The Untold

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
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A Habit Of Hoarding20170123

David is a hoarder and lives alone in a house in south Belfast that's reached gridlock. Rooms are filled with his accumulated belongings and doors won't open against piles of furniture and random possessions. He hasn't dusted for years, hasn't had any form of central heating for longer and won't let anyone come round for a visit - not even members of his own family.

Now David has discovered the house has a potentially devastating case of dry rot. Floors and ceilings may be in danger of collapsing but with all his piles of stuff, dealing with it is a far from straight-forward process.

Will the dry-rot be the catalyst that lets David break the hoarding habit of a lifetime? And will he be able to invite his daughter Ruth into the house for the first time in years?

Presenter: Grace Dent

Producer: Conor Garrett.

All In The Proof20161205

Grace Dent tells the story of a maverick lawyer and his attempt to win asylum for a Pakistani man who says that - because he's gay - he will be persecuted if returned to Pakistan.

Mike McGarvey is the lawyer: He's eccentric, disorganised and very dyslexic; he failed at school and didn't pursue education until his adult years. He runs his own business which is based in a small suite of offices near the main station in Cardiff. One wall in his office has a distinctive collage of pictures from Disney, Star Wars and the Blues Brothers: things that are 'designed to cheer me up' because 'nearly everyone who comes here tells you they're going to be killed'.

We follow Mike for five months as he tries to find ways to prove that his client is indeed gay. This involves mining his phone for evidence of activity on gay dating sites, and seeking witnesses who will be prepared to say in court that they had a relationship with him.

Producer: Karen Gregor.

Battle Song20160606

Grace Dent tells the story of Deborah, a dynamic barbershop singer, in the lead up to the biggest competition of the year.

Deborah loves her family, her dog and, possibly most of all, barbershop singing.

She would drive hundreds of miles each week to sing in the best choruses in southern England. Now living in Christchurch, she sings with Wessex Harmony and music runs through the fabric of the house; her husband directs her current chorus, her daughter sings in her barbershop quartet and her desk drawers are stuffed with singing medals.

Once a year the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers holds a convention to find the country's most talented chorus. Over two thousand women in sparkling outfits and identical makeup and jewellery, are pitted against each other. And Deborah starts to plan for this wonderful weekend a year ahead.

But in May she finds a lump on her breast. It is cancer.

Grace follows her through the year, looking at what Deborah is prepared to do to compete, the risks she wants to take, the sacrifices the family are prepared to make and asks what happens if she doesn't get there.

Producer: Sarah Bowen.

Carry On Coxing20160725

Paddy Davison is 77 years old and possibly the oldest rowing coxswain in the country. He's also never rowed a stroke in his life, and only discovered the sport five years ago. Despite the late start, he commands a crew of eight ladies at the City of Bristol Rowing Club and is desperately hoping for success at this year's Henley Women's Regatta. But this isn't really a story of a rowing race. This is a tale of recovery from grief, and how teamwork and friendship can be a powerful salve. Paddy lost his wife, Jules, nearly two years ago in sudden and unexpected circumstances. It knocked him for six. But his 'rowing girls' have been there for him, and are helping him get his life back on track.

Grace Dent presents.

Producer: Karen Gregor.

A 77-year-old cox and a rowing eight that helps him recover from the loss of his wife.

Coping Without Kira20161128

Kira is an 18 year old Gloucester teenager who has just got her A level grades. The only girl from her school to be offered a place at Cambridge University, Kira is meant to be off to read history at the end of September.

But she is a carer for Rachel, her mum.

Rachel is bipolar, diabetic and arthritic. Virtually bedroom bound, she is heavily dependent upon Kira. Although hugely proud of her daughter, Rachel is not sure how she will cope if her daughter leaves.

Kira is keen for a new start. Perceived to be the poor kid at school, her teenage years were not particularly happy. And caring each evening for her mum, means parties, sleepovers and teenage freedoms have somewhat passed her by.

But Kira is consumed by worry and guilt.

Can she find a way to leave her mother and if she did, would she actually enjoy life as a Cambridge undergraduate?

Narrated by Grace Dent and produced by Sarah Bowen.

Desperately Seeking Santa20161219

At a garden centre in Derbyshire, marketing manager Ben needs six Santas and two dozen elves to staff his Christmas grotto. Plus two Mrs Clauses. He's spent a fortune on what he hopes is the biggest, best garden centre grotto in the region, and needs the customers to have a satisfying 90 minute Santa experience. But good Santas are hard to come by. He's had to offer a Santa finder's fee and even approach Santa agencies. Will he pull it off?

