mineral discoveries made on their land.

We also from hear from locals who are victims of the “boom and bust ? cycle of oil, and whose life in the tough and remote McMullen County is anything but prosperous.

An energy policy expert tells us why the Paris Agreement was “just a cute piece of PR ?, and that why it comes to Texas, it’s “money, money money ?, not politics or science, that has propelled the second biggest US state to become the nation’s largest wind energy producer - and may yet make it the largest solar producer too.

To the sound of a country and bluegrass concert on the “most beautiful town square in Texas ?, we hear from staunchly conservative residents who are nonetheless proud of the local clean energy revolution, and the cheaper utility bills that have followed, and from a veteran city manager who has become a reluctant icon of liberal environmentalists.

Plus, we explore why despite its acrimonious politics, the pragmatism shown in the small towns of the Lone Star State could provide a blueprint for energy policy in the age of Donald Trump.

(Photo: McMullen County)

Gospel Meets Hip-hop2020021620200219 (WS)
20200220 (WS)

Some of the biggest rappers in the world like Kanye West, Chance the Rapper and Stormzy are combining gospel and hip-hop in their music. It is bringing attention to ‘gospel hip-hop’.

Gospel and hip-hop are closely related, but the relationship hasn’t always been an easy one. Christian artists making gospel hip-hop face barriers both within the church and within the mainstream music industry - it was either the ‘devil’s music’ or ‘not cool enough’. But now it’s becoming popular, people in the church and the music industry are taking note.

Award-winning UK rapper Guvna B has been making faith based hip-hop for the past 10 years and wants to find out what’s behind this shift. He travels to the USA to meet gospel legends Donald Lawrence and Kierra Sheard to hear why they have incorporated R&B and hip-hop into their music since the 1990’s.

And he meets gospel hip hop stars Lecrae and Andy Mineo in Atlanta to discuss the issues around mixing faith and hip-hop and the challenges they’ve faced being labelled ‘Christian rappers’.

In the UK, Guvna B talks to gospel star Muyiwa Olarewuju and soul singer Samm Henshaw whose single ‘Church’ topped the UK charts.

Where will this trend lead? With the norm being explicit, sexualized hip-hop, will Christian artists offering a positive alternative start to be promoted by the music industry? And what about the church – will it fully embrace gospel hip-hop?

Presenter/reporter: Guvna B
Producer: Miriam Williamson

(Photo: Lecrae, Reach Records founder, in concert. Credit: Jose Gonzales)

Award winning UK rapper Guvna B explores the \u2018gospel hip-hop' music genre

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Greenland: Why Music Matters2020011920200122 (WS)
20200123 (WS)

Kate Molleson visits the world’s largest island to explore the role of traditional and new music for its communities today. Between the capital of Nuuk and smaller fishing town of Maniitsoq, Kate encounters drum dancers resurrecting a traditional Inuit practice which almost died out on Greenland’s west coast, discovers the political and sonic influence of the Greenlandic language on music from hymn singing to hip-hop, meets artists using their lyrics to engage with issues from the climate to the country’s deep-rooted social problems, and visits a music school offering a safe space to young people.

Producer: Andy King

(Photo: Houses in Manitsoq, Greenland)

Kate Molleson explores music's place on the world's largest island

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Hadraawi: The Somali Shakespeare20170802

Mary Harper meets Somalia's most beloved poet Hadraawi, in a rare glimpse into the country's soul.

In Hargeisa, the capital of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, everyone knows the nation's most famous living poet - Hadraawi. They call him their Shakespeare. The poetry of Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame 'Hadraawi' holds a mirror up to all aspects of life. Born in 1943 to a nomadic camel-herding family, forged as a poet in Somalia's liberal years pre-1969, jailed in 1973 for 'anti-revolutionary activities' without trial under the military junta, a campaigner for peace, Hadraawi's poetry tells the story of modern Somalia.

Mary Harper, Africa Editor for BBC World Service News, journeys to meet Hadraawi at his home in Somaliland, just as the first rains fell after the devastating three-year drought. The self-declared republic is rarely seen by the outside world, as the shadow cast by the ongoing violence in Somalia to the south is long. But it's a place Mary has come to know and love during 25 years writing about and reporting on Somalia for the BBC. It is a nation of poets, where poetry is woven deep into the fabric of everyday life.

(Photo: Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame 'Hadraawi')

Hanging Around2015102120151025 (WS)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Hearing Me2019022620190910 (WS)
20190911 (WS)
20190914 (WS)

(This programme contains audio effects that may cause discomfort to people living with hearing conditions. There is a modified version of this programme, with quieter effects, on this page https://bbc.in/2TrInga)

What does life sound like for someone whose hearing has suddenly changed? Carly Sygrove is a British teacher living in Madrid. She was sitting in her school’s auditorium when suddenly her head was filled with a loud screeching sound.

