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Lives Less Ordinary

Have you ever locked eyes with a stranger and wondered, "What’s their story?" Step into someone else’s life and expect the unexpected. Extraordinary stories from around the world.

Alle Folgen

  • 26.09.2022
    23 MB
    49:39
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    Hip-Hop lies and the ultimate prize, part 1

    The Scottish rappers who fooled the music industry. Gavin Bain was one half of Silibil N’ Brains, a Californian rap duo on the cusp of greatness. But there was a problem — the story of these hip-hop stars was fake. Gavin’s never even been to America.Film clips: The Mask/Chuck Russell/ New Line Cinema and Dark Horse Entertainment. The Secret of My Success/Herbert Ross/Rastar Beetlejuice/Tim Burton/The Geffen Company Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 18.09.2022
    14 MB
    29:21
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    I was the voice of Bambi – and kept it secret for years

    Donnie Dunagan was a Disney child star in the 1930s before becoming a US Marine.He was born in 1934 and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, in the midst of the Great Depression. After winning a talent show aged four he was scouted and whisked to Hollywood where he starred in several movies – including a role as the voice of Walt Disney’s iconic animated deer Bambi in 1942. But the Second World War would put a halt to his movie career, and Donnie eventually became a US Marine – never telling anyone about his Hollywood history until he was publicly unmasked in 2004. On the 80th anniversary of Bambi's release, he shares his story.Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Zoe Gelber

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  • 12.09.2022
    14 MB
    29:45
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    Black, Korean, stateless: a Slickyboy’s American dream, part 2

    Growing up as the son of a sex worker and a Black US soldier in South Korea in the 70s, Milton Washington was seen as an outcast, and "not Korean." He couldn't even get a birth certificate. Still, he was loved and protected by his mum, the two of them against the world. She told him his dad was in America, a land of flying cars and ice cream mountains — and that was where Milton wanted to be, too. Milton's story continues.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Laura Thomas

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  • 05.09.2022
    19 MB
    40:21
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    Black, Korean, stateless: a Slickyboy’s American dream, part 1

    Growing up as the son of a sex worker and a Black US soldier in South Korea in the 70s, Milton Washington was seen as an outcast, and "not Korean." He couldn't even get a birth certificate. Still, he was loved and protected by his mum, the two of them against the world. She told him his dad was in America, a land of flying cars and ice cream mountains — and that was where Milton wanted to be, too.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Laura Thomas

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  • 29.08.2022
    18 MB
    39:05
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    I see my son in the Northern Lights

    Chasing the aurora helps Hugo grieve. By day Hugo Sanchez works in a school, but by night he hunts glowing light displays across the freezing Canadian wilderness. Capturing the aurora is more than just a hobby for Hugo. He took up photography after his son Emilio was born with complex disabilities. When Emilio died at ten years old Hugo found solace and hope in the dancing night sky.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 22.08.2022
    21 MB
    45:31
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    The brain tumour that taught me how to live

    How extreme kayaker Scott Lindgren's illness forced him to face his past. Scott’s hard, uncompromising attitude had made him one of the world’s top expedition kayakers in a sport that’s claimed the lives of many friends. But bottling up a harsh childhood and drinking for a release can only work for so long. When Scott became ill he faced a reckoning – be the tough guy and lose everything you love, or learn to embrace being vulnerable.Archive is from a film about Scott's life called The River Runner directed by Rush Sturges for River Roots productions.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 15.08.2022
    21 MB
    43:58
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    The family that went to war with a military dictatorship

    Hafsat Abiola Costello's dad was nearly Nigeria's president - but he had powerful enemiesHis name was Moshood Abiola, also known as MKO, and he was one of Africa's richest men before turning to politics. He was the presumed winner of a 1993 Presidential election, but the incumbent military regime annulled the result and had him arrested. Hafsat and her mother fought for his release, but the family paid a high price for taking on the generals..Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham Editor: Munazza Khan Sound design: Joel Cox

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  • 08.08.2022
    17 MB
    37:24
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    How I fell in love with blindness