Presenter: Grace Dent

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins.

Down's Syndrome: It's Just Two Words20160516

Salma is having a baby, but as the due date draws near she's forced to confront unresolved issues with her last pregnancy: her baby was born with Down's syndrome and she's yet to tell her in-laws. Grace Dent follows what happens.

The shock of the diagnosis and the way Salma was given the news contributed to a long period of struggle and shame. As she reveals in The Untold, she was fearful of letting others know what had happened and to this day she's still not been able to bring herself to tell her in-laws. For the first few months she didn't even tell her own parents as she feared that others would see her responsible and would feel differently about her, her husband and their children.

Following the diagnosis she lost confidence, wouldn't go out in public and cried constantly. The turning point came after a chance meeting with another Asian Mum whose son also has Down's syndrome. Soon Mariam had introduced her to a third mother in the same position, Bilkish, and the three women have formed a strong friendship.

Producer: Sue Mitchell.

Every Second Counts20161212

As you drive into Bridgwater, a sign reads "The home of Carnival". The town prides itself on being the oldest and biggest carnival in Europe, and it's the biggest event of the year. For hundreds of years they've held a carnival here. This is an industrial town - a town full of engineers and tradesmen - and this is their creative outlet.

Every November, thousands of people flock to see the show of carts come through the town centre. Enormous moving feats of electrical engineering, which are covered in lights and animatronics.

At the end of it, one cart will be crowned winner of the Ker Cup - the most prestigious prize at the carnival.

Alan Windsor, or Winds, is our guide. Born and bred in Bridgwater, Alan is captain of the Marketeers carnival club. All year round they fundraise and build towards the big night. They're known as the Bridesmaids - the club that always come second.

Across the industrial estate are their arch rivals - if you want to win, you have to beat the Gremlins. They've won 23 of the last 31 carnivals - and for those 31 years, the Marketeers have consistently been on their tails.

This year, the Marketeers are building something special: a 100ft space machine, covered in 250,000 LED lights - "nothing like this has ever been seen on the streets of Bridgwater before."

Could this year be the year that the Marketeers' luck changes and they beat the Gremlins to the Ker Cup?

This is a story of dedication, loyalty - and never giving up.

Producer: Polly Weston.

Feeding An Army20170102

Grace Dent tells the story of Corpus Christi church in Oldham which faces an uncertain future. The Diocese has plans to close a quarter of its churches and Corpus Christi is on the shortlist. The parishioners are unhappy about this and have appealed. Due to a shortage of priests and lack of attendance in certain parishes, the Bishop has decided to "prune for regrowth"

Father Dermot Heakin (a windsurfer and a musician) leads a busy parish life. We follow him around the community on his pastoral activities. But as Christmas approaches, apprehension grows as both priest and congregation await the Bishop's final verdict on the future of their church.

Producer Neil McCarthy.

Holding The Baby20170116

Charlotte and husband Ian really want a baby, but she has epilepsy and pregnancy is likely to be fraught with difficulties. There is a balancing act between drugs that will keep Charlotte seizure-free but can pose risks to her unborn child. And if all goes well, then even after the birth, Charlotte has been advised that she will need to be careful: she's been told it's best she doesn't hold her baby when she's alone. For example, she should feed the baby on the floor and when she needs to go upstairs, carry her baby up and down in a secure car-seat. Even the pram she's going to use has a dead-man's brake, in case she has a seizure while out and about.

Charlotte has had epilepsy since she was eleven years old, and her seizures meant she had to leave University and has been unable to hold down a job. But Charlotte is determined to have a baby, and says: ' I won't let epilepsy take away my chance to be a mother.'

Producer in Bristol: Sara Conkey.

I Hope I Get It20160627

Teenagers Mohammed and Jess are both auditioning for the National Youth Theatre - with just a one in ten chance of success.

And the stakes are especially high for them, because they're a couple. Both are desperate to progress with their acting careers: Jess won a drama scholarship to her boarding school, while Mohammed attends a performing arts Academy.

Grace Dent follows their story, from the auditions to the nail-biting wait on results day.

Ice Cream Wars In Newbiggin20160815

In the Northumberland fishing village of Newbiggin by the Sea, local ice cream van owner Tommy Brash has lost the prime spot in the car park for selling ice creams. The council put it out to tender, and the tender was won by 'foreigners'. Variously described as Polish and then Iraqi, it seems no one actually knows who they are, and they've kept a low profile since winning the tender, even though the news made the headlines.

