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Outlook

Extraordinary first person stories from around the world

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  • 14.06.2021
    15 MB
    31:41
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    Andy Cole: Goals, glory and the battle for his life

    Andy Cole is one of England’s most successful footballers, notably part of the legendary Manchester United squad that won a historic treble in 1999. His path to the top wasn’t easy – as a young player he had to deal with racism in football, and then grapple with the expectations of stardom. But Andy’s biggest challenge was off the pitch when he faced a deadly health scare. This interview contains offensive language.Get in touch: [email protected]: Mugabi Turya Producer: Maryam MarufPicture: Andy Cole with teammates David Beckham and Paul Scholes in 1999 Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Allsport via Getty Images

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  • 12.06.2021
    12 MB
    26:25
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    The spies in my house

    Arrested, interrogated and watched: Ulrike Poppe was a dissident in the former GDR and spent 15 years being spied on by the East German secret police - the Stasi- who installed secret microphones in her home and cameras pointing through the windows. Then, in 1992, after Berlin Wall came down, she was granted access to the Stasi archives and discovered 20,000 pages of details about her life with the names of friends and colleagues who'd informed on her. In those pages she also found the name of the Stasi officer in charge of her case and decided to track him down and confront him.Presenter: Andrea Kennedy Interpreter: Jo Impey Producer: Mariana Des ForgesPicture: Ulrike Poppe in 1999 Credit: P/F/H/ullstein bild via Getty ImagesGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 10.06.2021
    19 MB
    40:42
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    ‘Aids Angel’ – I gave love in a time of prejudice and fear

    As a young woman in the mid-1980s, Ruth Coker Burks had a chance encounter with a man with Aids, who had been left to die alone in a quarantined hospital room in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the US. She stepped in to comfort him in his final hours, and word soon spread that she was the only person willing to help such men in this deeply conservative town. At the height of the Aids crisis she developed a huge support network for gay men with HIV who had been abandoned by their families, even burying some of those who died in her own family cemetery. Ruth tells Emily Webb how she was vilified by her church and community for her work, but became a vocal campaigner and Aids educator.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Rebecca VincentPicture: Ruth Coker Burks Credit: Caroline M. Holt

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  • 09.06.2021
    14 MB
    30:23
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    The doctor treating children 8000 miles away

    Meena Said is an endocrine surgeon working in California. Her days are spent treating and operating on patients, many of whom have very complex medical needs. But after a hard day at work, rather than relaxing at home, Meena switches on her phone and begins to care for her other patients: critically-ill children who live many thousands of miles away in Afghanistan. Meena's own family fled the country as refugees when she was just a baby. She spent many years trying to build her career in LA, but was uncomfortable with how privileged her life was in comparison to those that stayed behind. Two years ago, a photo of a family with severe burns motivated her to help. She set up a network of volunteer doctors called Wellness Worldwide whose expertise she draws on to confirm diagnoses and formulate treatment plans. Sadly, it can sometimes be too late to save the children, but as Meena tells Emily Webb knowing their children are being helped often brings much needed peace to the families involved.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Katy TakatsukiPicture: Dr Meena Said Credit: Courtesy of Dr Meena Said

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  • 08.06.2021
    14 MB
    29:13
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    Saving the songs of the Sahara

    Fadimata Walet Oumar learned how to sing and dance in northern Mali under the light of the desert moon. Her people, the Tuaregs, traditionally lived as nomads on the fringes of the Sahara but successive wars, droughts and famines have fundamentally changed their lives. However her love of music never waned. As a teenager, Fadimata was given the nickname Disco after winning dance battles on the streets of Timbuktu. In 1995 she created a band called Tartit with other women who had been forced to flee into refugee camps due to conflict. It was the first woman-led group in the burgeoning desert music scene and received global acclaim. In 2012, Tuareg culture was put into peril when Islamist militants took over northern Mali and banned music. Fadimata had to flee her homeland for the third time in her life but vowed to return.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Kevin PonniahPicture: Fadimata Walet Oumar performs in 2012 Credit: -/AFP via Getty Images

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  • 07.06.2021
    11 MB
    23:14
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    Keeping up with Australia's rebellious Buddhist nun

    Robina Courtin grew up in Melbourne, Australia. As a teenager attending Catholic school she felt she was both holy and a rebel. Eventually she became a hippie, then a radical feminist, and then got into martial arts. One day, after a car accident meant she couldn't practice karate, she came across some Buddhist monks. Immediately she knew following Buddhism would be her path. Many years after she was ordained a Buddhist nun, she got an unexpected letter from a prisoner in the US. That led to her corresponding with other inmates and even befriending people on death row.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia EdwardsPicture: Robina Courtin in 2005 Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images

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  • 02.06.2021
    19 MB
    40:16
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    The perilous world of a ‘cult deprogrammer’

    Rick Alan Ross was selling and restoring cars when his grandmother’s Jewish nursing home was secretly infiltrated by a Christian group that tried to convert her. Rick started investigating, which lead him to a career as a world-renowned cult intervention specialist, or cult deprogrammer. Now, he helps people leave destructive cults or controversial groups and movements. But it’s work that can be demanding, problematic and perilous – especially if interventions don't go to plan.This podcast is part of Cult Behaviour, a mini-series from Outlook exploring how a cult can manipulate a person’s sense of reality, and what it can take to break free. Radio listeners, if you are searching for the combined podcast version of Rick’s interview – this is it.Presenter: Saskia Edwards Producer: Maryam Maruf Music: Joel CoxPicture: Man with 'the end of the world is nigh' placard Credit: Getty Images

