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Outlook

Extraordinary first person stories from around the world

Alle Folgen

  • 04.07.2020
    14 MB
    30:25
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    The Mystery of Ecuador's Lost Mastertapes

    Daniel Lofredo Rota is an Ecuadorian DJ and musician on a quest to unravel a decades-old family mystery. His eccentric grandfather has left a clue: a grimy, battered suitcase filled with old tapes. Inside are songs, secret loves, and the resurrection of a long-lost record label. This was first released on 21st October 2018.

    Check out Daniel's Soundcloud page - Quixosis - if you want to listen to all the songs featured in this programme.

    Produced and presented by Maryam Maruf

    Image: Records from the Caife catalogue Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Lofredo Rota

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  • 02.07.2020
    19 MB
    39:39
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    Caring for my dying father made me a better doctor

    Dr Rachel Clarke spends her working life in the company of people who are dying, and she says they’ve taught her everything she needs to know about living. She works in palliative care for England’s National Health Service, providing support for people at the end of their lives. She adores her job - she's written a book about how much she gets out of it. But when her beloved father became terminally ill, she had to face his decline as a daughter, not a doctor.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Katy Takatsuki

    Photo credit: Sarah Oscroft

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  • 01.07.2020
    15 MB
    32:58
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    "Look after her" - the story of a hidden WW2 child

    Lien de Jong was a young girl living in The Hague in the Netherlands when the Second World War broke out. The country was occupied, and her parents took a desperate decision to protect their child, sending her to live with the Van Es family, passionate anti-Nazis who raised Lien as their own. After the end of the war Lien remained with her adoptive family. Her biological parents had been murdered in Auschwitz, and she had nowhere else to go. But the trauma of the war took a heavy toll on Lien, and over time she became increasingly estranged from the Van Es family. Then, years later, she received an email from Bart Van Es. He was the son of Lien's adoptive brother, and he wanted to tell her story. Lien and Bart spoke to Outlook's Jo Fidgen.

    Photo: Nazi Germany occupies the Netherlands Credit: Getty Images/Three Lions

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  • 30.06.2020
    11 MB
    24:09
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    The adventurer’s son who went missing in the jungle

    Roman Dial is a science professor and explorer who's travelled to some of the toughest places on Earth. His son Cody Roman was raised to love the wilderness too, and used to join his father on expeditions around the world. As he grew older, he went on adventures of his own. But in 2014, whilst trekking in the Costa Rican jungle, Cody Roman went missing. Roman Dial began a two year search for his son. He spoke to Outlook's Jo Fidgen.

    Born in a Rio de Janeiro favela, Elza Soares overcame poverty, child marriage and public scandal to become one of her country's most beloved singers. She started out in the smokey nightclubs of Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s and with her unique raspy voice and the intensity of her dancing, she quickly became a hit on the club scene. In the 1960s a highly publicised relationship with a footballing legend briefly made her a national hate figure, but she came back and now into the seventh decade of her career she continues to be a Brazilian icon. She spoke to Outlook's Harry Graham.

    Photo Credit: Roman Dial

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  • 29.06.2020
    17 MB
    35:33
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    I played violin during my brain surgery

    In January 2020, Dagmar Turner was woken up in the middle of her brain surgery and handed a violin. It was her idea. She was an amateur but committed violinist and was willing to go to drastic lengths to keep playing the instrument. Dagmar had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in her right frontal lobe. It was dangerously close to areas of her brain that were responsible for coordinating delicate movements in her left hand - essential for her musical talent. So she sought the help of Dr Keyoumars Ashkan – he was a respected neurosurgeon but also an accomplished musician, so he understood her love of music. Dr Ashkan agreed to perform an incredibly rare procedure where Dagmar would play the violin during surgery so that he and his team could remove only brain tissue that would not damage her music skills.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Becky Vincent

    Picture: Dagmar Turner with her violin during her brain surgery Credit: King's College London

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  • 27.06.2020
    15 MB
    32:57
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    Husband for Hire

    Would you hire someone to impersonate one of your relatives? Yuichi Ishii is a former actor who runs Family Romance, a 'family rental' business in Japan. He pretends to be people's fathers, husbands and ex-lovers. Over nine years, he's played spouse to a hundred women and organised 8,000 fake weddings. But, it's an ethical minefield when you're living a lie. This programme was first broadcast on 11th of August 2018.

    Image: Japanese anime fan poses with his virtual reality wife Credit: Getty Images

    Presenter: Saskia Edwards Producer: Maryam Maruf

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  • 25.06.2020
    10 MB
    22:40
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    Ups and downs in a vertical world

    As a child in the US, Ian Powell had two great loves: art and rock climbing, and he was good at them both. By the early 1990s he had made a name for himself as a sculptor and professional climber, and had taken part in global competitions. He even combined his two great passions by designing climbing holds – objects that climbers grab and stand on as they make their way up a climbing wall. But by 2010, aged 39, Ian was a homeless drug addict and facing prison for credit card fraud. He tells Emily Webb how the climbing world came to his rescue and helped him get his life back on track. He now runs a successful multimillion dollar business making a popular brand of climbing hold.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham

    Picture: Ian Powell Credit: Jackie Hueftle

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  • 24.06.2020
    19 MB
    40:26
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    Touched by magic

    Magicians who used their craft to overcome social awkwardness, sexism and bullying - stories from the UK, Russia and Singapore.

    British illusionist and writer Derren Brown talks to Emily Webb about some of his famous stunts - like the time he hypnotised almost an entire audience at one of his shows - and how he survived a controversial Russian roulette stunt on live TV. He describes how magic has transformed his understanding of the way humans work and how he lives his own life.

    Gemma Cairney in conversation with Ekatarina Dobrokhotov, a Russian-born magician who learned magic from the internet and is the most watched female magician on Youtube and Adeline Ng, who incorporates elements of her Chinese culture into her show and is the only practising female magician in Singapore.

    Steven Frayne, aka Dynamo, isn't your usual white-gloved magician pulling rabbits out of hats. His tricks have seen him walk on water and stroll down the side of a huge building. He's one of the world's most celebrated magicians but it hasn't been an easy path to success. His entire life has been hampered by Crohn's disease, a debilitating inflammatory bowel disease. But he tells Saskia Edwards that this adversity has been the source of inspiration for some of his best tricks.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: June Christie, Andrea Kennedy, Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Magician or illusionist is showing magic trick Credit: Getty Images

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  • 23.06.2020
    18 MB
    39:30
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    Fire and justice: my life after Grenfell

    Antonio Roncolato was one of the last survivors to escape London’s Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. He had lived on the 10th floor for 27 years, and was only alerted to the fire when his son Christopher called him at around 01:40. He tried to leave the building but the corridors were filled with black smoke, and then came the official instruction – to stay put. He stayed there for over four hours and as the flames began to creep closer to his home, he called his son in desperation. Outside the building, Christopher took drastic action – crossing police lines to find a firefighter who could bring his father out alive. In the years since the fire, Antonio was one of the first residents to give evidence to the public inquiry into the disaster. He now has a new home and is continuing his fight for justice for the survivors.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Antonio Roncolato Credit: Alessandro Allocca – LondraItalia

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  • 22.06.2020
    19 MB
    39:39
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    The deserted island and the lost graves

    In 1979, a teenage Carina Hoang and her siblings boarded a rickety boat with other refugees fleeing Vietnam after the end of the war. They thought they were heading to a refugee camp, but when their boat was turned away from Malaysia, they found themselves stranded on an uninhabited island in the South China Sea. They awaited rescue while more and more boatloads of people filled up the beach. Sleeping out in the rain and fighting off starvation and disease, Carina knew that she had to stay alive to keep her younger siblings safe.

    They were finally rescued three months later and were reunited with family members who'd faced similar ordeals on nearby islands. Not all of them had survived. Many years later, Carina's aunt was still haunted by the fact she hadn't been able to give her son a proper burial. So Carina decided to return to the island, determined to find his grave and bring peace to their family. It would be the first of many such trips, because when other refugees heard of Carina's mission, they started calling her, asking for help in finding their loved ones.