A local petition is launched to get Tommy's patch back, a march is held, but the newcomers are staying.

Tracking them down for this programme, we discover who the new ice cream sellers really are and follow them over the summer as they battle local hostility, rain, Brexit and health issues.

As they prepare for Newbiggin's big annual event, the Lifeboat fund-raiser - a sure-fire money-spinner, will they finally make their new business a success and will they get the welcome they're looking for?

Grace Dent presents.

Producer: Alice Lloyd.

Leaving Prison20170109

With unique access to Craig and the team working with him in Forest Bank, Producer Sue Mitchell records for six months before the October release date. Drug worker Paul Curran helps Craig navigate some of the issues behind his heroin and cocaine use and equips him with new ways of coping with the pressures he might face when he's free. He is now 36 and has been in and out of custody for most of his life, starting with an eight year sentence when he was just seventeen.

Forest Bank, on the outskirts of Manchester, prides itself on the close links between the drug unit in the prison and the community team ready to take over on release. Craig's partner has had enough of raising three children on her own and wants him to finally get settled: some of the work involves family meetings as the couple discuss what life might be like. Another strong element rests with two former prisoners, themselves ex-addicts, who now work mentoring Craig and others as they detox on the wing and embark on therapy and group work.

The recordings reveal the struggle Craig faced following the murder of his older brother and how drugs became his way of coping with the pain. On his last release he was doing well until he lost his job and after that things quickly deteriorated. This time round he feels better able to cope with knock-backs and is working on his temper, his expectations and how his hopes for a normal life can be realised. As his release date draws near listeners are taken into his cell as he packs and waits: will this be the time he finally manages to start his life in earnest.

Life After Bhs20161226

Grace Dent follows BHS worker Anthony as he hunts for a new job - one of 11,000 BHS staff made redundant in 2016.

The story starts in August as BHS Cardiff Bay closes its doors for the last time. Furniture sales consultant Anthony resolves to leave retail and find a job with more sociable hours.

But the 50 year old finds changing direction is more difficult than he'd hoped.

Producer: Laurence Grissell.

Missing: Episode 120170220

At the beginning of November, an advert appeared on the lost and found section of a well-known website. Amongst the pictures of misplaced iPads, recovered wedding rings and lost drones, was a photo of a smiling young man, holding a new-born baby. 'Father and partner missing', it said.

Zack's in his late 20s. He has bipolar disorder. On medication, he has it mostly under control. He and his girlfriend Kirsty had just moved into a new flat and become proud parents of their first child together. Life, they thought, was good.

But one day in early November, on their five year anniversary and when the baby was just 5 weeks old, Zack left for work and never came home.

His decision to go appeared meticulously planned. He had disappeared without trace.

In a special, serialised version of The Untold, Grace Dent presents the story of a girlfriend turned sleuth, and her hunt for the truth. It's a search which takes her across the country. The police tell Kirsty that he's safe and well. She doesn't believe them. Her family try to warn her off the search. She ignores them. She hears news that he's working and has started a new life. She finds he has been gambling. She receives texts from him claiming he's lost his memory. Is he playing her, or does he need her help?

Over the past three months The Untold has recorded with Kirsty and her family as they make unsettling discoveries about his disappearance, and find out the truth as to why he went. It's something that will test her love for him and her understanding of his mental illness.

Producer: Georgia Catt.

Missing: Episode 220170221
Missing: Episode 320170222

At the beginning of November, an advert appeared on the lost and found section of a well-known website. Amongst the pictures of misplaced iPads, recovered wedding rings and lost drones, was a photo of a smiling young man, holding a new-born baby. 'Father and partner missing', it said.

Zack's in his late 20s. He has bipolar disorder. On medication, he has it mostly under control. He and his girlfriend Kirsty had just moved into a new flat and become proud parents of their first child together. Life, they thought, was good.

But one day in early November, on their five year anniversary and when the baby was just 5 weeks old, Zack left for work and never came home.

His decision to go appeared meticulously planned. He had disappeared without trace.

This is the story of a girlfriend turned sleuth, and her hunt for the truth. It's a search which takes her across the country. The police tell Kirsty that he's safe and well. She doesn't believe them. Her family try to warn her off the search. She ignores them. She hears news that he's working and has started a new life. She finds he has been gambling. She receives texts from him claiming he's lost his memory. Is he playing her, or does he need her help?

Over the past three months The Untold has recorded with Kirsty and her family as they make unsettling discoveries about his disappearance, and find out the truth as to why he went. It's something that will test her love for him and her understanding of his mental illness.