    Itto Outini lost her sight but gained her freedomItto had been born poor in Morocco's Atlas mountains, and after her parents died, she was shunted between extended family members. She wasn't always welcome, and says she suffered frequent violence. This heightened when Itto was 17, when she describes a relative throwing a sharp object at her, taking her sight.Abandoned, Itto had to adapt to life as a blind person on the streets of a Moroccan city. Things were initially tough and disorientating, but she soon taught herself braille and found huge comfort in books and learning. Despite sleeping rough, Itto fought for the education that had been denied her when she was sighted.Itto has a memoir coming out in Autumn called "Blindness is the light of my life"Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Harry Graham

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  • 01.08.2022
    20 MB
    43:16
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    Nailed into a boat: Escaping Mao’s China

    Dr Andrew Kwong fled famine and persecution as a child. He was a proud Maoist, singing revolutionary songs at the top of his voice at school, but then he witnessed an execution, his father was arrested, and famine struck. His family knew their only hope was to smuggle 12-year-old Andrew abroad, though it would mean years of separation.Andrew has written a book about his experience called One Bright Moon.Presenter: Emily Webb Producers: Louise Morris and Fiona Woods

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  • 25.07.2022
    28 MB
    58:52
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    The legendary goalkeeper forced to pawn her gold medals

    Goalkeeper Briana Scurry knew at eight years old it was her destiny to win Olympic gold – and in 1996, she did it. That was just the beginning: she won the World Cup and another Olympics with the US Women's National Soccer Team. Briana made history on and off the pitch as one of the few African American women on the national side, and the only openly gay player on the team. But in 2010, a knee to the head changed her life. Incapacitated by pain and unable to work, Briana spiralled into depression and debt and ended up having to pawn the gold medals she’d spent her whole life working to earn. Things got so bad that she contemplated suicide. But then an ex-girlfriend introduced her to a woman who would change her life.Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Fiona WoodsIf you need support relating to any of the issues we've covered in this interview, you can find more information on the BBC Action line website or at Befrienders.org

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  • 18.07.2022
    16 MB
    33:56
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    A poet in a Burundi war zone, part 2

    Content Warning: This episode contains graphic descriptions of violenceJP Bimeni is a writer turned soul singer who walked through a massacre unscathed as his country fell into conflict. At just 16 he had a lot more living, and almost dying, to do. Now a successful performer these experiences seep into his songs.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 11.07.2022
    17 MB
    37:20
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    A poet in a Burundi war zone, part 1

    Content Warning: This episode contains graphic descriptions of violenceJP Bimeni risked his life to save a book of his verse. He started composing poetry to impress a girl, but was soon writing to address the ethnic tensions which threatened to tear his country apart. When violence did break out he dodged machete-wielding mobs to make it to safety. The mission to rescue his poetry almost cost him everything.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 04.07.2022
    21 MB
    45:29
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    My husband thought I was an imposter

    Abi Morgan’s husband woke from a coma and didn’t recognise her.Abi is a playwright and screenwriter based in London, and she'd made a name for herself writing successful and often highly emotional films and TV Series such as The Iron Lady, Shame, and The Split.In 2019 her life took such a strange and unfamiliar turn, she says it was almost like she'd landed in one of her scripts. Her partner Jacob was ill and put into a medically induced coma. Eight months later, he woke up, and no longer recognised Abi as his wife.Abi has written a book about her experiences called This Is Not a Pity Memoir.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham

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  • 23.06.2022
    23 MB
    48:00
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    My dream holiday turned to horror

    Pirates attacked Judith and her husband in a remote Kenyan resort in 2011. Judith was dragged from her bed and taken by boat to Somalia, where she was held for over six months. Despite everything she went through, Judith Tebbutt has spent the last ten years trying to get justice for a man she believes was wrongly convicted of the crime.Due to breaking news we're bringing you this episode of Lives Less Ordinary earlier than scheduled.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Rebecca Vincent

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  • 20.06.2022
    19 MB
    40:23
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    A family lost at sea

    Fleeing Vietnam, Lauren Vuong’s family almost died. Settled in the U.S. all she wanted was to fulfil her parents’ dream of finding their rescuers. This is the story of one family’s quest for survival, and the kindness of the strangers who helped them.Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Producers: Louise Morris and May CameronFilm clip: Finding the Virgo/Barre Fong/Lauren Vuong/ Barre Fong Designs

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  • 13.06.2022
    27 MB
    57:22
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    Giving birth as a hostage in Syria

    Janina was six months pregnant when she travelled to Syria in 2015 to meet a school friend who’d become an extremist. Janina Findeisen, a journalist, was making a documentary about their friendship. The trip was only meant to last a few days – little did she know that she would end up being taken hostage and forced to give birth in captivity.Presenter: Emily Webb Producers: Emily Webb and Fiona WoodsFilm clip: Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell, The Weinstein Company.