    Carina's book is called Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996.

    Presented by Emily Webb Produced by Mariana Des Forges

    Photo: Carina Hoang on her return to the islands Credit: Carina Hoang

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  • 31.12.2019
    19 MB
    40:23
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    2020 The power of sight

    To celebrate the arrival of 2020, we're featuring three fascinating stories about vision. See what we did there? But these people do not have 20:20 vision, there is nothing average about the way they view things.

    Take Jason Padgett, after a severe brain injury he was left with the ability to 'see' maths. Everywhere he looked he could see mathematical shapes. Dr Kate Stone woke up from a coma shocked to the core about the way people saw her and Helena Ndume has a wonderful job, she helps to restore people's sight.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen

    Picture: Glasses and a wintry scene Credit: Getty/ Pick Uppath

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  • 30.12.2019
    18 MB
    38:59
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    Inventing a surgery to cure myself

    When Doug Lindsay was at college, he got ill very suddenly. It was the same mystery illness his mother and aunt had suffered from for most of their lives. Doctors were baffled. Doug had to drop out of college and was bedridden for years. He decided to take matters into his own hands and work out what was wrong with him. In search of a cure, Doug eventually persuaded doctors to perform a surgery which had never been done on humans before. He spoke to Outlook’s Jo Fidgen.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Asya Fouks

    Picture: Doug Lindsay Credit: courtesy of Doug Lindsay

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  • 29.12.2019
    11 MB
    24:07
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    The hunt for a calypso king's lost music

    The search for the lost music of Costa Rica's King of Calypso. Walter Ferguson spent many years serenading people with his songs, and recording individual cassettes for adoring fans, but they were often the only recordings of his work. Much later a music producer realised all those cassettes contained one-off musical treasures and so began an international campaign to find Walter's lost songs.

    Presenter: Clayton Conn Producer: Clayton Conn and Andrea Kennedy

    Picture: The hunt for Walter Ferguson's lost tapes Credit: Guillermo Badilla / Niels Werdenberg

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  • 26.12.2019
    8 MB
    17:14
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    Shooting hoops in South Sudan

    Diagnosed with polio as a child in Sudan, Malat Wei crawled for nine years before he got his first wheelchair. Now a wheelchair basketball star in the US and with the help of coach, Jess Markt, they told Emily Webb how and why they are taking the sport back to South Sudan.

    To mark 500 years since the death of the Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci we bring you two stories of people keeping his legacy alive. The first is from Italy - Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato are a couple on a quest to trace his DNA.

    The second is from the USA's top art restorer Dianne Modestini. When she was asked to work on an old, damaged painting in 2005, she had no idea it would go on to become the world’s most expensive. The painting of Christ was believed to be inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, but was eventually attributed to the artist himself. It went on to sell at auction for US $450,000,000. Dianne's relationship with the picture was deeply emotional, connecting her to her late husband, himself a noted conservator.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Picture: Wheelchair basketball player in South Sudan Credit: Niki Clark/ICRC

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  • 25.12.2019
    19 MB
    39:56
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    Why I risked my life to present a TV programme

    Mozhdah Jamalzadah is known as the 'Oprah of Afghanistan,’ due to being inspired by The Oprah Winfrey Show. She actually grew up in Canada after her family fled their home in Kabul. It was in Canada that she started singing songs about what was happening to women under Taliban rule. She then launched her own TV show in Afghanistan, using it as a platform to discuss women’s rights issues. But one episode pushed her audience too far…it resulted in bomb threats, death threats and threw her life into turmoil.

    Mozhdah has just released a book called ‘Voice of Rebellion.’

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Katy Davis

    Picture: Mozhdah Jamalzadah Credit: Courtesy of Mozhdah Jamalzadah

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  • 24.12.2019
    7 MB
    16:32
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    Finding the perfect hairdresser changed two lives

    Andrea Quint Fleck and her hairdresser Troy Winget bonded over Andrea's hair, the spark was apparent at their first appointment in their home town of Calgary. By coincidence both had question marks over their family history and they decided to do some research. But what they discovered rocked both their worlds.

    Presenter: Andile Masuku Producers: Katy Davies and Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Troy Winget and Andrea Quint Fleck Credit: Troy Winget and Andrea Quint Fleck

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  • 23.12.2019
    10 MB
    22:44
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    The barefoot tennis player who turned pro

    As a boy growing up in Freetown, Sam Jalloh became enamoured with the Sierra Leone national tracksuit. He wasn't particularly fashion conscious, but he was sporty, and he discovered that the only way he'd get one of those tracksuits was by learning to play tennis. Sam didn't have shoes or equipment, so he played barefoot and fashioned a racquet out of plywood. Local coaches spotted Sam's talent for tennis, but these were perilous times in Sierra Leone. The country was in the middle of a civil war, and before Sam could get his tracksuit, he found himself in the crosshairs of the conflict. Sam's written book called How Tennis Saved My Life.

    Presenter: Andile Masuku Producer: Tom Harding-Assinder

    Picture: Sam Jalloh Credit: Courtesy Sam Jalloh

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  • 22.12.2019
    12 MB
    26:28
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    The family story that became a TV novela

    Aged eleven, Dirce de Assis Cavalcanti was taunted by one of her classmates. She was called the "daughter of a murderer". Not long after, Dirce found out that her father had indeed killed a man and not just any man, he’d killed one of Brazil’s celebrated authors, a national treasure. Although he was cleared by the courts, who declared the shooting an act of self-defence, in the court of public opinion Dirce’s dad was condemned.

    The story behind that fateful killing is one of love, betrayal and revenge. And it is a story that throughout her life Dirce has grappled with in her attempts to rebuild her family’s reputation.

    Presenter: Andrea Kennedy Producer: Andrea Kennedy and Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Dirce de Assis Cavalcanti Credit: BBC

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  • 20.12.2019
    9 MB
    19:47
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    Why I announced I had cancer, on the radio

    British DJ Mark Radcliffe has a voice that's instantly recognisable to many people in the UK. He went from being a music obsessed teenager in the northern British town of Bolton, to hanging out with his heroes on his radio show - including Kate Bush and David Bowie. But in 2018 Mark was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and throat and he feared he might lose his voice forever. He tells us why he decided to tell listeners he had cancer, live on his radio show and how music helped him through the most difficult time of his life. He's written a book about his experience called Crossroads.

    Picture: Mark Radcliffe Credit: Courtesy of Paul Langley

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: June Christie

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  • 19.12.2019
    19 MB
    39:48
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    Don’t call me the 'Indiana Jones' of Syria

    As a teenager, Amr al-Azm aspired to be like Indiana Jones - but this fantastical Hollywood vision of archaeology was only fleeting, he grew up to fall in love with the real thing too. Amr is from Syria, a land scattered with incredible sites and monuments. But he watched in horror as his country descended into war and his ancient home became a modern battlefield. Priceless historic artefacts were bombed, defaced, plundered and lost forever. In response, Amr set up a network of frontline archaeologists - some of them former students and colleagues - risking their lives to protect what remains of Syria's cultural heritage. From Adnan, who secretly documented the antiquities smuggling trade run by the so-called Islamic State; to Abdul Rahman in rebel-held Idlib province, who guards the precious Roman mosaics in the Maara Museum from government airstrikes.

    Picture: Amr al-Azm Credit: Courtesy of Amr al-Azm

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf

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  • 18.12.2019
    10 MB
    21:30
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    The murder that stopped me writing crime fiction

    Mads Peder Nordbo used to write crime thrillers from his home in a quiet, Danish, village. It was a world he imagined but never experienced. But in 2013, fact and fiction blurred when he stumbled across a murder next to his house.