Producer: Georgia Catt.

Missing: Episode 420170223
Missing: Episode 520170224
Our Own Marigold Hotel20160711

The idea for a guest house came after Phillida and Christopher Purvis spent time travelling with charities working in the Nilgiri Hills. They had heard Indian community leader, Stan Thekaekara when he gave a guest presentation at Oxford University's Said Business School and were impressed by the work he was doing. He and his wife Mari have been alongside the Adivasi community in the Nilgiri Hills for more than three decades, working with those living in more than 300 villages and settlements stretching over a 40 mile radius. They set up a charity to help tribal villagers reclaim land and businesses to trade in tea and honey, for example. They have also overseen new community provisions, including a school and a well-regarded hospital.

As a former merchant banker Christopher already had experience of working abroad and being thrown in at the deep end. He had overseen the setting up of Warburg's Tokyo branch and it was in Japan that he and Phillida met. When he retired from banking he turned his hand to charity work, opening the Handel House Museum in London and working to help disadvantaged youngsters get into University and adjust to life there. He and Phillida decided to commit to sustained periods of volunteering in India with Stan and his community. They also thought that some of their retired friends might also like to help and the idea of the guest house was born.

The couple have put in a third of the money needed to buy the land and build the guest house and are lending a further third to the charity they've set up to oversee things. They want to raise the last £100,000 from friends and people they know, in part because it signifies a commitment and desire to join the venture. As Grace Dent hears, this will enable people with a range of skills can join together to help and it will also be fun sharing the guest house with like-minded people. There will be terraces, an area for yoga and even for Ayurveda medicine and meals will be specially prepared in the purpose built kitchens.

The unveiling of the idea to friends is met with a mixed response: on the one hand some are happy to commit to the kind of time share arrangement proposed, with £6,000 securing a month's stay every year for a decade. Others are more reluctant without visiting first and instead offer donations to help get things started. With the Monsoon fast approaching the work on clearing the land needs to start for things to be up and running on time. The rallying of the uncommitted begins in earnest and Grace Dent follows what happens

Produced by Susan Mitchell.

Race Against Time20161107

Twenty three year old May Brown needs a bone marrow transplant to survive: her sister's a perfect match but she lives in Nigeria and has been refused a visitors visa to enter the UK. For May and her husband, Mike, the Home Office decision is a huge set-back. They had their hopes resting on the transplant and fear what will happen next. There are no other matches for May on the register kept by the African and Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, where staff have mounted a social media campaign to challenge the Government's decision.

The Home Office reasoning is that May's sister, Martha, doesn't meet the income threshold for a visitor's visa - as a teacher her wages are only around £200 a month. For Orin Lewis, from the ACLT, this overlooks the compassionate grounds which he is urging the Minister to take into account. Grace Dent tracks May's private fight against acute myeloid leukaemia alongside the public pressure for a reversal of the decision

May is in an isolation unit in the hospital at the start of the recordings and hasn't seen her two year old daughter, Selina, for three months. With her chemotherapy underway she is discharged to be seen as an outpatient and goes back to Weymouth to be with Mike and Selina. The couple's marriage was investigated for more than two years before immigration officers were satisfied that it was genuine. Now it's another waiting game as the case for allowing Martha in is reconsidered: Grace Dent tracks what happens next.

Revisited20160822

Grace Dent hears from some of the people featured in previous episodes of The Untold. Updates include the fate of Bristol's DJ Derek and the latest on 73 year old Jean, who was being harassed by her estranged husband. Also, 23 year old Thomas reflects on fatherhood following the result of a positive paternity test. Producer: Laurence Grissell.

Some Mother's Son20161031

Grace Dent follows Untold listener Shirley as she tries to find out the exact circumstances of her estranged son's death from drinks and drugs.

Shirley had just arrived at work when she got a phone call which changed her life - the student finance company wanted her son's death certificate for their records. Six months previously Ben, who was sleeping rough, had disappeared - but Shirley had no idea he'd died.

Shirley needs to know more about her son's death. Three years on, she hopes to meet the rough sleeper who was with him when he died - and visit the drop-in centre which tried to help him.

Producer: Sara Parker.

Songs Of The Bothy Balladeer20161121

17-year old Rachel Carstairs speaks and sings in Doric. It's a dialect not commonly used outside Rachel's native north-east Scotland, but she has grown up unusually steeped in local folk traditions.