Diagnosed as sudden sensorineural hearing loss, Carly no longer has any functional hearing in her left ear, and battles with the whoops, squeals and ringing that comes from having tinnitus. This dramatically changed her work and personal life, as well as her ability to communicate in a country thousands of kilometres from where she was born.

It made Carly realise how fragile our bodies are - and how wonderful sounds can be.

In this intimate programme for the BBC World Service, Carly shares her personal story and speaks honestly about how life with hearing in only one ear is far from quiet.

(Photo: Volume dial. Credit: Getty Images)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

(Photo: Volume dial. Credit: Getty Images)

Held Hostage In Syria2016061120160612 (WS)

Speaking together for the first time, four European hostages of so-called Islamic State talk to Lyse Doucet about their period of incarceration between March 2013 and June 2014. Aid worker Federico Motka, journalists Didier Francois and Daniel Rye, and blogger Pierre Torres were all held for between 10 and 14 months each.

They all found their own way of coping with the situation. Federico Motka lowered his gaze and raised his guard to avoid his captors' efforts to demean him. Didier Francois pushed back and stared them straight in the eye. Daniel Rye, an elite gymnast, did the splits to convince them he was not a spy, and Pierre Torres took beatings, but satisfaction, from ignoring their orders.

This is their first reunion since they were freed, at different times, two years ago, and is a celebration of friendship forged in the most threatening of circumstances. They talk about the months without sunlight, weeks chained together, days upon days of beatings. There was little food, and so much longing for clean clothes, a proper toilet, and most of all, freedom.

(Photo: Left to right - Pierre Torres, Federico Motka, Didier Francois, Daniel Rye Ottosen. Credit: Giles Duley)

Four European hostages held by Islamic State talk about their months of incarceration

Hey Sisters, Sew Sisters2019123120200101 (WS)
20200104 (WS)

Space travel is not always high-tech. When the Apollo astronauts landed on the Moon in 1969, seamstresses made their spacesuits at a company famous for stitching latex into Playtex bras.

During the Space Shuttle era, a group of 18 women were in charge of all soft goods - the fabrics for machine and hand sewing the spaceplane’s thermal blankets. These women became known as the Sew Sisters.

Presenter, artist and former Nasa astronaut Nicole Stott meets some of these ‘sew sisters’ from past and present missions and celebrates their contributions.

Their work, and that of seamstresses before them, was often a matter of life and death yet was not always taken seriously. Engineers would drop by to ask the women to hem their pants or sew their buttons on but they were doing difficult work.

They used ceramic thread to stitch fibre glass-backed quartz fabric around the edges of doors, ports and the bottom of the Space Shuttle’s three engines to provide a thermal barrier where components came together. In private the women called themselves the ‘Itch, Stitch and Bitch Club’ because the fabric was so itchy.

Hand sewing is not consigned to the past either. Recent images from Saturn were from a spacecraft with cut, stitched and fitted gold and black thermal blankets and the BepiColombo mission, currently on its way to Mercury, involves hand sewing.

(Photo: SkyLab seamstress sewing space suits for astronauts. Credit: Nasa)

The seamstresses who sewed soft goods components for space craft and space suits

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Space travel is not always high-tech.

Presenter, artist and former NASA astronaut Nicole Stott meets some of these ‘sew sisters’ from past and present missions and celebrates their contributions.

The women who have sewn up the space age.

Home Away From Home2013070920130710 (WS)
20130714 (WS)

The stories of the Somali community whose families have lived in Wales since 1890

At the end of the 19th Century working on the steam ships of the British Empire was an attractive career choice for seamen from Somaliland. Many came to Cardiff and found work in the docks heaving the coal that powered those ships. They first settled in Butetown in 1890.

A vibrant community grew - centred on the docks and the mosque. But the last coal was shipped out in the 1960s. Cardiff docks are not what they were. Butetown has been redeveloped and work is scarce.

The older generation of Somalis has, in recent years, been joined by new immigrants, refugees from their war-torn homeland. Their experiences and expectations are very different, as the production De Gabay recently made clear. This was a day-long, dramatic festival with National Theatre Wales, in which young poets from the Somali community performed all around Butetown.

Urban historian Mike Berlin, meets Somalis whose families have lived in Butetown for a century and more recent arrivals tell their stories, too.