    His latest book is called Cold Fear.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder

    Picture: Mads Peder Nordbo Credit: Courtesy of Mads Peder Nordbo

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  • 17.12.2019
    11 MB
    23:14
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    I believed I was my dead sister

    When Maria Gallant's baby daughter Gail died after a car crash, Maria prayed for God to give back her child. Within a year she had another daughter- she also called her Gail. Maria brought her up to believe that she was her sister reborn. Gail describes the impact this had on her throughout her life. She has written a book about her experiences called The Changeling.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producers: June Christie and Nathan Gower

    Picture: Gail Gallant as a child in her communion dress Credit: Courtesy of Gail Gallant

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  • 16.12.2019
    10 MB
    21:57
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    Footballer Mark Bright: What I’ve learnt about love

    British footballer Mark Bright spent his childhood in foster care. Though he was well looked after, no one told him they loved him until he was 18. Meanwhile, he was becoming a star striker and his heyday was at Crystal Palace. He's just published his autobiography, Mark Bright – My Story – From Foster Care to Footballer.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Harry Graham

    Picture: Mark Bright after scoring a goal for Crystal Palace in 1991.

    Credit: Getty Images/Ben Radford

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  • 14.12.2019
    12 MB
    26:28
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    Fighting the apartheid my grandfather created

    Wilhelm Verwoerd has spent most of his life wrestling with his surname and what it represents. His grandfather, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, is widely known as the "architect of apartheid" in South Africa because of the brutal policies he introduced as a government minister and then prime minister of the country in the 1950s and 1960s

    But Wilhelm turned his back on his family's apartheid politics and is committed to tearing down its racist legacy. His book is called: Verwoerd: My journey through family betrayals.

    Presenter: Andile Masuku Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Wilhelm Verwoerd  Credit: Wojciech Klimala

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  • 12.12.2019
    8 MB
    18:40
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    Harvard Law School’s first Deafblind graduate

    Haben Girma's a Harvard Law School graduate, an attorney, she's been invited to the White House... and she's Deafblind. With the help of her braille computer, she tells Emily Webb about the time she gave Barack Obama a hard time for typing with two fingers. Haben has published a book called Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Becky Vincent

    Photo: Haben Girma meeting Barack Obama in 2015 Credit: White House/ Pete Souza

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  • 11.12.2019
    17 MB
    36:26
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    The dark truth behind my songs

    Allison Moorer is an Oscar-nominated country music star. But shaping her lyrics and music are the traumatic deaths of both of her parents, in a murder-suicide, when she was just a teenager. She speaks to Emily Webb about why she's decided to tell the story decades later and why sad songs are the best songs. Allison has just released a book and an album both called Blood.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Asya Fouks

    Picture: Allison Moorer Credit: Heidi Ross

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  • 10.12.2019
    14 MB
    30:16
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    The Somali pirate tapes

    Per Gullestrup was the consummate businessman, doing deals with international firms as CEO of a Danish shipping company. Then Somali pirates attacked one of his cargo ships and he had to learn how to do a business deal with the hostage-takers...

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Becky Vincent

    Picture: A Somali pirate
    Credit: MOHAMED DAHIR/AFP/Getty Images

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  • 09.12.2019
    11 MB
    23:41
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    A tale of two video games

    It’s a video game extravaganza on Outlook… Lual Mayen was born in what’s now South Sudan but his family had to flee from conflict in 1993. They made it to Uganda and set up home in a refugee camp. It was here that Lual discovered computers…and computer games. He creating one called ‘Salaam’ that focused on peace and empathy rather than violence, something his family had experienced in real life. It started attracting attention worldwide and last year it won the Global Gaming Citizen award.

    Steven Spielberg's ET: The Extra Terrestrial is recognised by critics and film fans as one of the greatest movies of all time but the video game based on the film has been called the worst video game of all time. So bad, that in the early 1980s it was blamed for causing the collapse of a billion dollar company. Howard Scott Warshaw was the man behind the failure...

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen

    Picture: Lual Mayen Credit: Courtesy of Lual Mayen

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  • 08.12.2019
    12 MB
    26:11
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    A star is gone: Judy Garland's last act

    Judy Garland was a musical icon who spent her whole life in the spotlight. In 1969, she was in London for what would be her last ever UK shows. At the time, Rosalyn Wilder was a young production assistant who had always dreamed of working in show business and she was tasked with getting the star on stage. But this was a gig that was both exhilarating and upsetting. Rosalyn witnessed first-hand Judy Garland’s struggles with addiction and confidence - some nights she would have to coax the singer to perform without her pills, other times she saw a testy audience hurling bread rolls at her. But there were also moments when Garland produced 'mind-blowing magic.'

    Rosalyn's experience of working with Garland is portrayed in the film, Judy.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Picture: A studio portrait of Judy Garland from the 1960s Credit: Getty Images

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  • 05.12.2019
    12 MB
    26:48
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    The uncomfortable truth hidden in my DNA

    Hiram Johnson is a policeman who decided to use his investigative skills on his own family. He set out to find who his grandfather was but what he discovered was a killing that changed the course of his African-American family's future.

    Hiram's written a book about his journey called: Reason to Fight: A Search for Truth.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf and Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Hiram Johnson holding a photo of his father Credit: Courtesy of Hiram Johnson

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  • 04.12.2019
    11 MB
    23:37
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    I was jailed for having a stillbirth

    Teodora Vásquez is from El Salvador and in 2007 was pregnant and planning her future. However, when she had a stillborn baby Teodora was arrested and eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison for the baby's murder. She then found out she wasn't the only woman this had happened to. Teodora spoke to Emily Webb about her fight for freedom.

    Presented and produced by Emily Webb Interpreter: Alba Morgade

    Picture: Teodora Vásquez Credit: OSCAR RIVERA/AFP via Getty Images

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  • 03.12.2019
    13 MB
    27:47
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    My life as an undercover CIA agent: Part Two

    Amaryllis Fox tells Jo Fidgen how she was head-hunted by two different spying agencies while studying at Oxford and Georgetown Universities. She was recruited by the CIA aged 21 and within a few years she was an undercover field agent. Amaryllis lived under false identities, infiltrating arms dealing networks. She was pushed into getting married twice during her service so her partners could gain the necessary security clearance. She even took her baby on secret missions. Amaryllis has written a book about her life as a spy called Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder

    Picture: Amaryllis Fox Credit: Tristar Media

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  • 03.12.2019
    4 MB
    08:59
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    My life as an undercover CIA agent: Part One

    When she was 21 Amaryllis Fox was recruited by the CIA, the American intelligence service, and became one of its youngest undercover agents. In part one of the interview, she tells Jo Fidgen how her career started with a dramatic trip in Myanmar, then known as Burma, as an 18 year old. In part two, we’ll hear about how her job with the CIA was to infiltrate the networks of people trying sell nuclear, chemical and biological weapons on the black market.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder

    Picture: Amaryllis Fox Credit: Tristar Media

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  • 02.12.2019
    8 MB
    18:03
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    Telling jokes about my refugee past

    Comedian Hung Le was born in Vietnam but had to flee to Australia during the Vietnam War. As a child, he had three heroes: Charlie Chaplin, Bruce Lee and his artist dad Thanh Nhon. All of these men would go on to have a big impact on Hung's life and the way he uses humour to tell his refugee story.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Katy Davis

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  • 30.11.2019
    12 MB
    26:28
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    Giving birth during a genocide

    Denise Uwimana was nine months pregnant when the Rwandan genocide started. As militia broke into her home and attacked her relatives, Denise's waters broke, her baby was coming. She tells Asya Fouks her birth story and how she survived. Today, Denise runs an organisation called Iriba Shalom International, which provides support to survivors of Rwanda's genocide and she has also written about her experiences in a book called From Red Earth: A Rwandan Story of Healing and Forgiveness.

    Presenter: Asya Fouks Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Denise Uwimana Credit: Matthias Schaffrath

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  • 28.11.2019
    5 MB
    11:54
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    The man who makes Singapore laugh

    Comedian and performer Hossan Leong was one of the first to use Singlish, the English-based patois spoken in Singapore, on stage. He also tells Sharanjit how he kept making the country smile, even while he was recovering from a life threatening illness.