She started singing the area's unique traditional farm-worker's songs, known as 'Bothy Ballads', aged just 4, when she entered a music festival competition.

This is why her music teachers now see her as an exciting 'tradition bearer'; with the potential to be a leading voice in the Scottish folk scene's next generation.

But before that can happen, she has just 15-minutes to impress an audition panel at the world renowned Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Will she take her place at Scottish traditional music's top table?

Producer: Dave Howard.

The Blind Side20160620

Grace Dent follows 21-year-old footballer Brandon Coleman, who is hoping to get his first cap for England.

Brandon is a typical 21-year-old. He's good looking, says "like" a lot, and takes a great interest in girls, and drum and bass music. Then there's football. He loves football. Not just watching, but playing too. His coaches say he's a "freak". They've never seen anyone train as hard as him before. Grace Dent follows him in the run up to England's match against France in May - will Brandon make the grade?

It's been a long road for Brandon to get here. Four years ago, aged 17, he was in and out of work, and getting into trouble. Then, suddenly, his eye sight began to deteriorate. Six weeks later, he was blind. After trying to pretend his situation wasn't real, he eventually enrolled at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford, where he learnt to play football. Just eighteen months later, he's been training with England's blind football team, and if he can make the grade, he'll be getting his first cap for England.

The team suffered a bitter defeat at the euros on their home turf last year - depriving them of a place in this year's paralympics. Brandon's first match will also be the team's first game together since then. England manager, Jonathan Pugh, has to pull the team back together again - and Brandon is part of the plan.

Producer: Polly Weston.

The Funeral20160523

Mandy was shocked to discover how much the funeral for her ex-husband was going to cost. But she was also determined that her three children should not be forced to carry the cost alone. Matt the eldest is her carer, and legally liable for all costs, but his carer's allowance was never going to cover the costs - embalming, cremation, flowers, the hearse. So the idea of a fundraising day at the local pub slowly emerged. But despite the best efforts of the community, Mandy and Matt still struggle to settle the bill.

And more bills keep coming in.

Grace Dent presents one family's struggle to grieve for their dead father while dealing with the spiralling price of his death.

The producer is Miles Warde.

The Man The Lions Love To Hate20161024

Mark Godwin has a problem. "A lot of the animals don't really like me. I'm usually the bad news person - if something bad's going to happen, I turn up."

Head keeper at the Cotswold Wildlife Park, he wears sunglasses to avoid upsetting the wolverines, the zebras and the giraffes he sometimes has to dart. There's one lioness who would love to have him for lunch.

The rhinos do seem to like him, but now he has to move one of them on the back of lorry around the M25. Astrid is a celebrity rhino, a bit of a diva they say. When she was born even the Prime Minister came to pay his respects. But now Astrid is three years old she has to be moved, or her dad Monty could try to mount her. But Astrid won't even go in her crate.

Grace Dent introduces a zoo tale with a difference, featuring a blunt speaking keeper just trying to do his job.

The producer is Miles Warde

The Prison Wedding20160801

The pregnant fiancee of a white-collar criminal tries to organise their prison wedding.

Grace Dent tells the story of a white-collar-criminal's pregnant fiancée, trying to organise their prison wedding.

When Veronica's partner - a successful businessman - was sent to prison for what is sometimes called a 'white-collar crime', she was pregnant with his child.

On her first visit to him behind bars, he proposed. At a time of such uncertainty the prospect of marriage was something that kept them united.

But they want the marriage to take place before the birth of the baby - just 9 weeks away. And they're not even sure if it's possible to get married in a prison at all.

Producer: Georgia Catt.

The Process20170130

Grace Dent presents a series documenting the untold dramas of 21st-century Britain.

The Roma Memorial20160808

Sherrie Smith, a florist and Romany Gypsy from Hertford, wants to take the first ever UK Gypsy and Traveller group to an annual Holocaust memorial event at Auschwitz-Birkenau. She sees it as vital for getting up to half a million Roma deaths more widely acknowledged, and - by extension - improving the lives of modern day Gypsies and Travellers. But the cost of flights has tripled and Sherrie's meagre budget means it might no longer be possible. Can she raise the extra funds to get the trip back on track? Grace Dent follows her story.

Producer Dave Howard.

The Sailor Who Lost Everything20160613

Grace Dent tells the story of an 82 year old sailor, forced to rebuild his life from scratch after a disaster at sea leaves him with nothing.

From the Norwegian lifeboat that had plucked him from the waves, 82 year old Julian watched his uninsured sailing boat that was his home sink to the bottom of the North Sea - with it, all of his belongings.