(Picture: Dockside cranes, Cardiff, 1907, Credit: Getty Images)

Homer, Hagrid And The Incredible Hulk2015121220151216 (WS)

How fictional universes, from Star Wars to Harry Potter took over global culture

Ben Hammersley meets creators and fans to investigate how extended fictional universes, from Star Wars and Harry Potter to Game of Thrones, took over global culture. He examines the huge financial success of the world’s biggest franchises, and argues that their stories – the identity of Luke Skywalker’s father, for example – have become common cultural touchstones around the world.

To understand how these expansive fictional universes are created and maintained, Ben visits professor Dumbledore's office to talk to Stuart Craig, production designer on the Harry Potter films. He goes to Los Angeles to meet Lauren Faust, creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And, he travels to San Diego Comic Con where he discusses a number of different universes with Marc Zicree, writer on numerous film and TV series, including Star Trek.

Ben also speaks to authors Robin Hobb and Warren Ellis, and to Axel Alonso and Ryan Penagos from Marvel. He hears from numerous fans, including Game of Thrones super-fans Linda Antonsson and Elio Garcia about the joys of fandom.

(Photo: A group of costumed fans attend Comic-Con International at San Diego Convention Center 2015. Credit: Getty Images)

Hong Kong: Love In A Divided City2019111220191113 (WS)
20191116 (WS)

Unprecedented mass protests have caused chaos in Hong Kong’s public sphere – but what has it meant for private life? How have they affected the increasing number of couples who have married across the divide, with one partner from Hong Kong and another from the Chinese mainland?

BBC World Affairs Correspondent Paul Adams hears from one such couple, for whom the political has become personal. ‘Daniel’ is a native-born Hong Kong citizen, while his wife ‘Jane’ moved to the city from the Chinese mainland. They are happily married – but are living in a metropolis riven by discontent. How do they navigate the expectations of their friends, families and workplaces and most importantly their spouse – while staying true to their own beliefs? This single marriage reveals a great deal about the emerging, troubled identity of Hong Kong.

What a Hong Kong \u2013 mainland Chinese marriage says about the city's protests.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

As part of Crossing Divides, bringing people together in a fragmented world, BBC World Affairs correspondent Paul Adams hears from one such couple, for whom the political has become personal. ‘Daniel’ is a native-born Hong Kong citizen, while his wife ‘Jane’ moved to the city from the Chinese mainland. They are happily married – but are living in a metropolis riven by discontent. How do they navigate the expectations of their friends, families and workplaces and most importantly their spouse – while staying true to their own beliefs? This single marriage reveals a great deal about the emerging, troubled identity of Hong Kong.

Presenter/Reporter: Paul Adams
Producer: Cat Farnsworth

(Photo: A couple holding hands stare at a wall full of protest posters. Credit: Paul Adams)

How have the protests affected the married lives between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese?

Hong Kong: Twenty Years On20170625

John Simpson visits Hong Kong 20 years after its handover from Britain to China to find out how hopes and fears have played out.

John Simpson visits Hong Kong 20 years after reunification with China to find out how much has changed. On 1 July 1997, after 150 years of British rule, Hong Kong rejoined China under the “one country two systems ? formula whereby the territory would continue to enjoy much of its autonomy. Twenty years on, Hong Kong continues to prosper but amid political unrest and a growing sense that Beijing is trying to influence Hong Kong affairs.

The BBC’s Foreign Affairs Editor John Simpson returns to talk to the children of the Handover, now demanding democratic reform during the Umbrella Revolution in 2014. Business leaders discuss the delicate relationship between Hong Kong and Beijing as the pro-democracy movements gathered below their skyscrapers. How has the long arm of the Chinese secret police has reached into this immensely vibrant place? And, why is Mandarin being taught to a society which speaks Cantonese?

As Beijing tightens its grip on promised political reform and media freedom in Hong Kong, Simpson explores what the changes in recent years mean for the future direction of the territory, as it approaches the 20th anniversary of the Handover

(Producer: Neil McCarthy)

(Photo: BBC foreign affairs editor John Simpson in Hong Kong. Credit: Neil McCarthy)

Hong Kong: Twenty Years On20170628

How have the hopes and fears of Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China played out?

John Simpson visits Hong Kong 20 years after reunification with China to find out how much has changed. On 1 July 1997, after 150 years of British rule, Hong Kong rejoined China under the “one country two systems ? formula whereby the territory would continue to enjoy much of its autonomy. Twenty years on, Hong Kong continues to prosper but amid political unrest and a growing sense that Beijing is trying to influence Hong Kong affairs.

The BBC’s Foreign Affairs Editor John Simpson returns to talk to the children of the Handover, now demanding democratic reform during the Umbrella Revolution in 2014. Business leaders discuss the delicate relationship between Hong Kong and Beijing as the pro-democracy movements gathered below their skyscrapers. How has the long arm of the Chinese secret police has reached into this immensely vibrant place? And, why is Mandarin being taught to a society which speaks Cantonese?