    Presenter: Sharanjit Leyl Producer: June Christie and Alice Gioia

    Picture: Hossan Leong Credit: BBC/Alice Gioia

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  • 27.11.2019
    6 MB
    12:40
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    Sunburnt, starving and stranded at sea

    After his boat capsized off the coast of Singapore, John Low spent four days alone clinging onto a flotation ring. When he was rescued he was badly sunburnt, starving and starting to hallucinate.

    Presenter: Rico Hizon Producer: June Christie and Alice Gioia

    Picture: Diver John Low Credit: BBC/Alice Gioia

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  • 26.11.2019
    8 MB
    16:41
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    Girls don’t fight? I became a champion

    Sharanjit Leyl is taking Outlook on a tour of her city – Singapore – through the extraordinary stories of people who live there. Growing up in Singapore, ‘Mighty’ May Ooi was told that ‘girls don’t fight’ and she was not allowed to practise martial arts. Years later, she went on to become one of the country’s best fighters and she did it for love. May recently competed in the prestigious One Championship to fulfil her late fiancé’s dream.

    Presenter: Sharanjit Leyl Producer: Alice Gioia and June Christie

    Picture: 'Mighty' May Ooi Credit: BBC/Alice Gioia

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  • 25.11.2019
    11 MB
    22:58
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    How hunger made me a top chef

    This week Outlook is coming from Singapore and today Rico Hizon takes us on a tour of the city through the extraordinary stories of people who live there.

    Douglas Ng is a hawker – a street food seller – preparing Singapore’s traditional fishball noodles in one of the town’s eateries. He learnt the recipe from his grandmother and still dreams of attending culinary school.

    Ang Song Kang - a.k.a. Chef Kang - started working in a kitchen because he had no food at home. He grew up the eldest of five siblings with a single mother and at just eight years old he started working to support them. He eventually got a job in a kitchen where he fell in love with cooking. With the help of a mentor he became a top chef. But his career didn’t always go smoothly, with financial and health issues threatening to derail his success. But his hard-working attitude paid off and he now runs a Michelin starred restaurant in Singapore.

    Presenter: Rico Hizon Producer: Alice Gioia and June Christie

    Picture: Ang Song Kang a.k.a. Chef Kang Credit: BBC/Timothy McDonald

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  • 24.11.2019
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    The heavy metal boys from the dump

    Cambodia's biggest rubbish dump was home to thousands of children, picking through rubbish to sell. From this bleak wasteland emerged a band, Doch Chkae - young musicians who grew up in extreme poverty, turning their anger into heavy metal music. Harry Graham speaks to two of the band members, Sok Vichey and Ouch Theara. We also hear from one of the charity workers who spotted their talent for metal music, Timon Seibel, from Moms Against Poverty.

    Presenter: Harry Graham Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Doch Chkae Credit: Florian Gleich

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  • 21.11.2019
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    The policewoman fighting fake news

    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 to Outlook’s Emily Webb how she used storytelling to combat fake news.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham

    Picture: Rema Rajeshwari Credit: Bloomberg

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  • 20.11.2019
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    Our parents' secret gay porn empire

    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 bookshop 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.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Picture: Barry and Karen at Circus of Books Credit: Rachel Mason

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  • 19.11.2019
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    23:49
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    Pulling a plane doesn’t make me strong

    Police officer Grant Edwards was once Australia’s strongest man. He was known for incredible feats of physical strength—like pulling trains, planes and trucks. Meanwhile, at work, he fought online child exploitation and human trafficking for years. It was a harrowing job, and eventually it took its toll on Grant. He told Outlook’s Jo Fidgen how he ended up grappling with PTSD, and that he's now committed to helping others with mental health issues. He's written a book about his experience called The Strong Man.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Andrea Kennedy

    Picture: Grant Edwards pulls a C-17 Globemaster III Credit: GS-09 / Roland Balik

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  • 18.11.2019
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    The Treasure Hunters

    A golden ring which once belonged to Irish playwright Oscar Wilde has been recovered by Arthur Bland, a Dutch 'art detective,' nearly 20 years after it was stolen. To mark the occasion, Outlook is re-running our 2017 interview with Arthur. He told Outlook's Jo Fidgen about earning the trust of the police and the criminals, and going undercover to get back some of Hitler's favourite sculptures.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Emily Webb

    Chris Turner is another lost treasure seeker. Chris is a Canadian metal detectorist who started an organisation aimed at helping people recover lost items. He has a team that stretches from Peru to Malaysia and he says that they've found more that 5,200 lost items between them. Lauren Boothby went to meet him in Vancouver. This interview originally aired in May 2019.

    Producer: Saskia Edwards Reporter: Lauren Boothby. This piece had production assistance from David Swanson.

    Picture: The gold ring said to have belonged to Oscar Wilde. It has been recovered by a Dutch "art detective" nearly 20 years after it was stolen. Credit: JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

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  • 17.11.2019
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    The secret world of our dying son

    Mats Steen was ill for years, but he found friendship and escape in an online fantasy land.

    A version of this story by Vicky Schaubert was first published in Norwegian by broadcaster NRK.

    Presenter: Maryam Maruf Producer: Harry Graham

    Image: Mats Steen's avatar and Mats' father Robert Steen Credit: Patrick da Silva Saether/NRK

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  • 14.11.2019
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    Confronting my grandma and my nation over FGM

    Ifrah Ahmed campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM). It's a harrowing procedure she herself endured as an 8-year-old in Somalia. This interview contains upsetting descriptions. Ifrah now lives in Ireland, where she helped ban FGM in 2012. She was one of the first Somali women to speak publicly about FGM, and has challenged the Somali president about the practice. She founded the Ifrah Foundation, a charity devoted to stopping FGM around the world. She told Outlook's Emily Webb her story.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Picture: Ifrah Ahmed Credit: Getty Images / Roberto Ricciuti

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  • 13.11.2019
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    Why my mother lied about her race

    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.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Alice Gioia

    Picture: Alvera Rita Frederic Kalina, Gail Lukasik's mother Credit: Gail Lukasik

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  • 12.11.2019
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    The street kid and the plastic camera

    Photographer Vicky Roy spent his childhood on the streets of Delhi. A charity took him in and introduced him to photography. Vicky started taking photos with a plastic camera, and eventually began charging his friends for portraits. He went on to become a successful photographer with a reputation for evocative photos of street children. He told Outlook’s Jo Fidgen his story.

    Picture: Vicky Roy Credit: Courtesy of Vicky Roy

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  • 11.11.2019
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    Remembrance 2019: in love and under siege

    For today's Remembrance edition of the programme, Outlook is re-visiting this remarkable story of love and family in a war-zone.

    Hamza and Waad al-Khateab lived in Aleppo through some of the most intense moments of the Syrian war. Hamza was a doctor and Waad a citizen journalist. Through the siege and bombardments they fell in love. So, how do you start a family in a warzone? Waad has made a documentary about their life in Aleppo called For Sama. The film is produced by Channel 4 News and ITN Productions.

    This interview was first broadcast in May 2019.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Andrea Kennedy

    Image: Hamza and Waad al-Khateab with daughter Sama Credit: Courtesy of Hamza and Waad al-Khateab

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  • 09.11.2019
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    A mother's battle for her son's education

    Education has always been important to Virginia Walden Ford. As a child she was part of the process of desegregating schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. Years later, as a parent, she watched as her son's grades dropped and his behaviour changed. She believed his school was failing him and began a long campaign for change in the US education system.

    Virginia is the subject of a new feature film called Miss Virginia.