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  • 31.05.2021
    20 MB
    43:33
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    Fighting to free my daughter from the Nxivm 'sex cult'

    In 2011, the former Dynasty actor Catherine Oxenberg and her 19-year-old daughter India took a course from the self-help organisation Nxivm (pronounced Nexium). It was a pivotal experience for India as she had been struggling to find a career and Nxivm seemed to offer her purpose. She ended up working for them as a coach and moving away from her mother. What India didn’t know was that Nxivm was in fact a dangerous cult. Eventually she would be trapped in a secret subgroup, which was really a sex-trafficking ring operated by the cult leader, Keith Raniere.This episode is part of Cult Behaviour, a mini-series from Outlook exploring how a cult can manipulate a person’s sense of reality, and what it can take to break free. Radio listeners, if you are searching for the combined podcast version of India and Catherine’s interview – this is it.Presenter: Saskia Edwards Producers: Saskia Edwards, Maryam Maruf Music: Joel CoxPicture: Catherine and India Oxenberg, with Catherine's mother Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia on the left Credit: Courtesy Starz Entertainment

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  • 29.05.2021
    12 MB
    26:28
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    My big fake wedding: uncovering an outlandish deception

    A fake wedding, a double life and forged documents. In 2013 investigative journalist Benita Alexander was making a documentary about 'super-surgeon' Paolo Macchiarini and his pioneering synthetic organ transplants. The pair quickly fell in love and Benita was swept into a whirlwind romance. Paolo proposed, but the fairytale soon began to unravel when she discovered that the extravagant star-studded wedding he told her he was planning was all a lie. But the fake wedding was just the beginning...Get in touch: [email protected]: Andrea Kennedy Producer: Mariana Des ForgesPicture: Paolo Macchiarini and Benita Alexander Credit: Courtesy Benita Alexander, Instagram @loveconned

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  • 27.05.2021
    14 MB
    29:57
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    The nightclub fire that rocked Romania

    When Tedy Ursuleanu went to see a gig at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, in the autumn of 2015, she was lucky to escape with her life. A fire swept through the venue, which only had one fire exit. Tedy sustained life-changing injuries, and 27 others died at the scene. The surviving victims were transferred to hospitals, but in the weeks that followed, they continued to die in large numbers. At Gazeta Sporturilor, one of the oldest sports newspapers in Europe, editor Catalin Tolontan watched events unfold. At first, he remembers, he and his team felt "almost paralysed" by events. Then, an informant contacted them.Tedy Ursuleanu and Catalin Tolontan give Emily Webb their perspectives on the fire that unseated a government, and uncovered a lethal network of corruption.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Laura ThomasPhoto: Pictures of victims of Colectiv nightclub fire in Bucharest, Romania Credit: DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

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  • 25.05.2021
    19 MB
    39:45
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    London’s revolutionary kiss-in

    Ted Brown is a black LGBT rights pioneer who helped organise the UK’s first Gay Pride march in 1972, featuring a mass ‘kiss-in’ that, at the time, would have been considered gross indecency, which was against the law. When Brown realised he was gay, homosexuality was illegal in Britain - the only person he came out to was his mother. She cried and told him he’d have to battle not just racism but homophobia too; both were rife in society at the time. At one point Brown felt so dismal about his future that he considered taking his own life. But inspired by the Stonewall Riots, he found hope in Britain’s Gay Liberation Front and became a key figure in fighting bigotry in the UK. He tells Emily Webb his moving life story.If you need support with issues relating to sexuality or gender, help and support is available from BBC Action Line - just search for bbc.co uk/actionlineGet in touch: [email protected]: Ted Brown (left) with his partner Noel and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell (right) at the first Pride march in London, 1972 Credit: Courtesy of Ted Brown

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  • 24.05.2021
    19 MB
    39:39
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    Rickie Lee Jones: Why music became my bridge to the world

    Rickie Lee Jones was making up songs from the age of four. Part of a musical family - her grandparents were vaudeville stars in Chicago - she says music acted as an "accidental bridge" between her and the world. After running away from home at the age of fourteen, Rickie Lee eventually headed for California and set her heart on becoming a singer. She went from life on the breadline to fame, fortune and Grammy success at the age of 24. She tells Emily Webb about her remarkable life including her relationship with the singer Tom Waits, her secret battle to overcome heroin addiction in the late 1970s and why she feels that, as a woman, she faced more stigma as a result. She also tells Emily why she’s still inspired by the very first album she was given as a child – West Side Story. Her memoir is called Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: June ChristiePicture: Rickie Lee Jones performing in Paris, France in 1979 Credit: Bertrand LAFORET/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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  • 20.05.2021
    9 MB
    19:07
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    Going to sea to honour my son