As Beijing tightens its grip on promised political reform and media freedom in Hong Kong, Simpson explores what the changes in recent years mean for the future direction of the territory, as it approaches the 20th anniversary of the Handover

(Producer: Neil McCarthy)

(Photo: BBC foreign affairs editor John Simpson in Hong Kong. Credit: Neil McCarthy)

Hope Speaks Out20170215

Meet the refugees behind the microphones on Germany’s pioneering Refugee Radio Network

Media headlines often fuel fear about refugees and amongst refugees. But what happens when refugees pick up the microphones and tell their own stories?

Refugee Radio Network, in the German city of Hamburg, is a project that is tapping the power of community radio stations and the internet to give voice to refugees from wherever they have come. Founder Larry Macaulay, a Nigerian refugee who fled Libya in 2011, says “Let it be diverse, multi-ethnic, universal, no barriers, no borders - that is what I believe. Just come express yourself in the way you can. ?

Moaz, a 22-year-old Syrian from Damascus, says he got involved to challenge the discrimination he has experienced. “They think if you speak Arabic you are terrorist. Through our programmes we are trying to open the mind of the German people. To tell them - look these refugees they are not like what you see on your news. They are not animals. They are just normal persons - they eat like you, they work like you, they sleep like you. They are like you. They don’t come from the moon or another planet. ?

Can this innovative radio project create better integration with German society and replace fear with hope?

(Photo: Tahir and Larry from the Refugee Radio Network Credit: Culture Wise)

Houston, We Have A New Criminal Justice System2020022520200226 (WS)
20200229 (WS)

One year ago, voters in Houston, Texas, elected a slate of liberal Democrats to their local courthouse. These new judges promised to remake justice in America’s fourth-largest city, together with the liberal District Attorney, herself elected just two years earlier. Now for BBC World Service, local criminal justice reporter Keri Blakinger asks how far they have been able to make good on their promises of reform, and whether that has been a good thing.

Criminal justice reform has been a rare point of bipartisan agreement across the United States, but away from the cameras how do tricky questions play out in practice? Whether it’s bail reform, defence for suspects with no money to pay for a lawyer, or whether to prosecute low-level drug crime – can reforms stick, and who do they help?

Keri has been covering these stories for several years and takes us with her inside the Harris County courtrooms, where we meet some of the new judges; to the DA’s office; the headquarters of the local police union; and the public defenders’ chambers.

Can new judges transform Houston's criminal justice system?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

One year ago, voters in Houston, Texas, elected a slate of liberal Democrats to their local courthouse. These new judges promised to remake justice in America’s fourth-largest city, together with the liberal District Attorney, herself elected just two years earlier. Marshall Project criminal justice reporter Keri Blakinger, who lives and works in Houston, asks how far they have been able to make good on their promises of reform, and whether that has been a good thing.

Keri has been covering these stories for several years and takes us inside the Harris County courtrooms, where we meet some of the new judges; to the DA’s office; the headquarters of the local police union; and the public defenders’ chambers.

(Photo: Judge Shannon Baldwin, of the Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 4. Credit: Giles Edwards/BBC)

How To Buy Your Own Country2019100120191002 (WS)
20191005 (WS)

You can earn it, lose it, buy it and sell it. Citizenship is changing; and half the world’s governments are making money through citizenship schemes. We investigate the booming trade in passports, and in a rare interview with the boss of the world’s biggest citizenship brokerage, we hear how easy it can be to get a second – or third – passport, for the right price. We travel to Hong Kong, a hub for buyers and sellers on the doorstep of the flourishing mainland Chinese market. There, we meet a local agent who helps clients obtain passports for multiple countries. We speak to cross-border families about their citizenship gambles, and explore why so many people want an alternative nationality. We also hear about the libertarian ideas inspiring some of the richest people in the world to treat citizenship as a flexible commodity, and not a birthright.

Presenter: Vivienne Nunis

(Photo: Vanatu residents. Credit: Chris Morgan/BBC)

The winners and losers from the booming global citizenship trade.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Producer: Sarah Treanor
Presenter: Vivienne Nunis

Presented by Vivienne Nunis.

(Photo: Vanatu residents. Credit: Chris Morgan/BBC)

How To Win A Us Election2016111220161115 (WS)
20161120 (WS)

After one of the most extraordinary and unpredictable US Presidential election campaigns, Americans have voted for their next President, choosing Donald Trump to take his place in the White House.