    Presenter: Asya Fouks Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Picture: Virginia Walden Ford speaking at a news conference of the Black Republican Congressional Staff Association Credit: Tom Williams / Getty Images

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  • 07.11.2019
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    Life as the UK's first black TV reporter

    Sir Trevor McDonald grew up in Trinidad, but when he got a job with the BBC World Service, he moved to the UK. He went on to become the first black television reporter and one of the country's most prominent presenters. Over the course of his career, he's interviewed Saddam Hussein, Colonel Gaddafi and even danced on screen with Desmond Tutu. He’s written a book about his life called An Improbable Life: The Autobiography. He spoke to Outlook’s Emily Webb.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Troy Holmes

    Picture: Trevor McDonald in 1973 Credit: Getty Images

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  • 06.11.2019
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    Finding the whale that nearly killed me

    Filmmaker Tom Mustill and his friend Charlotte Kinloch were on holiday in California when they were nearly killed by a whale out at sea. Tom couldn’t stop thinking about the incident, and decided to embark on an epic odyssey to find that same whale again. He made a documentary about his experience called Humpback Whales: A Detective Story. Tom and Charlotte spoke to Outlook’s Emily Webb.

    Picture: The humpback whale that nearly killed Tom Mustill and Charlotte Kinloch Credit: Kate Spencer Fast Rafts Production credit: The whale song is courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and it was mixed by Danelle Cline

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  • 05.11.2019
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    The inside story of a Muslim drag queen

    Amrou Al-Kadhi—who goes by the pronoun ‘they’—was raised Muslim, but even as a kid Amrou was different. They wanted nothing to do with other boys and loved dressing up with their mother. Amrou grappled with issues of gender identity and sexuality for years. It wasn’t until they picked up drag as a student at Cambridge University that they were able to find solace and belonging. Amrou has written a book called Unicorn: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen. Amrou spoke to Outlook’s Jo Fidgen.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Laura Thomas

    Picture: Amrou Al-Kadhi as Glamrou Credit: Holly Falconer

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  • 04.11.2019
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    Why I love the woman who killed my son

    Tiki Finlayson's 25-year-old son Kevin was killed by a drunk driver in 2011. Tiki made the painful decision to forgive Latisha Stephens, the woman who killed him. Tiki and Latisha ended up becoming friends, and they now work together speaking out about the dangers of drink-driving. Tiki spoke to Outlook’s Jo Fidgen.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Alice Gioia

    Picture: Tiki Finlayson and Latisha Stephens Credit: Tiki Finlayson

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  • 02.11.2019
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    The 'deepest man on earth'

    Herbert Nitsch is a free diver, he dives without breathing equipment. In 2012 he broke a new world record, diving to a depth of 253 metres but on the way back up things went wrong.

    Presenter: Asya Fouks Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Picture: Herbert Nitsch surrounded by jellyfish Credit: ®herbertnitsch

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  • 01.11.2019
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    The rebel lawyer transforming Malaysia

    Cecil Rajendra has won a lifetime achievement award in Malaysia for his achievement in making the justice system available to everyone, even if they can't afford to pay lawyers. Somehow in his spare moments he's written Nobel-nominated poetry. He spoke to Jo Fidgen

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Asya Fouks

    Picture: Lawyer and poet Cecil Rajendra Credit: Cecil Rajendra

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  • 30.10.2019
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    The diver trapped inside an iceberg

    Jill Heinerth explored the submerged caves and crevasses of an enormous iceberg. There was an incredible array of wildlife to document, but the dive was extremely risky.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Mariana Des Forges

    Picture: Diver Jill Heinerth explores an iceberg Credit: Jill Heinerth

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  • 29.10.2019
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    Joining the racist gang that tormented me

    British-Nigerian actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was raised by a white family in an area where racism was a huge problem. As a teenager, he joined a skinhead gang that had tormented him for protection. Adewale has directed a film about his experiences called Farming. He spoke to Outlook’s Emily Webb.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham

    Picture: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Credit: Allan Amato

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  • 28.10.2019
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    The priest who came out at 91

    Stanley Underhill is a British priest who—at 91— has come out as gay. He spent his whole life facing prejudice because of his sexuality but says that for the first time ever, he's comfortable in himself. He spoke to Outlook’s Emily Webb. He’s written a book about his life called 'Coming out of the Black Country'.

    Produced and presented by Emily Webb

    Image: Stanley Underhill Credit: The Charterhouse

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  • 26.10.2019
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    The making of the 'Wish Man'

    Frank Shankwitz is the co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organisation that since 1980 has granted hundreds of thousands of wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Frank’s inspiration came from his own difficult childhood, a near-death experience and an encounter with a 7-year-old boy named Chris Greicius.

    Frank is the subject of a recently released feature film called Wish Man.

    Presenter: Andrea Kennedy Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Picture: Frank Shankwitz and Chris Greicius Credit: Frank Shankwitz

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  • 24.10.2019
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    The struggle of Soweto's 'Lion King'

    Born under apartheid and in poverty, South African composer Lebo M grew up loving music and became a performer at a young age. His talent took him on a tumultuous journey from Soweto to Hollywood. As he worked on the music for Disney's hit animation 'The Lion King' and as apartheid came to an end in South Africa, the story of those lions fighting for their kingdom took on a whole new relevance to him.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham

    Picture: Lebo M attends "The Lion King" On Broadway 15th Anniversary Celebration Credit: Getty Images, J. Countess

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  • 23.10.2019
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    The rescue dog that rescued me

    Sean Laidlaw rescued Barrie from Syria in 2018 where he was working as a bomb disposal expert. He fought a long and difficult battle to get her home to the UK to be with him and since, the two have become inseparable. He tells Outlook's Saskia Edwards how Barrie is helping him overcome his PTSD. He has written a book about their relationship called 'Barrie: How a rescue dog and her owner saved each other.'

    Presented and Produced by Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Sean Laidlaw and Barrie in Syria Supplied by Sean Laidlaw

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  • 22.10.2019
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    I stole a plane to escape the military

    In 1964 Theo Van Eijck was a cadet in the Dutch navy. He was unhappy with life in the military and wanted to get out to start over. But with 6 years still left on his service contract, he decided to steal military plane and make a run for it. He took off from Malta and managed to outrun three pursuing fighter jets and made it to Libya. After a week he knew he had to go back so he made a deal with the Dutch Government and returned home to a media storm and a short prison sentence.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Harry Graham

    Picture: Theo Van Eijck leaning out of the cockpit of a plane Credit: Theo Van Eijck

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  • 21.10.2019
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    My child and spouse came out as trans

    When Amanda Jette Knox and Zoe Knox met as teenagers in Canada, they fell in love almost instantly. They got married and had three children. But Zoe was hiding a huge secret - she was a trans woman presenting as a man. A seismic revelation came when their middle child came out as trans while Zoe remained inside the closet. But then finally, Zoe told Amanda the truth. They tell Jo Fidgen how they kept the family together.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Asya Fouks

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  • 19.10.2019
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    26:29
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    The painful secret I hid from my twin

    When Alex Lewis was 18 he had an accident that caused him to lose his memory. The only person he could remember was Marcus, his identical twin brother. He became the person Alex most relied upon to rebuild his life and memories. But as it turned out not everything Marcus told him was true.

    This interview contains themes of child sexual abuse which may be difficult and triggering to hear.

    Their story features in a documentary called ‘Tell me who I am’ directed by Ed Perkins, released on Netflix and in select cinemas from Friday 18th October.

    Presenter: Andrea Kennedy Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Photo: Alex and Marcus Lewis Credit: Alex and Marcus Lewis

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  • 17.10.2019
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    How cooking landed me in a Syrian prison

    Majeda Khoury loved to cook for her family back home in Damascus, so when conflict broke out in Syria she used her skills to help the displaced people fleeing the bombs. She smuggled food across checkpoints, but she was arrested and detained. Once she was released, she had to flee the country, leaving her two sons behind. Majeda moved to the UK where she used food to raise awareness about the conflict in her home country. She invited Emily Webb into her kitchen to share her mother’s recipe for her favourite Syrian dish, Harak Osbao’o, which translates to ‘he burned his fingers’.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Troy Holmes

    Picture: Syrian chef Majeda Khoury serving food Credit: BBC/Troy Holmes

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  • 16.10.2019
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    ‘Dad please don’t sell my sister, sell me’

    When Shari Ho from Taiwan was just seven years old, she was sold by her father to a woman. She spent the rest of her childhood as a domestic slave, was never allowed to go to school and was only given scraps of rotten food to eat. Shari finally escaped after she was taken to the United States by the woman who 'owned' her. She has now rebuilt her life and has set up her own childcare business. She's written a book about her life called My Name Is Also Freedom.   