    Yayi Bayam Diouf's son was a fisherman, until poor catches drove him to pursue a new life in Europe. But on the hazardous crossing from Senegal to the Canary Islands, his boat went down in a storm, and Yayi was left with no body to bury. To feel close to her son, and to honour his wishes as a fisherman, she decided to go fishing herself. First she had to fight her community's patriarchal rules, which forbade women from fishing.Photo: Yayi Bayam Diouf with a photo of her son Alioune Credit: Finbarr O'Reilly - AlamyGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 19.05.2021
    19 MB
    39:44
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    My forbidden love for a US soldier

    Mortada Gzar experienced violence and persecution as a gay teenager under Saddam Hussein's regime. He tells Jo Fidgen how he tried to immerse himself in religion to overcome his feelings, later serving as an imam while studying at university in Baghdad. But during the US-led occupation of Iraq in 2003, he fell deeply in love with an American soldier who was stationed at a checkpoint outside his university. The two men spent years hiding their relationship, and dreamed of one day living openly together in the US. But things didn't go according to plan...Get in touch: [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Rebecca VincentPicture: Mortada Gzar Credit: Jonathan Reibsome

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  • 18.05.2021
    11 MB
    23:00
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    Dancing behind bars in Burkina Faso

    After striking doctors refused to treat his dying son, Agibou Bougobali Sanou was so angry that he was tempted to kill in revenge. Dancing helped to relieve this urge, so he decided to go into a dangerous prison to bring its healing power to criminals, whose lives he also changed. The world renowned dancer and choreographer tells Jo Fidgen his moving story.Get in touch: [email protected]: Saskia Edwards and Edgar Maddicot.Picture: Aguibou Bougobali Sanou with prisoners in Burkina Faso Credit: Jacob Yisra'el / supplied by Aguibou Bougobali Sanou

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  • 17.05.2021
    19 MB
    40:43
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    What my father wouldn’t tell me

    Carol Benjamin's family was perfectly ordinary - until the military took over in Brazil in the 1960s. Her father Cesar, who was just a schoolboy at the time, became an underground revolutionary in the armed uprising against the dictatorship. And when he was captured, Carol’s quiet law-abiding grandmother joined the resistance movement to free him. Years later, Cesar refused to speak about his experiences and Carol grew up trying to fill in the gaps in her family's history, and attempting to understand her father and his silences.Get in touch: [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Maryam MarufPicture: Carol and Cesar Benjamin Credit: Courtesy of Carol Benjamin and Daza Films

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  • 15.05.2021
    12 MB
    26:28
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    The black ballerina who didn't give up

    Growing up in London, Julie Felix always dreamed of dancing on the city's most famous stages, but she says she ended up leaving the UK in the 1970s after a ballet company excluded her because of the colour of her skin. Instead, she became a star in the United States with the prestigious Dance Theatre of Harlem, the first classical ballet company to focus on black dancers. Under the tutelage of the great African-American dancer Arthur Mitchell, Julie travelled the world performing for the likes of the singer Prince, Pavarotti and President Ronald Reagan. A book has been written about Julie's life called Brickbats and Tutus. A shorter version of this story was first broadcast on 15th April 2021.Get in touch: [email protected] & producer: Mariana Des ForgesPicture: A montage of photographs from Julie Felix's life Credit: All photos courtesy of Julie Felix

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  • 13.05.2021
    10 MB
    20:51
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    What really happened on the 'Sex Raft'

    In 1973 Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés decided to create an experiment to find out what drives people to commit acts of violence. He put a group of men and women from different parts of the world on a raft and cast them out to sea. But what happened was not what he expected. Emily Webb hears from three of the women who took part - Fé Seymour, Edna Reves and Maria Bjornstam. This story was originally broadcast in May 2019.Get in touch: [email protected]: The raft cast out to sea by Santiago Genovés Credit: Modern Films

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  • 12.05.2021
    14 MB
    31:07
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    How did this man find two lost Rembrandts?

    Jan Six is a Dutch art dealer whose ancestor, also called Jan Six, was painted by the Dutch Master Rembrandt in the 17th century. So when, in 2016, Jan uncovered a lost painting by Rembrandt, the news shook the art world. But, at the time, Jan was hiding another astonishing find… he told Outlook’s Emily Webb his story.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Emily WebbPicture: Jan Six takes a selfie with Portrait of a Young Gentleman by Rembrandt van Rijn in The Hermitage Museum, Amsterdam, which Jan bought at a London auction in 2016 Credit: KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP via Getty Images

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  • 11.05.2021
    19 MB
    40:35
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    Secrets of my family's lost café

    Meriel Schindler grew up in London in a family of émigrés. They were Jewish and had fled Austria in the late 1930s as Hitler's Nazi Party took over and the violent persecution of Jews turned into the Holocaust. When her father died in 2017, Meriel inherited 13 photo albums. One was dedicated to the Café Schindler in Innsbruck, Austria, a venue set up by her Jewish grandfather in the 1920s. As Meriel started to research the café, she discovered it had gone from being a hub of jazz music and delicious pastries, to a Nazi watering hole. But the research would also uncover some uncomfortable truths about her father that she struggled to make sense of.Meriel has written a book called The Lost Café Schindler.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Katy TakatsukiPicture: Meriel Schindler and a photo of the Café Schindler in the 1930s Credit: Holly Falconer / courtesy of Meriel Schindler

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  • 10.05.2021
    19 MB
    40:33
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    The music star who was born into a cult