Before the first Presidential debate, polls indicated that the candidates were neck and neck. Then the momentum of the campaign changed, with Donald Trump rocked by the leaked tape of his lewd comments and repudiation by some Republicans. Following an astonishing second debate, Trump fought to keep his campaign on the road, returning to the tactics which had originally secured his nomination, firing up his core support with anti-Washington rhetoric and increasingly bitter attacks on Hillary Clinton. For Hillary Clinton lingering doubts remained in voters’ minds about her trustworthiness, clouding her bid to become the first woman president.

With the result still resonating, Katty Kay takes a post-election view from the perspective of the winning side. She hears why Trump supporters in the key swing state of Pennsylvania were so motivated to vote for Trump and explores the key moments and turning points from the campaigns.

(Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrates winning the South Carolina primary, 2016. Credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

A post-election view of the US presidential race from the perspective of the winning side

I Don't Remember The War2014072620140727 (WS)

Six young writers explore a great grandparent's involvement in World War One

The BBC World Service gives voice to the most talented young writers - under 35 - to explore a great grandparent or grandparent's involvement in World War One. This centenary offers a chance to reflect on the gulf that separates young people from the war. Each writer attempts to bridge the gap, to question what the values and sacrifices of the war mean today.

British writer Ned Beauman has just published his third novel, Glow. The Teleportation Accident was longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. He is included in the Granta list of 20 best young writers.

Ceridwen Dovey is a South African writer living in Australia. Blood Kin was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book.

Irish writer Rob Doyle lives in County Wexford. His first novel, Here Are the Young Men has recently been published to great acclaim.

Chibundu Onuzo is Nigeria's youngest and most talented writer; now 22, she published The Spider King's Daughter when she was just 19.

Prajwal Parajuly grew up in the Sikkim region of north-east India. He recently published his first novel, The Gurkha's Daughter to great acclaim.

Clemens Setz' (Austria) latest novel Indigo was recently published to great acclaim. He received the Leipzig Book Fair Prize 2011 and the Literature Prize of the City of Bremen 2010 and in 2009 was shortlisted for the German Book Prize for his novel Die Frequenzen.

Introduced by the BBC's Special Correspondent, Allan Little.

(Photo: British artillery men in action with a big gun during the opening of the Battle of the Somme, 01/01/1916. Credit: PA)

I Have A Dream20130828

Martin Luther King’s 'I Have a Dream' speech is one of the most powerful and passionate political statements of the 20th century.

This unique tribute programme from BBC Radio, which seeks to commemorate Dr King’s legacy through his words, will be broadcast to a global audience. Global figures celebrate Dr King’s legacy by reading sections of the speech which resonate with their own experiences and aspirations.

I Speak Navajo20171015

Filmmaker Nanobah Becker travels across the Navajo Nation to discover what ""I Speak Navajo"" means today.

I Speak Navajo20171018

Growing up and not speaking the language, I felt this loss or this void"

Nanobah Becker discovered that the voices of her grandfather and great-grandfather were among a collection of recordings in the ethnomusicology department, while she was studying at Columbia University. Knocking on the door that day and asking for them back began a process of cultural realisation for her whole family.

Nanobah is a Navajo film-maker who did not learn Navajo. For her parents generation, those who did speak their own language at school were beaten, had their mouths washed out with soap and forced to wear signs around their necks that read "I speak Navajo".

Today though, "I speak Navajo" is a sign of honour. This resurgence of Navajo culture has created a new pride amongst the Navajo nation, but it is still in a precarious position. With the loss of speaking generations, it is now imperative that this youngest generation learn and pass on to their children to ensure the survival of the Navajo language. Those of Nanobah’s generation that are struggling the most; without their own language they are often considered “not Navajo enough ? by their own clans.

She travels from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Window Rock and Tahajilee in the Navajo Nation, to ask what "I speak Navajo" means to remaining generations. They meet musicians, artists and native speakers from a variety of backgrounds, learning along the way that there is real power of language and music.

(Photo: The landscape at Window Rock. Credit: Hana Walker-Brown)

Iceland Rescue20161108

Life as a volunteer out on call with Ice-SAR: Iceland’s search and rescue workers

A family stranded in a snowfield. A woman with vertigo on a mountain. A hiker falling in lava. These are just some of the jobs for Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg (Ice-SAR): the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue.

Ice-SAR is an elite national emergency militia with a gallant reputation in Iceland. In place of an army, its skilled volunteers, all unpaid, are expertly trained, well equipped, self-financed and self-sufficient. They perform rescues by sea, land and air and contend with earthquakes, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, storms and the island’s brutal, unpredictable weather.