For most of his life he had lived conventionally - working as an architect, bringing up children - but in the back of his mind was always the feeling there was more to life.

Taking early retirement he put all his money into pursuing his dream - sailing. Living on a 26 foot boat, he circumnavigated the globe, visiting some of the wildest places of the world.

Forced back on land, with no home or belongings, Julian must pause and reflect on what he wants from life.

As he considers whether he is too old to continue the nomadic seafaring lifestyle that is his dream, he also faces up to something he has been putting off for decades - how to reconnect with the daughter he has not seen since a bitter divorce 30 years before.

Producer Georgia Catt.

The School Inspection20160718

A headteacher's fate hangs in the balance as she awaits a visit from a school inspector.

When Sue Vermes became headteacher of struggling Rose Hill Primary School less than two years ago, she hoped to reverse its fortunes. Instead, an Ofsted inspector labelled the Oxford school 'inadequate' and placed it into so-called 'Special Measures'. Now Sue's future is in question as she awaits the verdict of a follow-up visit by Ofsted. Have Sue and her team done enough to arrest the school's decline?

Producer: Laurence Grissell.

The Search For Bru20161114

Rob Lawrie first met four year old Bru and her father when he volunteered at the Calais jungle. He ended up on trial in a French court after being arrested trying to get the girl to her relatives in Leeds. With the jungle demolished his search to find out what's happened to them takes him to the streets of Paris.

There are thousands of refugees sleeping rough in Paris and as the police step up their efforts to clear the makeshift camps from the streets, Rob Lawrie focuses on the Afghan refugees, finding out what's been happening to them and also whether they know where Bru and her Dad have ended up.

The Untold first reported on Rob Lawrie's work with the refugees earlier this year, with listeners alongside him as he awaited trial in France. He was given a suspended sentence following his attempt to smuggle Bru across the border in his van. He had been taking donations of clothes to the Calais jungle and her father had begged him to take the little girl to relatives living close to his own home in Leeds.

Listeners moved by the story sent in money and letters of support for Bru and her Dad, who described their long trek to safety after fleeing Afghanistan. In Paris Rob hears from many others who have made that same journey, including Ali, who lost his leg in a Taliban bomb blast. He describes being wedged into a small gap under a lorry and travelling for 36 hours just inches from the ground. He, along with so many others, are now waiting to see what happens next as Europe wrestles with the growing refugee crisis.

The Tb Test20160530

Grace Dent follows the story of a fourth generation Herefordshire beef farmer during his most stressful time: the TB Test. Matthew Oliver wants to sell around fifteen cattle at a local market, but to do this they have to be free of TB. It's a nervy time both for Matthew and his 87 year old mother - they have failed the test before. If the TB test is positive, cattle movement is banned for 120 days, the affected animals all culled. The farm, set up by his great grandfather in 1892, is in a high-risk area and Matthew knows local farmers who have never been free of TB; one neighbour was forced to leave farming altogether. So the stakes are high for Matthew, and the future of his family farm.

Producer: Karen Gregor.

The Trials Of Gunner John Gough20161017

With Grace Dent.

Since leaving the army, John's never slept in his bed. He barely sleeps at all, but when he does, it's on the floor of the living room in the sheltered accommodation for army veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder - PTSD.

Now it's closing. And John has no idea what to do. He fears he could end up on the streets.

John left school at 16 and trained as a bricklayer, but after a fortnight of work being rained off and his girlfriend breaking up with him, he headed to the army careers office to sign up. He was 18 and went on to serve in Northern Ireland and both Gulf wars. It's been 20 years since he left, but he hasn't been able to move on.

Like the other war veterans in the house in Wolverhampton where he lives, PTSD has scarred his life. In the past decade he has shut out friends and family. Panic attacks, injuries sustained in service and drug addiction have left him unable to work, and he has served prison sentences. And now he is about to lose his home - purpose-built accommodation for army veterans with mental health issues. He fears he'll end up on the streets.

Grace Dent follows John as he tries to arrange somewhere to live, and as he makes the first tentative steps towards reconnecting with old friends and family, seeking help, and starting to live again.

Producer Georgia Catt.

Tilting At Poker20160704

Lister has taken redundancy, sold his home - a narrowboat - and is trying to make it as a professional poker player. His aim is to go to Las Vegas. But a run of bad luck has put him in "tilt" - the mental problem that can affect poker players when their luck goes bad and they start to play badly as a reaction. Can he get his head straight and start winning again? Maybe, with the intervention of a top poker psychologist.