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producers: Maryam Maruf & Saskia Edwards

    Image: child covering her ears Credit: Getty Images/Favour_of_God

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  • 15.10.2019
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    How we pulled off 'the rescue of the century'

    Caver Vernon Unsworth helped coordinate what became known as 'the rescue of the century' when 12 Thai schoolboys and their coach became trapped in the Tham Luang caves in Northern Thailand last year. It took 17 days to get them all out but they did it - Vernon describes the moment the boys and their coach were all brought out alive.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Mariana Des Forges

    Image: Caver Vernon Unsworth in Thailand's Tham Luang caves Credit: Vernon Unsworth

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  • 14.10.2019
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    The Afghan physio who survived a landmine

    Shukrullah Zeerak was only 17 years old when he lost part of his right leg in a landmine explosion in Afghanistan. He was inspired by the physiotherapists who helped him to train as a physio himself. He now works at the Red Cross Orthopaedic Centre in Kabul. He's also a consultant for Afghanistan's National Association for Physiotherapy, and helps coordinate the country's wheelchair basketball team.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Afghan physiotherapist Shukrullah Zeerak Credit: Shukrullah Zeerak

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  • 12.10.2019
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    How Superman saved my life

    Joe Michael Straczynski is an award-winning writer responsible for creating TV shows like Babylon 5, Sense8 and the movie ‘Changeling’, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angeline Jolie. But Joe had an abusive, loveless and deprived childhood and would find escape in the world of comics and science fiction. He credits one superhero in particular for forming his own moral character and steering him to a better life.

    He’s written a book about his life and love of fiction, it’s called ‘Becoming Superman’.

    All Superman material is copyright of DC Comics Inc.

    Presenter: Andrea Kennedy Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Photo: Superman float in the Mardi Gras Parade Credit: Getty Images

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  • 10.10.2019
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    23:40
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    Mental Health Day: Dancing and delusions

    When British dancer Kevin Turner was in his early 30s, he began to suffer extreme delusions. At one point he believed he was a millionaire, but he also became paranoid and believed everyone, including his mum Avis, was out to get him. Kevin had bipolar disorder, but he got help thanks to his mum. Kevin has created a dance theatre piece called Witness about the impact his mental health crisis had on his family. Kevin and Avis tell us their story.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Katy Davis

    Image: Dancers Kevin Turner (R) and Theo Fapohunda (L) Credit: Joel Chester-Fildes

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  • 09.10.2019
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    22:48
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    Curing my own deadly disease

    When he was a medical student in the US, David Fajgenbaum was nicknamed “The Beast” – he trained hard and dreamed of playing college football. But then he became critically ill after he developed a very rare disorder called Castleman disease. Very few people had survived the illness, so David decided to use himself as a test case and dedicate what life he had left to finding a cure. His book is called Chasing My Cure.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Image: David Fajgenbaum (L) in hospital with his dad (R) Credit: David Fajgenbaum

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  • 08.10.2019
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    22:45
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    Pirates stole my son

    Howie Truong was fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s with his wife and baby son Kai, when pirates intercepted their boat and threw Howie into the sea. Not only did Howie have to swim for his life, but he had no idea if he would ever see his wife and son again.

    Presenter: Neal Razzell Producer: Harry Graham

    Image: Howie and Kai Truong Credit: Howie Truong

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  • 07.10.2019
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    23:12
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    The accident that taught me how to die

    BJ Miller almost died when he was struck by 11,000 volts during a freak accident - as a result, he lost an arm and both legs below the knee. He went on to become a doctor and now devotes his life to helping people during their last days. BJ has co-written a book called ‘A Beginner's Guide to the End'. This interview contains some graphic medical material.

    Presenter: Neal Razzell Producer: Troy Holmes

    Image: Dr BJ Miller Credit: Owen Egan

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  • 05.10.2019
    12 MB
    26:29
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    Why I didn’t make a sound for 12 years

    Marie McCreadie moved to Australia from the UK as a young girl in the 1970s. It was the start of a new adventure for the whole family, but then one day when Marie was 13 she lost her voice, leaving her unable to make a sound for over a decade. Marie was ostracised, told she was cursed, and was put in a psychiatric unit. Then, in her twenties she discovered the surprising cause of her condition.

    Marie has written a book about her life without speech it's called Voiceless.

    Presenter: Andrea Kennedy Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Picture: Marie McCreadie as a young teenager Credit: Marie McCreadie

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  • 03.10.2019
    11 MB
    23:58
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    London bus driver fighting crime with music

    Justin Finlayson is on a mission to save young lives. He has used his double-decker bus to create a musical sanctuary for young people in London...and he's done it not once, but twice! He's now managed to raise funds for a second bus, after the first one was burned to the ground last year. He's offering yoga and kickboxing to young people as well as music, to help keep them out of trouble.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Harry Graham

    Image: Justin Finlayson in front of the new double-decker bus he turned into a music studio Credit: United Borders

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  • 02.10.2019
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    Exposing the scandal that's cost me my life

    In 2011, Vicky Phelan, a mother of two children from Annacrotty, Co. Limerick, went for a smear test. Initially, it showed no abnormalities but in 2014, after noticing some unusual bleeding, she went to her GP and was told she had cervical cancer. Intensive treatment followed and after some months, she was given the all clear. But unfortunately, the cancer returned and she was given just 6-12 months to live. Feeling something was being kept from her, she started looking through her medical files, and in doing so opened up what was to be Ireland's biggest medical scandal. She speaks to Emily Webb about her subsequent legal fight and how she sought justice for herself and other women in Ireland.

    Image: Vicky Phelan Credit: Emily Quinn

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  • 01.10.2019
    8 MB
    17:27
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    Learning to sing by copying divas on DVDs

    When South African Vuvu Mpufo was a teenager in Port Elizabeth, she saw La Traviata on DVD for the first time and it made her fall in love with opera. She stayed up late into the night, watching it over and over again. Vuvu even mimicked the way the singers moved their mouths, wanting to get the words and notes right.

    At first, her family didn’t approve of her opera obsession and her friends even mocked her for it. But Vuvu was determined and started studying opera at university, eventually changing their minds.However, a year before graduating, her mother died and it was then that opera came to her aid. Rather than counselling sessions, she turned to the art as it soothed her soul.

    Vuvu is now performing at one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, Glyndebourne in the English countryside. She says that every time she takes to the stage, she thinks of her mother.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Deiniol Buxton

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  • 30.09.2019
    11 MB
    24:12
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    Scammed by my friend, the fake heiress

    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 had 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 Rachel was a key witness in the trial.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Katy Davis

    Image: Fake heiress Anna Sorokin after she was sentenced Credit: TIMOTHY A.CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

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  • 28.09.2019
    12 MB
    26:28
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    The false confessions of a serial killer

    In the 1990s the name 'Thomas Quick' struck fear into the hearts of Swedes across the country. He had confessed to more than 30 murders, and was convicted of eight. He became known as Sweden’s most notorious serial killer and the ‘Swedish Hannibal Lecter’ but almost two decades later he retracted his confessions and said he was innocent.

    Jenny Küttim is a Swedish journalist who has been covering the case since 2008 and Björn Asplund is the father of Johan Asplund, the first person Thomas Quick confessed to killing.

    A feature film called ‘Quick’ which is based on the case has recently been released in Sweden .