    Mikel Jollett started life in a California-based cult called Synanon. What began as a drug rehabilitation programme that helped his father kick a heroin addiction later turned into a cult where children were taken away from their parents at just six months old and married couples were forced to split up and take new partners. As the cult turned increasingly violent, Mikel’s mother managed to escape with him and his brother, but Mikel’s hardships didn’t end there. For years he never spoke about his childhood. It was only later - when he discovered a love for music and formed a successful band, The Airborne Toxic Event - that he began to open up and write about those early years. Mikel’s book is called Hollywood Park.Get in touch: [email protected] by: Emily Webb Produced by: Patrick Kiteley and Andrea RangecroftPicture: Mikel Jollett performs with The Airborne Toxic Event in 2015 Credit: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images

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  • 08.05.2021
    20 MB
    42:51
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    I was the sole survivor of a plane crash

    When a plane carrying 11-year-old Norman Ollestad, his father and his father’s girlfriend got caught in a snowstorm and crashed into the remote California mountains in 1979, Norman was the only survivor. In a harrowing tale of survival, Norman describes how, stranded on the edge of a cliff, he relied on the skills his father had taught him throughout his childhood to make it down the treacherous mountain to safety. 27 years later Norman decided to return to the crash site and while there, made an extraordinary discovery.Norman Ollestad’s memoir is called Crazy For the Storm. His latest work is a short story called Formentera about the fraying relationship of a married couple.The archive you heard comes courtesy of CBS.Presenter and producer: Mariana Des ForgesGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 06.05.2021
    18 MB
    38:05
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    How I sang for my freedom

    When Kurdish folk singer Nawroz Oramari was a teenager growing up in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, he was told he'd be executed if he was caught singing - he and his father even had to sign a pledge saying that they accepted the death penalty if they did so. Nawroz tells Anu Anand about his remarkable life - joining the Kurdish resistance, ending up in prison and even taking on multiple identities - including that of an Emirati Oil Tycoon - in his quest to be able to sing freely in his native language.Get in touch: [email protected]: Anu Anand Producer: Mariana Des ForgesPicture: Nawroz Oramari in London Credit: Courtesy of Nawroz Oramari

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  • 05.05.2021
    11 MB
    22:58
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    The surfer who fought apartheid to become a world champion

    Cass Collier grew up surfing with his dad in apartheid South Africa, where signs designated the beaches as "whites-only", "blacks-only", or "coloureds-only" areas. The rules were enforced, often brutally, not only by the police but also by white surfers who would tell the Collier family to "go to your own beach" if they tried to surf in areas reserved for white people. But Cass's dad Ahmed, a pioneering South African surfer and member of the ANC, never backed down, teaching Cass that he had a right to be on the sand and in the water at any beach he chose. Cass eventually became a world-class surfer and went on to win the International Surfing Association Big Wave championships in Mexico in 1999, alongside his friend and fellow Rastafarian Ian Armstrong. He tells Anu Anand about the joy of big waves, and remembers the heartbreak and sacrifices he and his family faced en route to the world title.Get in touch: [email protected]: Cass Collier surfs at Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa in June 2002 Credit: Grant Ellis/Getty Images

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  • 04.05.2021
    8 MB
    16:42
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    Hunting for my past in a Hong Kong stairwell

    In 1960, Claire Martin was abandoned in a Hong Kong stairwell at just two days old. Like many babies at the time she was taken to the UK for adoption, but growing up, she became more and more determined to find her biological relatives. After years of searching, she's finally found family in a very surprising place.Presenter: Anu Anand Producer: Harry GrahamPicture: Claire Martin Credit: Claire MartinGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 03.05.2021
    14 MB
    30:47
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    The daring prison escape of an Argentine footballer

    In November 1977 two men kidnapped minor league footballer Claudio Tamburrini. He was taken to a detention centre run by the Argentine Air Force where he was tortured and imprisoned. The country had just experienced a military coup and under the new regime many people suspected of left-wing sympathies were abducted and killed. Claudio and one of his cellmates felt they had to escape detention or they too would be killed. Using just bed sheets, leather straps and a metal bolt, they managed to climb out of a window and scale the building. Meanwhile the 1978 FIFA World Cup was underway in Argentina. Claudio eventually emerged from hiding to celebrate the tournament, which he believes helped bring down the military junta.Get in touch: [email protected]: Anu Anand Producer: Saskia EdwardsPicture: Claudio (top right) and his football team in the 1970s Credit: Supplied Claudio Tamburrini

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  • 29.04.2021
    19 MB
    40:09
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    My mother’s fake name and secret past

    American lawyer Justine Cowan grew up in a wealthy neighbourhood of San Francisco; her childhood was full of privilege, with music lessons and horse riding. It was a lifestyle that seemed fitting for Justine's mother Eileen. She was a highly accomplished English woman who'd always spoken about going to boarding school and studying at London's Royal Academy of Music. But after her death, Justine found out that her mother wasn't who she'd claimed to be.Justine's written a book about what happened called The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Fiona WoodsPicture: A young Dorothy Soames in May 1941 Credit: Felix Man/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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  • 28.04.2021
    14 MB
    30:48
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    I became a supermodel overnight and didn't know