Paul Smith ventures to Landmannalaugar in the Icelandic Highlands during peak tourist season. With two million people expected to visit Iceland this year, how is its rescue volunteers responding to the enormous strain on their services on an increasingly popular island?

(Photo: Volunteers of the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue)

Paul Smith ventures out on call in the highlands with Ice-SAR: Iceland’s search and rescue volunteers.

Idrissa Camara2014052820140529 (WS)
20140531 (WS)

Idrissa Camara cuts a distinctive figure as he walks his young child to her Welsh-speaking school in suburban Cardiff. Originally from Guinea, Idrissa moved to the city four years ago and now lists Welsh next to Susu, Malinke and Wolof among his languages.

Idrissa is a virtuoso dancer and choreographer and since arriving in Wales has been working to establish his own dance company, Ballet Nimba. He recently received a bursary to travel back to his native Guinea in order to formally study and document the evolution of dance, music and storytelling there - research which will feed into the next Ballet Nimba production.

In this programme, we follow the progress of this new work interwoven with snapshots from Idrissa's life in Cardiff and his life in Guinea, and the tension between the two.

(Photo: Dancers perform during the draw ceremony for the African Nations football Cup (CAN 2012), in Malabo, October, 2011. Credit: Voishmel/AFP/Getty Images)

A portrait of dancer and choreographer Idrissa Camara, as he returns to his native Guin...

A portrait of dancer and choreographer Idrissa Camara, as he returns to his native Guinea from his new home in Wales.

If You're Going To San Francisco...20170722

In the summer of 1967, thousands of hippies descended on San Francisco. Marco Werman looks back at the Summer of Love.

Fifty years ago, during a few short weeks in the summer of 1967, thousands of hippies descended on San Francisco. The small suburb of Haight-Ashbury became a centre for sexual freedom, freedom to experiment with mind blowing drugs, to debate social and economic utopias and freedom to listen to loud rock music. Peace and Love were the mantras of the day, and the Flower Children embraced psychedelic kaftans, music and miniskirts and all things floral. LSD was the passport to this new Nirvana.

Marco Werman looks back at those hedonistic times through the music and recollections of people who were there 50 years ago, and hears why after 1967, for many of them, the world was never quite the same place again.

(Photo: A woman walks towards the entrance to The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock'n'Roll, art exhibition at the deYoung museum, San Francisco, California, 2017. Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP)

Ii: The Greenest Town In Europe2019122420191225 (WS)
20191228 (WS)

The town of Ii in northern Finland is a green trailblazer. It has managed to stop burning fossil fuels and will have reduced carbon emissions by 80% by 2020; that’s 30 years ahead of the EU target. It is also aiming to be the world’s first zero-waste town. It’s happening because of the collective effort of the community.

In this programme Erika Benke discovers how everyone is involved; from local businessmen to the mayor and from schoolchildren to their parents and grandparents, all play their part in making Ii the greenest town in Europe. With the help of a young climate champion Erika hears their stories and meets the people making pancakes from leftover food for a Christmas party; the children checking if all the lights have been switched off at school at the end of the day and the fisherman drilling a hole through the ice on a lake to catch fish for a Christmas present. And they meet the people who still need persuading; the residents who are unhappy about the new wind farm and who are resisting change.

The inhabitants of Ii hope that they can show the world what individuals can do to make a difference to climate change.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The town of Ii in northern Finland is a green trailblazer. It has managed to stop burning fossil fuels and will have reduced carbon emissions by 80% by 2020; that is 30 years ahead of the EU target. It is also aiming to be the world’s first zero-waste town. It is happening because of the collective effort of the community.

Erika Benke discovers how everyone is involved; from local businessmen to the mayor and from schoolchildren to their parents and grandparents - all play their part in making Ii the greenest town in Europe. With the help of a young climate champion Erika hears their stories and meets the people making pancakes from leftover food for a Christmas party; the children checking if all the lights have been switched off at school at the end of the day and the scientist on a mission to restore one of Europe's biggest peatlands. And they meet the people who still need persuading; the residents who are unhappy about the new wind farm and who are resisting change.

(Photo: The town of Ii in northern Finland. Credit: BBC)

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In Perfect Harmony2013121420131215 (WS)

Harmony singing throughout the world – how does it differ from place to place?

A programme celebrating our collective love of singing in harmony, looking at when and why we do it, what it means to us musically and emotionally, and how different countries sing harmony differently.

Since time began, man has sung and soon another man added a harmony part – for companionship, for sharing, for support, for humour, for joy, for cleverness and for lovely, satisfying sounds. This programme investigates the different types of harmony singing throughout the world – how does it differ from place to place, what is it for? We hear from harmony singers from around the world.