Presenter: Grace Dent

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins

0101High Stakes20160111

Grace Dent presents a new series documenting the untold dramas of 21st century Britain.

The stakes couldn't be higher for 26 year old Steve: he needs to prove he's quit gambling by Christmas in order to move back in with his partner and two kids.

Steve and Stacey met as teenagers ten years ago but Stacey kicked him out when she discovered he was gambling away thousands of pounds on smartphone apps. Things came to a head when Steve blew his entire wage packet in just one hour - on payday - leading Stacey and their children facing eviction.

Steve lost everything - can he win back Stacey's trust in time for a happy Christmas in the family home?

Producer: Laurence Grissell

0102Strictly Come Langport20160118

Grace Dent presents a new series documenting the untold stories of 21st century Britain.

Langport in Somerset has a secret. Not a dark secret, quite a happy one really - a dance competition to blow away the winter blues. Grace Dent and her producer zoom in on events and discover a classic tale of good vs evil - a sparky 70 year old widow called Mo doing the salsa; and opposing her a tango-ing video technician called Ferg. At stake, a small silver trophy and eternal local glory. So who will win Strictly Come Langport this year?

The producer is Miles Warde.

0103Todmorden Under Water20160125

Grace Dent documents the untold dramas of 21st century Britain.

Boxing Day, 7.30am: flood sirens sounded in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

As the waters rose rapidly, Mandy and Paul faced a unique rescue mission. They share their terraced house on the outskirts of Todmorden with their student daughter, her boyfriend, three dogs, four cats and 27 tortoises.

The Untold follows them as they attempt to meet their first objective: getting one room clear of the water so that they can close the door on the chaos in the house and take stock.

Sharing this one room with their many pets, they face numerous challenges. The town is cut off, roads are closed, they have elderly relatives in need of care, and a baby tortoise in need of emergency treatment, after it was stepped on in the chaos. Mandy also stands in the road, asking drivers to quell their speed: moving vehicles create waves which add to the water in the house.

As the rain eases, The Untold finds out how Mandy and Paul try to restore some normality to their world under water.

Producer Sue Mitchell.

010420160201

In July last year, veteran Bristol DJ, Derek Serpell-Morris, known as "DJ Derek", went missing. He was last seen on CCTV camera leaving a pub, but after that, nothing. He might as well have vanished into thin air. His great niece, Jennifer Griffiths, used to be his PR manager, and for the last six months she has been the public face of the campaign to find Derek. Over those months, we follow Jennifer as she goes through the cycles of hope and despair, following leads that go nowhere and clues that seem to mean either everything or nothing. It's a detective story, but one where the final chapter is still unwritten. What does it do to a family to live with such uncertainty?

Presenter: Grace Dent

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins

0105Tainted Love20160208

Grace Dent tells the story of Jean, 73, who's being harassed by her 80 year old estranged husband, George. After over 40 arrests, a judge must decide whether George's actions are the result of dementia.

Jean and George finally split up in early 2015 after nine years of unhappy marriage. But for George, that wasn't the end of their relationship. For months, George has been harassing Jean: writing her love letters, verbally abusing her and coming to her flat trying to gain entry. Jean now feels like a prisoner in her own home, scared to go out alone.

Despite over 40 arrests, George won't keep away. As the day of George's court appearance approaches, a judge must weigh up whether George's actions are deliberate or if they stem from dementia.

Producer: Laurence Grissell

0106Being Bowie20160215

Laurence Bolwell has been dressing as David Bowie and singing his songs on stage for 18 years. One Monday morning, early in January, he hears the news that his idol has died. That Friday night, he is due on stage with his act in a theatre in Carmarthen. Grace Dent tells the story of Laurence's week, and finds out what it's like to be a tribute artist the day your hero dies.

Producer: Chris Ledgard

0107Darkie Day: Michael And The Mummers20160222

Grace Dent presents untold stories of 21st century Britain. Young black film director Michael Jenkins is making a film about Padstow's Darkie Day. It's a long standing tradition where local residents black up their faces and process through the streets singing and dancing. The locals are defensive about their celebration which is part of their Cornish identity. Despite what outsiders think they say it has no racial overtones, but they did change the name to Mummers Day after complaints prompted MP Diane Abbott to call for the festival to be stopped. As a young Black British man Michael wants to experience it for himself and capture it on film. Will any of the town's residents accept his invitation to sit down and have an honest conversation with him about Darkie Day's origins and meaning? Is political correctness making it worse? This is a story where modern Britain meets medieval history in a clash of cultures.