    Lisa Ray was just a teenager when she fell in love with the glamour of 1990s Mumbai. She was dipping her toe into modelling when a serious car crash at home in Canada left her mother paralysed and her tight-knit family reeling. Lisa fled back to Mumbai where an image of her, famously in a red swimsuit, had made her an overnight sensation. Although she was fighting an eating disorder, Lisa immersed herself in the party scene. Meanwhile, Bollywood was calling. She struggled with the dancing, the costumes and the lines – but she loved acting and later starred in independent films, including the Oscar nominated film Water. In 2009, at 37, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and faced gruelling treatment, but she was determined to walk the red carpet again. Lisa has written a book about her life called Close to the Bone.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Troy Holmes and Kevin PonniahPicture: Lisa Ray Credit: Rohan Shrestha

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  • 27.04.2021
    17 MB
    37:01
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    From saving goals to saving lives

    In 1989, Canadian ice hockey goaltender Clint Malarchuk was playing for top National Hockey League team the Buffalo Sabres, when he suffered a horrific injury to his neck. Knowing his mother was watching the NHL match on live TV, he staggered off the ice. Luckily Clint survived and within ten days he was back playing for his team - everyone called him a hero. What many didn’t see was the impact the incident had on his mental health. In the following years, the repercussions of that day would take him to one of the darkest moments of his life. Clint’s now written a book called A Matter of Inches: How I Survived the Crease and Beyond.If you've been affected by anything you heard in Clint's interview, either go to bbc.co.uk/actionline, where you'll find details of organisations offering support, or contact Befrienders Worldwide.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Patrick Kiteley and Andrea RangecroftTV commentary of Buffalo Sabres vs St Louis, 22 March 1989: courtesy of Buffalo Sabres.Picture: Goalie Clint Malarchuk of the Buffalo Sabres defends the net during an NHL game in November, 1990 Credit: B Bennett/Getty Images

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  • 26.04.2021
    17 MB
    37:28
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    My mission to save the 'Russian spy whale'

    Norwegian fisherman Joar Hesten was fishing for cod in the Arctic when he came across a white whale wearing a harness. He freed the mysterious beluga from the straps, and then saw the harness was labelled ‘Equipment St Petersburg’. Theories started swirling that this whale had escaped the Russian military, which has a history of training marine mammals. Now Joar is on a mission to relocate the whale, called Hvaldimir, to an area with other belugas in the hope that it can integrate into a pod and live in the wild.The quest has cost Joar emotionally and financially. And, as Joar had previously worked as a whaler for a short time, he says his relationship with Hvaldimir has made him question the practice. In 1986 the International Whaling Commission announced a ban on commercial whaling, but Norway continues to hunt up to 500 minke whales a year - citing cultural reasons.For now, Joar is looking for support so he can keep his promise to help save Hvaldimir.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia EdwardsPicture: Joar with Hvaldimir Credit: Aleksander Nordahl, DN/D2

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  • 24.04.2021
    13 MB
    27:14
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    My life as a millennial Yoruba priestess

    Beyoncé, mermaids and Satan? Outlook Weekend is in Nigeria looking at the mysteries and misconceptions surrounding the traditional Yoruba religion – and what it takes to be a modern devotee of this ancient faith. Reporter Laeila Adjovi travels to the city of Ibadan to meet one of youngest women to become a traditional Yoruba priestess. Her name is Omitonade and her world is defined by deities, divination and mobile phones. This episode was first released on 20th January 2019.Get in touch: [email protected]: Laeila Adjovi Producer: Maryam MarufPicture: Omitonade Ifawemimo Egbelade Credit: Laeila Adjovi

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  • 22.04.2021
    11 MB
    24:08
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    Singing for my murdered sister helps me heal

    In 2015, Nathalie Warmerdam was murdered by her ex-partner. She was one of three victims that day; he also killed two other former partners, Anastasia Kuzyk and Carol Culleton. Basil Borutski was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in 2017. Now as a way to deal with his grief, Nathalie's brother, opera singer Joshua Hopkins, has released a group of songs, known as a song cycle, in memory of his sister. With words by the writer Margaret Atwood and music by composer Jake Heggie, Joshua says he wants to use his voice to raise awareness about violence against women. To find out how to listen to the song cycle, you can visit: https://songsformurderedsisters.comGet in touch: [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Katy TakatsukiPicture: Joshua Hopkins with his sister Nathalie Warmerdam Credit: Joshua Hopkins

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  • 21.04.2021
    19 MB
    39:35
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    My 30-year fight for justice for my mum

    Lee Lawrence was 11 years old when his mother, Cherry Groce, was shot during a police raid on their family home in Brixton, south London. The police had been looking for Lee’s brother, Michael, who didn’t live there at the time. The shooting sparked an uprising in Brixton – where tensions were already high between the many black residents and the overwhelmingly white police - and the event became known as the 1985 Brixton Riots. The police officer who shot Cherry said it was an accident and was acquitted of malicious shooting. For Lee and his family the impact of the incident was devastating - his mother was left paralysed from the waist down and Lee became her carer for the next 26 years. After Cherry died in 2011, he continued to fight for justice for her. Lee has founded an organisation in her memory called the Cherry Groce Foundation, which supports people with mobility issues. A memorial to his mum is about to be unveiled in Brixton. The book Lee has published about his family's experience is called The Louder I Will Sing.Get in touch: [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Jo Impey and Andrea RangecroftPicture: Lee Lawrence, founder of the Cherry Groce Foundation Credit: Smokin Monkey Photography