Harmony has been a natural part of singing – from classical chorale singing to pop music, via doo-wop, barbershop quartets, African choral music, gospel, opera, rock, rap, and even death metal. The first thing a baby does is make vocal sounds to ‘harmonise’ with its mother. All types of music use it – usually in 3rds or 6ths around the melody to make the melody sweeter in Western cultures. Far Eastern Harmonies are different technically – traditionally harmony has been missing, but there are examples of overtone singing where the singer makes more than one note at the same time. There is something human in the ability to complement each other vocally – immensely satisfying and beautiful. It’s also a simple expression of companionship without a need for instruments.

We hear about the African village that hunts using harmony singing to guide them as a team – if they can’t sing, they won’t eat. We hear about an Armenian composer who was driven mad when trying to compose a piece for 8-part harmony and we speak to Wendy Wilson (daughter of Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys) about how she grew up singing harmony with her mother and sister, and how she carries on the legacy of her father today with her band Wilson Phillips. We also hear from music therapists working with terminally ill children who can no longer speak, but can sing, and also someone who works with patients with chronic lung disease where singing in harmony improves their quality of life. From South African choir leaders working with disaffected youth to Orkney women trying to keep traditional songs alive, via Abba, St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, Queen, the mash-ups being created with UK school children and Fleet Foxes, the world of harmony is here.

The programme is produced by Laura Parfitt and brought together musically by composer and radio sound designer Chris O’Shaughnessy.

In Perfect Harmony20131225

A programme celebrating our collective love of singing in harmony, looking at when and why we do it, what it means to us musically and emotionally, and how different countries sing harmony differently.

Since time began, man has sung and soon another man added a harmony part – for companionship, for sharing, for support, for humour, for joy, for cleverness and for lovely, satisfying sounds. This programme investigates the different types of harmony singing throughout the world – how does it differ from place to place, what is it for? We hear from harmony singers from around the world.

Harmony has been a natural part of singing – from classical chorale singing to pop music, via doo-wop, barbershop quartets, African choral music, gospel, opera, rock, rap, and even death metal. The first thing a baby does is make vocal sounds to ‘harmonise’ with its mother. All types of music use it – usually in 3rds or 6ths around the melody to make the melody sweeter in Western cultures. Far Eastern Harmonies are different technically – traditionally harmony has been missing, but there are examples of overtone singing where the singer makes more than one note at the same time. There is something human in the ability to complement each other vocally – immensely satisfying and beautiful. It’s also a simple expression of companionship without a need for instruments.

We hear about the African village that hunts using harmony singing to guide them as a team – if they can’t sing, they won’t eat. We hear about an Armenian composer who was driven mad when trying to compose a piece for eight-part harmony and we speak to Wendy Wilson (daughter of Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys) about how she grew up singing harmony with her mother and sister, and how she carries on the legacy of her father today with her band Wilson Phillips. We also hear from music therapists working with terminally ill children who can no longer speak, but can sing, and also someone who works with patients with chronic lung disease where singing in harmony improves their quality of life. From South African choir leaders working with disaffected youth to Orkney women trying to keep traditional songs alive, via Abba, St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, Queen, the mash-ups being created with UK school children and Fleet Foxes, the world of harmony is here.

The programme is produced by Laura Parfitt and brought together musically by composer and radio sound designer Chris O’Shaughnessy.

In Search Of Vadim Kozin2015122720151230 (WS)
20160117 (WS)
20160120 (WS)

Marc Almond travels to Moscow in search of the marvelous Russian tenor Vadim Kozin, tango-singer and superstar. The darling of the Soviet Union, Kozin melted hearts by the tens of millions in the 1940s, playing to packed concert halls and rallying Red Army troops in World War 2.

Kozin made dozens of hit records and lived the high-life of a celebrity in the most rarified circles around Stalin. But he vanished one day in 1944 when the secret police arrested him and sent him to the GULAG for homosexuality. His records were pulled from the shops, his voice from the radio. The public thought him dead, but Kozin would spend the next 50 years in Siberia, still singing and performing in the strange looking-glass world of internal exile.

(Photo: Marc Almond performs on stage at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire. Credit: C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images)

Marc Almond goes in search of a Russian superstar who vanished in Siberia

India's Battle With Online Porn2018120920181212 (WS)
20181213 (WS)

Politicians in parliament, colleagues in the office, commuters on the bus… the sight of someone watching porn on their mobile phone in India does not surprise anyone anymore, even if it does anger many.

Access to pornography though mobile phone has been sudden and widespread in the country – some say way too sudden for a conservative society and blame this for the sexual violence against women.