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  • 06.06.2022
    18 MB
    39:15
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    Taking on the witch hunters

    Blamed for killing her father through witchcraft, Monica Paulus fled for her life, but she didn’t stay in hiding for long. Monica realised she could be someone to stand up and prevent others being killed after accusations of sorcery. This is the story of how one brave woman took on the witch hunters and changed history in Papua New Guinea.

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  • 30.05.2022
    22 MB
    46:11
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    Township lawyer v gold giants, part 2

    Charles sues his country’s richest companies on behalf of black gold miners. It’s a battle that could spell ruin for Charles, but this isn’t a man who takes no for an answer.Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Fiona Woods

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  • 23.05.2022
    21 MB
    45:36
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    Township lawyer v gold giants, part 1

    Apartheid taught Charles to know his place, so how did he end up suing the gold industry? When Charles Abrahams told his teachers he was going to be a heart surgeon they laughed. This was Apartheid South Africa and kids like Charles had no business having such lofty ambitions. But Charles knew something those teachers didn't. He was destined for a bigger life and nobody was going to stand in his way.Charles has written a book, it's called Class Action: In Pursuit of a Larger Life.TV Clip: Dallas, Leonard Katzman, Lorimar ProductionsPresenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Fiona Woods

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  • 16.05.2022
    22 MB
    47:06
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    We need to talk about Carlo

    Donna discovers her ex fiancé’s secret life. When Donna met Carlo at an anti-war protest she immediately fell for him. They just had so much in common, particularly their left-wing politics. When he moved into her flat she discovered they had all the same books - it was as if they were fated to be together. Donna couldn't believe her luck! There was just one thing that bothered her - he'd never introduced her to his family or friends.Donna McLean has written a book, it’s called Small Town Girl.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Fiona Woods

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  • 09.05.2022
    24 MB
    50:44
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    You wanted me dead, but look at me now

    Anne's village thought her disability made her worthless. She had other ideas. Now a graduate and a Paralympian who's represented Kenya and the UK, this is the story of how Anne Wafula Strike forgave the unforgiveable and made her return.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 02.05.2022
    19 MB
    40:13
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    Bike-riding bank robber, part 2

    The FBI close in. “It’s a wake-up call when police are trying to shoot you.” Tom Justice’s fantasy is fading, he’s now robbing banks to fund his addiction and things are about to get a lot worse.Film clips: Heat/Michael Mann/Regency Enterprises and Forward PassPresenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 25.04.2022
    18 MB
    39:11
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    Bike-riding bank robber, part 1

    Olympic hopeful to audacious thief – the cyclist who turned to crime. Movies influenced Tom’s biggest life decisions. Slacker film Reality Bites made him give up becoming an Olympic cyclist, and heist film Heat ‘inspired’ him to make the bizarre leap from fiction to reality. But there are only so many banks you can rob before your ego, and the FBI, start catching up with you.Film clips: Reality Bites/Ben Stiller/Jersey Films Heat/Michael Mann/Regency Enterprises and Forward PassPresenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Louise Morris

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  • 18.04.2022
    1 MB
    02:54
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    The trailer

    Astonishing true stories, jaw-dropping twists. Why would an Olympic hopeful rob a bank? How does someone keep their double life a secret? From the team behind Outlook, incredible personal stories from around the world, to show you just how surprising and extraordinary humans can be.With Emily Webb, Mobeen Azhar and Jo Fidgen.Premieres on 25 April.

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  • 13.04.2022
    2 MB
    05:16
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    Introducing Lives Less Ordinary

    Enter other people’s worlds. Welcome to the new weekly podcast from the Outlook radio team, finding amazing personal stories from around the world. Premieres on 25 April.With Emily Webb, Mobeen Azhar and Jo Fidgen.

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