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  • 20.04.2021
    8 MB
    17:35
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    Hunting for a monster in the desert

    Following a chance encounter with a Moroccan fossil hunter, palaeontologist Dr Nizar Ibrahim embarked on a search for the skeleton of the elusive Spinosaurus dinosaur.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Harry GrahamPicture: Paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim (left) in 2014. Credit: Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 19.04.2021
    24 MB
    50:36
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    Sin, sexuality and how Beyoncé became a lifeline

    Paul Mendez is a British writer, Beyoncé superfan and once devout Jehovah's Witness. Growing up in the Midlands, where his Jamaican grandparents settled, Paul was all about preaching, paradise and playing Monopoly with elderly ladies. But at 17, he was cast out from his congregation. Alone and looking for new friends, life took an unexpected and dangerous turn – but help was to come in an unlikely form. A story of sin, sexual awakening, and the salvation of 90s RnB.(Radio listeners, if you are searching for the combined podcast version of Paul’s interview with Jo Fidgen - this is it!)Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Maryam MarufPicture: Paul Mendez Credit: Christa HolkaGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 17.04.2021
    12 MB
    26:28
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    Bringing down a dictator

    In the late 1990s, lawyer Jacqueline Moudeina took on one of the most important cases in African legal history – the trial of Chad's former dictator Hissène Habré. He's a man who had massacred and tortured his people, including members of Jacqueline’s own family. She was determined to get justice, even if it took decades and meant risking her life. This episode was first released on 3rd February 2019.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam MarufImage: Jacqueline Moudeina Credit: JONAS EKSTROMER/AFP/Getty ImagesGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 14.04.2021
    18 MB
    38:09
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    Searching for a serial killer from my bedroom

    Paul Haynes’ search for an elusive serial killer started when he was out of work and had to move back to his childhood home; this soon took over his life and became a full-time occupation. He then teamed up with the crime writer Michelle McNamara who came up with the name 'Golden State Killer.' He told his story to Emily Webb.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Emily WebbPicture: Paul Haynes Credit: Sabrina O’Callaghan

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  • 13.04.2021
    19 MB
    39:38
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    The bowl of porridge that changed my life

    When Elizabeth Nyamayaro was eight years old a severe drought hit her small Zimbabwean village. She was saved from starvation by a local United Nations aid worker, who gave her a bowl of porridge after finding her collapsed on the ground. It was an experience that made Elizabeth determined that one day she too would work for the UN. It was a difficult road, but she eventually made it to one of the top jobs in the organisation. She campaigned for global gender equality, and launched one of the UN’s most successful social media campaigns ever, HeForShe.Get in touch: [email protected]: Elizabeth Nyamayaro Credit: Behind the Cause

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  • 12.04.2021
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    40:04
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    The break-up that cost me my voice

    Shirley Collins grew up in a folk music-loving family in Sussex, England, during World War Two, and announced her intention to become a folk singer when she was still just a teenager. Her career would lead her to record music with her sister Dolly; to record folk songs in America with legendary song collector Alan Lomax, and to become a key figure in the 'folk revival' of the 1960s and 1970s. But the trauma of a painful break-up cost Shirley her singing voice - "sometimes I would open my mouth and nothing would come out", she remembers - and led to a heartbreaking decision: "I walked away from music for years. I felt I had no option." Shirley did all sorts of jobs to support her children, and avoided even listening to music sometimes - it made her too sad. Then one day, the musician David Tibet, a huge fan, got in touch and begged Shirley to try to sing again. Shirley tells Emily Webb the story of a voice lost and found again.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Laura ThomasPicture: Shirley Collins circa 1963 Credit: Brian Shuel/Redferns via Getty

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  • 10.04.2021
    12 MB
    26:28
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    Secrets and Lies: China’s dissident cartoonist

    Badiucao is one of China's most famous dissident cartoonists. His art is political and provocative - from poking fun at powerful Chinese figures like President Xi Jinping, to capturing the final days of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo. For years, Badiucao operated in secrecy: he moved into exile in Australia, and wore a mask at public events to conceal his identity. In 2018 he planned his first ever solo exhibition in Hong Kong, but how would the Chinese authorities take it?Do you have a fantastic story involving a secret or a lie? We'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at [email protected] If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter and producer: Maryam Maruf Secrets & Lies series producer: Fiona Woods Music: Joel Cox

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  • 08.04.2021
    20 MB
    42:35
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    Secrets & Lies: Family secrets

    In episode nine of Outlook's Secrets and Lies series we bring you two extraordinary stories of family secrets unravelled.Growing up in California, Rachel Mason and her brother Josh didn't know exactly what was sold in their unassuming and straight-laced parents' bookstore. They had no idea the shop was actually one of the biggest distributors of adult material, specifically gay porn, in the US. The bookshop became a haven for the queer community as Karen and Barry supported gay employees throughout the HIV and Aids crisis in the 1980s, all the while hiding the business from family and friends. Rachel has made a documentary about their story called Circus of Books.Scottish actor Alan Cumming is the star of Hollywood films like X-Men and the hit TV series The Good Wife, but for him the real drama is in the family secrets that have shaped his life and career.And if all this sharing of secrets has got you thinking about a story in your own life we'd love to hear it. Write to us, or send a short voice memo to [email protected] The secret could be about you or someone you know, or it could just be a fantastic tale you heard. If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Fiona Woods and Maryam Maruf Original story producers: Maryam Maruf and June Christie Music: Joel Cox