Producer: Maggie Ayre.

0108Stacey Jackson: Chasing Dreams20160229

Grace Dent follows pop star and mum Stacey Jackson as she launches a career in business.

Stacey Jackson is no ordinary working mum - she's a successful pop star with a very wealthy husband. But for Stacey, that's not enough. She's about to launch a career in business. Why does she keep chasing new dreams when she already has all the money anyone could wish for?

Producer: Sara Parker

0109Be My Baby20160307

Grace Dent presents untold stories of 21st century Britain.

After a week-long fling with a girl he met on Tagged, 21 year old Thomas is shocked to hear she is pregnant.

He stands up to the mark, offering support and going with her to the scans, but she suddenly cuts off all communication. She doesn't return his calls or messages and Thomas can only guess what is going on. Has he done something wrong? Does she just want to do this on her own? The ex- boyfriend has moved back so perhaps the child isn't actually his?

In October he sees a baby girl being pushed around town. He sees her photos on Facebook. He knows his life will change forever if he is found to be the father, but Thomas can't cope with not knowing.

He is going to court to force a DNA test to find out one way or another.

Producer: Sarah Bowen.

0110The Gold Man20160314

Grace Dent presents a new series documenting the untold stories of 21st century Britain.

Today she follows the Gold Man of Farnworth market as he tries to save his business. John Hill is a gold trader who set up a stall at a traditional market, in Farnworth near Bolton, six years ago. He is a big character who isn't afraid to fight for what he believes in. John turned his back on an IT career to run his own stall and has led the battle to keep the traditional market going but now the local Council has written to John and his fellow traders to tell them their time is up: February 26th is their last day. John has consistently come up with alternative plans to keep the market going but, right now, it looks as if he will be the last man fighting. He needs a new site to keep his tribe of traders together but that means getting the council's permission and the other traders on side. Grace Dent wants to know if John can persuade them to go with him as he searches for hope, even at the 11th hour.

Producer: Karen Gregor.

0111No Fixed Abode20160321

Grace Dent presents untold stories of modern Britain. Today, a tale of homelessness in Poole as we follow the life of Mel.

From a career in high finance, Mel has ended up sleeping rough in the stairwell of a multi storey car park. We follow her daily - and nightly - routine as she tries to survive with no fixed abode.

Events conspire to raise the stakes for Mel and the need for a roof over her head becomes more urgent than ever.

Producer Neil McCarthy.

0112Sanjeev - Saviour Of Steel?20160328

The British steel industry is in meltdown. But one person believes he has worked out how to make it profitable, and he's investing millions. Grace Dent and her producer zoom in on events to try and discover his secret. At stake are thousands of jobs, so does Sanjeev have what it takes to make British steel rise again?

Producer: Melvin Rickarby.

0201Child Rescue20160502

In the first of a new series of The Untold Grace Dent looks at the case and asks what you would have done?

Bahar and her Dad, Reza, fled from the Taliban in Afghanistan and made the journey across Europe to reach Calais. They have relatives in Leeds and had struck up a friendship with Rob Lawrie when he was working in the camp as a volunteer. At the end of his time there they begged for help and he agreed to put the little girl in the cabin of his lorry. His actions were foiled when sniffer dogs at the border found two Eritrean men who, unknown to him, had stowed in the back of his van. He faced a prison sentence of up to five years following his arrest.

Producer Sue Mitchell has been alongside him following his return from France. The January court hearing in Bologna was a media frenzy, with people across the world debating the rights and wrongs of his actions. He was found guilty of 'child endangerment' for his attempt to smuggle Bahar into Britain and was given a suspended fine of 1,000 Euros. But he has paid a heavy price for his actions on many fronts: his wife has left him, taking the four children with her and he now faces the task of rebuilding his own life whilst also trying to help Bahar and Reza reach Britain

He has struggled to cope and on his return he attempts suicide. He sold his carpet cleaning business to go to France, a move he took after seeing the images of three year old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi. Because he was in care as a child he wanted to try and help other children neglected by the system. He has bi-polar disorder and staying well is difficult, but what eventually helps is the huge swell of public opinion in favour of his actions, with many well-wishers spurring him on and sending donations for those in the camps. This interest in his story and the prominence it gives to child refugees has sparked interest from Hollywood and longer term there might well be a movie.

But for now there are these recordings, made in the weeks following his return home as he contemplates his future and shares his story with the Untold, which is presented by Grace Dent.

Produced by Sue Mitchell.