    Presenter: Asya Fouks Producer: Tom Harding Assinder

    Picture: Sture Bergwall/Thomas Quick after his release Credit: HENRIK MONTGOMERY / Staff

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  • 26.09.2019
    10 MB
    22:50
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    Derren Brown: the magician’s secrets

    British illusionist and writer Derren Brown talks to Emily Webb about some of his famous stunts and how he used magic to overcome his social awkwardness. You can find more about his current show Secret here: www.DerrenBrownSecret.com.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Andrea Kennedy

    Picture: Derren Brown on stage Credit: Matthew Murphy

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  • 25.09.2019
    15 MB
    32:20
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    My partner killed our baby

    In 2010 Hera McLeod had a baby with a man called Joaquin Rams. Joaquin came across as a charming person, but things between them turned sour really quickly. After they separated, Hera got legal custody of their son, Prince. Despite that, Rams was granted unsupervised access to the baby. During one of these visits Rams killed 15-month-old Prince. Hera told Emily Webb how she used her grief and anger to become an advocate for child protection.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Troy Holmes and Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Intruder at door, in silhouette (stock photo) Credit: Getty Images

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  • 24.09.2019
    10 MB
    22:37
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    I defaced a picture of Assad and knew I had to flee

    Hiba is a feminist revolutionary from Syria. When the conflict started in 2011, she would encourage women to take a stand against the Assad regime and hid a camera under her veil to film atrocities. Hiba told Jo Fidgen that her defiance is inspired by her heroine, British author Virginia Woolf.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Poster of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad Credit: George Ourfalian/AFP/Getty Images

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  • 23.09.2019
    8 MB
    17:17
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    'Honey, I brought home a crocodile'

    Gilberto ‘Chito’ Shedden is a fisherman from Siquirres, in Costa Rica. Years ago he befriended a wild crocodile called Pocho.

    Presenter: Clayton Conn Producers: Saskia Edwards and Andrea Kennedy

    Picture: Gilberto ‘Chito’ Shedden playing with Pocho the crocodile Credit: Courtesy of Gilberto ‘Chito’ Shedden

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  • 20.09.2019
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    Modern birth: The man who had a baby

    A few years ago, Freddy McConnell decided to have a baby. A decision that is a big deal for most, but that is even more complicated for Freddy, because he is a transgender man. Freddy started his transition in 2012. Back then having a baby wasn’t on his mind. But after realising that – biologically – it was still a possibility, Freddy decided to get pregnant.

    Freddy’s story was told in a documentary called Seahorse: the dad who gave birth. It’s available to watch on BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0008bxb

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Freddy McConnell standing on a beach. He is pregnant. Credit: Mark Bushnell

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  • 20.09.2019
    11 MB
    23:52
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    Modern birth: Having a dead man’s baby

    Before Baruch Pozniansky died at 25 years old from cancer, he said that he wanted to have a child. So he created something called a 'biological will' and gave a sperm sample. But Baruch didn't have a wife or girlfriend. After he passed away, his mother Julia began a seven-year campaign to find a woman to have his baby. She found Liat Malka who was 35 years old and single. But there are many emotional and ethical issues involved in posthumous reproduction.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Liat Malka and her baby daughter Credit: Courtesy of Liat Malka

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  • 19.09.2019
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    39:35
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    Modern birth: The fertility doctor who impregnated his patients

    Matthew White and Heather Woock discovered they were the children of their mothers' fertility doctor. The doctor had actually used his own semen to inseminate some 50 women without their knowledge. Through their campaigning it has become illegal for doctors to do this and the half-siblings have developed a family-like relationship.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Male nurse holding helium balloon celebrating newborn baby (stock photo) Credit: Getty Images

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  • 18.09.2019
    18 MB
    37:35
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    Modern birth: Why I gave my sister my womb

    Lolita Wästerlund had always wanted to be a mother but was born without a womb (also known as uterus). Her sister Linda, on the other hand, never imagined that she would become a parent. So when Linda fell pregnant she was afraid of telling Lolita. Lolita decided that she had to be there for her sister despite her jealousy. But when Lolita heard about pioneering uterus transplants happening in Sweden, everything changed. Linda had a uterus transplant so Lolita could carry a child of her own.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Lolita (L) and Linda (R) Wästerlund Credit: Courtesy of Lolita Wästerlund

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  • 17.09.2019
    7 MB
    14:47
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    The TV action hero fighting bullies

    Carsten Stahl is a German TV action hero known for his tough detective character who defends the weak. But when his own son was bullied at school, Carsten felt helpless. So he decided to use his fame to take on a culture of bullying.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen
    Producer: Asya Fouks

    Picture: Profile picture of Carsten Stahl Credit: CS & Seiring Design

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  • 16.09.2019
    9 MB
    20:27
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    How I fixed my own brain

    In 1995, Sarah Vallance was an incredibly bright PhD student in Sydney, Australia. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, she began to struggle with the simplest tasks - like shopping, counting money, even reading her own thesis. But she managed to put her life back together - with the help of her dogs.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Troy Holmes

    Picture: Sarah Vallance sitting in the grass with her two dogs Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Vallance

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  • 14.09.2019
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    26:28
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    Discovering my ‘mum’ stole me at birth

    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 but she was raised by the woman who kidnapped her as Miche Solomon. It would be 17 years before she discovered her true identity and was forced to make some impossible decisions.

    Miche recently released a book based on her remarkable life story called: Zephany, Two Mothers One Daughter.

    Presenter: Mpho Lakaje Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder

    Picture: Lavona Solomon and Miche on Christmas Day when she was five-years-old. Credit: Miche Solomon

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  • 12.09.2019
    10 MB
    22:45
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    The acid attack meant for someone else

    Andreas Christopheros experienced life-changing injuries after surviving an acid attack on his doorstep. He had never seen his attacker before and had no idea why he had been targeted. A police investigation revealed that this was an act of vengeance, but his assailant had got the wrong person.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Asya Fouks

    Picture: Andreas Christopheros Credit: Press Association

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  • 11.09.2019
    8 MB
    17:12
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    I raised 1,000 children but gave my own away

    Indian activist Sindhutai Sapkal has never experienced maternal love. Her life, however, has been defined by it. She is known as 'mother of orphans' and is believed to have adopted more than 1,400 children. But that work became so important to her that she made the astonishing decision to give away her biological daughter, Mamata, when she was a baby. Now though the two live and work together, and their story raises interesting questions about family and forgiveness.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producers: Alice Gioia and Nikita Mandhani

    Image: Sindhutai and Mamata Sapkal Credit: Mangalam Stories

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  • 10.09.2019
    9 MB
    19:58
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    Dr Palipana, the quadriplegic ER medic

    In 2010, 25-year-old Dinesh Palipana was a medical student in Australia. One night, while he was driving back from visiting his parents, he got involved in a car crash that would change his life. The accident left him quadriplegic: he lost the use of his arms and legs. But that didn't stop him from becoming an emergency doctor.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Katy Davis

    Image: Profile picture of Dr Dinesh Palipana Credit: Griffith University

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  • 09.09.2019
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    18:31
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    How not to be a rock star

    Scottish teenager Cora Bissett got a five album deal when she was just 17, but then her rock star dreams came crashing down. She went from partying with Blur and Radiohead to being submerged in debt. Cora is now a respected actor and she has a stage show called 'What Girls Are Made Of'.

    Picture: Group picture of indie band Darlingheart Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

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  • 07.09.2019
    12 MB
    26:29
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    The boy, the wish and the nuclear weapons

    In 1986 American teenager, Jeff Henigson was diagnosed with brain cancer and given two years left to live. He had just one wish: to travel to the Soviet Union, meet the country's leader Mikhail Gorbachev and attempt to broker a nuclear peace deal.

    Jeff has written a book about his experience called WarHead.

    Presenter: Asya Fouks Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder

    Picture: Teenager Jeff Henigson in bed after undergoing brain surgery Credit: Jeff Henigson

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  • 05.09.2019
    11 MB
    23:26
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    The love story behind a lost Leonardo

    When internationally-renowned art restorer Dianne Modestini was asked to work on an old, damaged painting in 2005, she had no idea it would go on to become the world’s most expensive. The painting of Christ was believed to be inspired by the Italian master Leonardo da Vinci, but was eventually attributed to the artist himself. It went on to sell at auction for US $450,000,000.

    Throughout the arduous task of restoring the painting Dianne had felt the presence of her late husband, the great Italian conservator Mario Modestini. He had seen the picture shortly before his death and working on it kept him alive for her.