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  • 07.04.2021
    19 MB
    40:44
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    Secrets & Lies: Imposters

    This episode of our Secrets and Lies series is all about imposters. From the Outlook archive, we have two stories of lies so audacious that, when exposed, they caused shockwaves globally.Fab Morvan became world famous with the 80s pop band Milli Vanilli. He and his bandmate Rob Pilatus notched up number one hits in Europe and America, and sold millions of albums. But they had a secret - and when that secret came out, it had a devastating effect.Rachel DeLoache Williams ended up in the midst of a high-profile court case in the United States. It all centred on Anna Sorokin - someone she had considered to be a close friend but who she says conned her out of tens of thousands of dollars. Anna had tricked New York city’s elite into thinking she was a wealthy German heiress, when in fact she was a fraudster with no trust fund at all. Anna was found guilty on a number of charges including grand larceny and served nearly four years in prison.Do you have a fantastic story involving a secret or a lie? We'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at [email protected] If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Fiona Woods Original story producers: Fiona Woods and Katy Davis Music: Joel Cox

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  • 06.04.2021
    17 MB
    36:27
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    Secrets & Lies: Fraudsters and forgers

    In this episode we're reaching into the archive and retrieving stories of secrets and lies from the world of art.Over many years Shaun Greenhalgh created art forgeries in his garden shed in the English town of Bolton. He fooled the art world into thinking his paintings and sculptures were lost masterpieces by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Gauguin and Degas. The scale and breadth of his work is unprecedented.The personal story behind one of the most famous art frauds of recent times. Margaret Keane was the artist behind the popular 'Big Eyes' paintings of the 1960s, but her husband Walter Keane bullied her into letting him take the credit for them. He made millions of dollars from them, until Margaret took him to court to prove they were her own. Margaret's story was turned into a feature film by Hollywood director, Tim Burton.And if all this sharing of secrets has got you thinking about a story in your own life we'd love to hear it. Write to us, or send a short voice memo to [email protected] The secret could be about you or someone you know, or it could just be a fantastic tale you heard. If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Fiona Woods Original story producers: Fiona Woods and Tim Allen Music: Joel Cox

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  • 05.04.2021
    19 MB
    40:07
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    Secrets & Lies: Messages hidden in music

    In this episode of our Secrets and Lies series we've delved into the archive to bring you incredible stories of secrets hidden in music.Advertising executive Juan Carlos Ortiz grew up in Colombia, a country which has suffered decades of armed conflict and has long been among the major producers of illegal drugs. Juan Carlos ran an award-winning campaign against the addictive qualities of cocaine, and made powerful enemies of FARC guerillas who relied on the drugs trade. A few years later, Juan Carlos was asked to get a secret message to hostages being held by FARC rebels in the middle of a jungle. And he chose music as his disguise.Ata Kak's musical career would never have got off the ground had it not been for the help of a little white lie. But when the Ghanaian musician released his first record in 1994, things stalled again - he sold only a handful of copies. The story would have ended there had it not been for an American student who made a chance discovery at a market stall in Ghana several years later.Salim Gauwloos became famous dancing with Madonna on her iconic Blond Ambition tour. Madonna used the tour to promote freedom of sexuality and sexual health. All of this made a young Salim feel extremely uncomfortable. The reason he was so anxious was that he was harbouring a secret.Do you have a story about how a secret or lie changed a life? It could be something that happened to you or someone close to you, or it could just be an amazing story you heard. If so, we'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at [email protected] If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Fiona Woods Original story producers: Thomas Harding-Assinder, Alice Bloch and Saskia Edwards Music: Joel Cox

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  • 03.04.2021
    12 MB
    26:29
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    Secrets & Lies: The man who stole the President’s secrets

    For many years, Uzbekistan was a particularly dangerous place to be a journalist. Speaking out against the government of former president Islam Karimov could lead to torture and a lengthy spell in prison. So it was a surprise for many when in 2004 secret messages started appearing online, containing what seemed like detailed and scandalous information about the president's household. For years, the identity of the writer was kept a secret, and the messages kept coming. Then one day, an inconspicuous football writer called Bobomurod Abdulla was snatched off the streets by the security forces, and the secret was finally out.Do you have a fantastic story involving a secret or a lie? We'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at [email protected] If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Ibrat Safo Producers: Ibrat Safo & Harry Graham Secrets & Lies series producer: Fiona Woods Music: Joel Cox

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  • 01.04.2021
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    Secrets & Lies: Lives lived in shame