But when legal attempts are made to ban pornography, a strong resistance emerges in the name of freedom of expression, including sexual expression. Others argue that online pornography is the wrong target, pointing out that around a third of porn viewers in India are women.

But what do Indian men themselves make of this? The BBC’s India Women Affairs correspondent Divya Arya travels the country to meet men from all backgrounds to find out.

Image: Watching a video on a mobile phone (Credit: Getty Images)

Is the rise of online porn in India to blame for sexual violence against women?

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

India's Classical Music Marathon20170322

Aditya Chakrabortty reports on the fate of one of India’s most unique traditions, the all-night classical music concert.

India's Forbidden Love20190409

Investigating bitter relations between communities in India through love and marriage.

At a time when religious extremism and honour killings have been dominating the political and social discourse, we take a look at the issues surrounding marriages between inter-faith and inter-caste couples ahead of India’s parliamentary elections. Divya Arya, the BBC’s Women’s Affairs Journalist in India tells the story of couples who have fled their homes and communities in fear of their lives in the name of love. One of the most-asked question in any Indian election is about the candidate’s caste. Political analysts ask it, poll strategists ask it, and the voters ask it. Caste-related issues, frivolous to outsiders, are fiercely debated in TV shows and newspaper articles during an election season. But what does it mean for ordinary voters and their families and what do they hope from their politicians.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

At a time when religious extremism and honour killings have been dominating the political and social discourse, we take a look at the issues surrounding marriages between inter-faith and inter-caste couples ahead of India’s parliamentary elections. Divya Arya, the BBC’s Women’s Affairs journalist in India, tells the story of couples who have fled their homes and communities in fear of their lives in the name of love.

One of the most-asked questions in any Indian election is about the candidate’s caste. Political analysts ask it, poll strategists ask it, and the voters ask it. Caste-related issues, frivolous to outsiders, are fiercely debated in TV shows and newspaper articles during an election season. But what does it mean for ordinary voters and their families, and what do they hope for from their politicians?

(Photo: Aditya & Ayisha. Credit: Rumella Dasgupta/BBC)

How inter-faith and inter-caste marriages are leading to bitter divisions in India

India's Forgotten War2014102520141029 (WS)

In the Indian capital Delhi stands India Gate, the largest memorial to the war for which 1.5 million Indian men were recruited. But Anita Rani discovers that World War One is something of a forgotten memory today, seen as part of its colonial history, and she sets out to uncover some of the forgotten stories.

We meet relatives of the men who travelled from the rural villages in Punjab - including what is now Pakistan - to fight thousands of miles away from home for a cause they knew little about. Anita's parents are from this region, and she finds out what drove them to fight for the British Empire on the Western Front, Africa and in what is now Iraq. She explores how the women who were left in the villages managed to cope with their rural lives without their men, and uncovers folk songs they composed at the time which reveal their suffering.

Not all those who took part in the war were soldiers, and Anita also reveals lost stories from the Labour Corps - the hundreds of thousands of men who worked behind the scenes on the front, in a non-combatant role. They did everything from digging and clearing tranches and latrines, to cooking and boot mending. And we hear about the remarkable actions of a Bengali doctor who risked his life to save others on the battlefield.

We also reveal some of the forgotten story of the home front, in cities such as Bombay, Calcutta and Karachi, where military hospitals were set up to treat the wounded, and much production of food and munitions for the war effort fell to Indian workers.

Not everyone agreed with the involvement in this colonial war though, and we also look at how some deserted, or protested as part of the burgeoning independence movement.

Inside Real Madrid20170208

Real Madrid are the world's most valuable football club. They are the reigning European champions and have won more European Cups than any other club in history. Now they have opened their doors and their books to outside scrutiny for the first time, giving Columbia Business School professor Steven Mandis unprecedented access to every part of the business.

How does an organisation co-owned by 92,000 fans operate? How was the club transformed from the brink of bankruptcy 16 years ago? What is the relationship between success on the pitch and off the pitch? What role do values play in the business? What lessons are there for other sports teams and for businesses more widely?

Through conversations with fans, players, coaches and board members - including a rare in-depth interview with club president Florentino Perez - professor Mandis uncovers the secrets of Real Madrid's sporting and financial success.

(Photo: Professor Mandis and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. Credit: Real Madrid)

An exclusive behind-the-scenes analysis of the world's most valuable football club.

Through conversations with fans, players, coaches and board members, Steven Mandis uncovers the secrets of Real Madrid's success

Inside The Fed20131231

America's central bank - the US Federal Reserve - is 100 years old. Listen to its story

The US Federal Reserve – America's central bank – is 100 years old. Simon Jack tells the surprising story of an institution which desp