    It's Secrets and Lies season on Outlook and we're revisiting some of the most fascinating stories from our archive on the theme. In this episode we hear about secrets borne out of shame.When Gail Lukasik was growing up in the US, she'd always wondered about her mother's quirky habits. For instance, she always wore a light foundation before she went to bed. Years later Gail would discover that this had been one of her mother's attempts to hide the fact that she was actually multiracial and had 'passed' as white her whole life. Gail wrote a book about her story, White Like Her: My Family's Story of Race and Racial Passing. She spoke to Emily Webb in 2019.Stanley Underhill is a British priest who—at 91—came out as gay. He spent his whole life facing prejudice because of his sexuality but says that for the first time in his life, he's comfortable in himself. He’s written a book about his life called Coming out of the Black Country. He spoke to Emily Webb in 2019.Do you have a fantastic story involving a secret or a lie? We'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at [email protected] If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Fiona Woods Orginal story producers: Alice Gioia and Emily Webb Music: Joel Cox

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  • 31.03.2021
    19 MB
    40:22
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    Secrets & Lies: The undercover operatives

    In this episode of Outlook's Secrets and Lies series we're revisiting two astonishing stories from our archive about life undercover.As a young woman Ieva Lesinska was faced with an agonising choice. To renounce her father as a traitor, or defect to the US and leave behind everything she knew in Latvia. Ieva says it was like she was living in a spy movie, and a film has now been made about her life, it's called: 'My Father, the Spy.'Anas Aremeyaw Anas is a trained lawyer-turned-investigative reporter in Ghana, and a frequent presenter of the BBC's Africa Eye. In his nearly 20 years working undercover, he's exposed judges taking bribes for a not-guilty verdict; top football officials for fixing matches; sex-trafficking rings; organ-harvesting operations. To do so, he had to disguise himself as a psychiatric patient, as a janitor in a brothel and even as a rock in a barren landscape. His work has led to numerous convictions, but his methods are sometimes dangerous and controversial.Do you have a fantastic story involving a secret or a lie? We'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at [email protected] If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Fiona Woods Original story producers: Nathan Gower, Deiniol Buxton, Andrea Kennedy and Harry Graham Music: Joel Cox

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  • 30.03.2021
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    40:01
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    Secrets & Lies: What my parent hid from me

    We're delving into the Outlook archive to bring you stories about parents who kept shocking secrets from their children.In April 1997 a woman dressed as a nurse walked into a Cape Town hospital and left with a new born baby. The baby's name was Zephany Nurse - that child would not discover her true identity for another 17 years. This story was presented by Mpho Lakaje. Miche Zephany's book about her experience is called Zephany, Two Mothers One Daughter.As a film-obsessed gay teenager, Wes Hurley was thrilled to move to the US from Russia. But his mother’s new husband was moody and homophobic. He told Outlook's Saskia Edwards how they ended up bonding, after a surprise revelation. Wes made a film about his life, co-directed by Nathan Miller, called Little Potato.And if all this sharing of secrets has got you thinking about a story in your own life, we'd love to hear it. Write to us, or send a short voice memo to [email protected] The secret could be about you or someone you know, or it could just be a fantastic tale you heard. If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Fiona Woods Original story producers: Thomas Harding-Assinder and Saskia Edwards Music: Joel Cox

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  • 29.03.2021
    19 MB
    40:40
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    Secrets & Lies: Lives destroyed online

    It's secrets and lies season here on Outlook and we have two stories about the way lies and fake news online can wreak havoc in our offline lives.Monika Glennon is a Polish-born estate agent living in the US. One morning she got a frantic call from a colleague: an explicit post had been written about Monika, claiming she had an affair with a client and that she was a ‘homewrecker’. The story was fabricated, but as it became the first hit when you googled her name, Monika began to lose business, fell into a depression, and even feared for her safety. Who was behind the post? She tells Jo Fidgen her terrifying story.Rema Rajeshwari is an Indian police officer. In 2018, rumours of child kidnappers and violent murders spread throughout her district via messaging apps. Locals were scared and started forming mobs and attacking strangers. Rema had an unorthodox solution: traditional storytelling, inspired by her grandmother. She told Outlook’s Emily Webb how she used storytelling to combat fake news.Do you have a story about how a secret or lie changed a life? It could be something that happened to you or someone close to you, or it could just be an amazing story you heard. If so, we'd love to hear about it. Record a short voice memo or write an e-mail and send it to us at [email protected] If your story is about someone you know, just make sure they're ok with you telling us about it.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Fiona Woods Original story producers: Saskia Edwards and Harry Graham Music: Joel Cox

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  • 28.03.2021
    12 MB
    26:27
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    Spain's fearless barnacle-hunting sisters

    Isabel and Susana González hunt percebes, also known as gooseneck barnacles. They're rather ugly crustaceans that can fetch thousands of dollars per kilogram at auction. To collect them, the González sisters must traverse slippery rocks along the Spanish coastline where they risk falling and drowning. Many hunters have lost their lives doing this job.But this isn't the only danger the sisters have faced in their line of work. When they began there was a lot of discrimination against women, including the fact that they could only catch three kilograms per day, while men had a quota of five. This system was regulated by an association. The sisters figured the only way to achieve equality was to become part of the management of the association. But when Susana ran for the presidency, she faced death threats. Still, they managed to revolutionise their whole industry. This episode was first broadcast on 1st of September 2019.Reporter: Pablo Esparza Altuna Producer: Saskia EdwardsPicture: Isabel González collecting barnacles Credit: Pablo Esparza Altuna

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