    As she restored the image, Dianne became convinced that it was by the hand of the master. Close comparison to the Mona Lisa convinced her that no one else in the world could have painted it, and a panel of authenticators came to agree that it was da Vinci’s lost masterpiece, the Salvator Mundi.

    Producer: Nathan Gower Presenter: Emily Webb

    Image: Dianne Modestini with the Salvator Mundi Credit: Cheryl Rossum

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  • 04.09.2019
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    From homeless kid to hero of Africa's biggest slum

    Kennedy Odede had a tough start in life. He grew up in Kibera in Kenya, Africa’s biggest slum. Poverty drove him to stealing and drugs.

    He believed his future prospects were either death or prison. He didn’t go to school but Kennedy taught himself to read from newspapers he found in the rubbish. It was the start of a spectacular change of fortune.

    He began learning about the American civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King and was inspired. Kennedy wanted to start his own movement and it all began with football. His project, Shining Hope for Communities, just grew and grew.

    He’s now built two schools and seven health clinics. Kennedy also won a US scholarship, he speaks six languages and has rubbed shoulders with Beyoncé.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Image: Kennedy Odede Credit: Courtesy of Shining Hope for Communities

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  • 03.09.2019
    10 MB
    21:38
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    Keeping my country's burned past alive

    It’s been a year since Brazil’s National Museum was devastated in a huge fire. The Museum’s collection was extraordinary – it had 20 million objects – including dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, frescos of sea dragons, Inca weaponry. But the Museum wasn’t just a storeroom of ancient objects, the building had deep personal significance for many people across Brazil.

    Aparecida Vilaça is an anthropologist who’s spent years in the Amazon recording the legends, songs and stories of Brazil’s Indigenous Wari’ people. Many of them were told by the storyteller, Paleto. He ended up becoming Aparecida’s Wari’ ‘father’ and his stories were a unique catalogue of Wari’ life – all his original recordings were kept in the Museum.

    Beatriz Hörmanseder is a paleontologist in Brazil’s National Museum. She lost all her work in the fire that tore through the building. She was devastated afterwards, but came up with a unique way to cope with the trauma of its loss. She got a tattoo of the building's facade and set up a project where other recovering students and staff could do the same.

    Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Image: Aparecida Vilaça and Paleto Credit: Carlos Fausto

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  • 02.09.2019
    10 MB
    21:42
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    'If you want to live, squeeze my hand'

    When Tom Patterson caught a superbug infection in 2015, he thought his life was over. The antibiotics had stopped working, he was in a coma and doctors had given up hope. But his wife - scientist Steffanie Strathdee - went on an international medical quest to save him. Tom and Steffanie have written a book about their experience - 'The Perfect Predator: A scientist's race to save her husband from a deadly superbug'.

    Presenter: Jonny Dymond Producer: Asya Fouks

    Picture: Tom Patterson and Steffanie Strathdee holding pictures of bacteria and phages Credit: USCD Health

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  • 30.08.2019
    12 MB
    26:29
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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.

    Reporter: Pablo Esparza Altuna Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Isabel González collecting barnacles Credit: Pablo Esparza Altuna

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  • 30.08.2019
    9 MB
    19:10
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    The underground network saving gay Iraqis

    Majid went from kebab delivery boy to running clandestine missions rescuing women and children facing violence in Iraq. He teamed up with Ahlam, a widow and survivor of domestic abuse. Together they built an underground network, smuggling some of Iraq's most vulnerable people – most recently members of the LGBTQ community – to safety.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Voiceover performances by Youssef Taha and Amira Ghazalla

    Picture: LGBT protest in Turkey Credit: Getty Images

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  • 29.08.2019
    15 MB
    32:11
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    How Springsteen became my lifeline

    As a British-Pakistani teenager growing up in 1980s Luton, Sarfraz Manzoor didn’t think his future held huge promise – that is until he discovered the music of Bruce Springsteen.

    Sarfraz could relate to The Boss – they both came from working class backgrounds and both had challenging relationships with their fathers. But if Springsteen had made it to the top, maybe Sarfraz could too.

    He's now a successful writer and journalist, and his story was turned into the film Blinded by the Light.

    Produced and presented by Emily Webb

    Picture: Sarfraz Manzoor with Bruce Springsteen Credit: Courtesy of Sarfraz Manzoor

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  • 28.08.2019
    11 MB
    23:19
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    Why I thanked the man who shot me

    When Wesley Hamilton was in his early 20s he was unhappy, overweight, and dealing drugs. Then, just after he turned 24 and got custody of his daughter, he was shot by a stranger. Wesley survived but his injuries left him paralysed. As the years went on, he was able to get fit and healthy, even becoming a bodybuilding champion and starting a charity called Disabled...but not really. And last year he came face to face with his attacker – and thanked him. Wesley says that getting shot was “the best thing that ever happened” to him.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Picture: Wesley Hamilton Credit: Christina Browne

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  • 27.08.2019
    11 MB
    23:52
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    Forgiving myself after killing a classmate

    When Lis Cashin was 13, she took part in a javelin competition in her school sports day. But in a freak accident, the javelin veered off course, and a friend of hers was killed. Lis has spent decades trying to deal with the tragedy, and learning how to forgive herself.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Katy Davis

    Image: Lis Cashin Credit: James Muller

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  • 26.08.2019
    6 MB
    13:47
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    Building a hospital on a rubbish dump

    Edna Adan Ismail is a healthcare pioneer in Somaliland. She was married to the former Prime Minister, but her first love was nursing and midwifery and she refused to give it up. For many years Edna fought to build a hospital in her home city of Hargeisa, and through sheer force of will and a lot of donated cement, finally managed it in 2002. She's now in her 80s, but still works 14 hour days teaching doctors and delivering babies.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Harry Graham

    Picture: Edna Adan Ismail with trainee medical staff Credit: Courtesy of Harper Collins

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  • 24.08.2019
    22 MB
    47:36
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    An unlikely friendship in Guantanamo Bay

    In 2002, Mauritanian engineer Mohamedou Salahi was detained by American intelligence services. They believed he was a senior figure in al-Qaeda and took him to Guantanamo Bay, the notorious US prison camp. Mohamedou was held there for 14 years without charge, during which time he says he was tortured. A glimmer of light came in the form of an unexpected and life-changing friendship he would make with Steve Wood, one of his American guards.

    Mohamedou Salahi has written about his experience in a book called 'Guantanamo Diary'.

    Presented by Emily Webb Produced by Mariana Des Forges

    Image: Mohamedou Salahi and Steve Wood Credit: Mohamedou Salahi

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  • 22.08.2019
    8 MB
    17:06
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    The male countertenor who replaced a leading lady

    Polish singer Jakub Jozef Orlinski is something of a rarity in the operatic world. Not only is he a countertenor – meaning his range is high compared to other male singers – but he’s also a breakdancer. He's brought his dancing skills to the stage, and most recently to his part in Rinaldo, where he stepped in to take the title role after the leading lady pulled out. Emily Webb goes to meet Josef at Glyndebourne, the opera house in the English countryside.

    Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Picture: Jakub Jozef Orlinski in Rinaldo Credit: Glyndebourne Productions Ltd. Photo by Robbie Jack

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  • 21.08.2019
    10 MB
    21:27
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    ‘Please... need rescue… SOS!’

    In May 2019, British pilot Sam Rutherford took off from an airport in Canada with his co-pilot Alan Simpson. Alan was a pioneering farmer, businessman and grandfather who was also passionate about aviation and had bought a small plane. However, part-way through the flight the plane crashed into the side of a snow-covered mountain. Realising that Alan was badly injured, Sam knew they needed help and fast, so he sent a desperate SMS text message to his wife Beatrice De Smet who was in Europe. What ensued was an extraordinary rescue, involving nine people on snow mobiles.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Katy Davis

    Image: Winand Deerenberg/Getty Images

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  • 20.08.2019
    6 MB
    14:03
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    My baby was swapped at birth

    When South African mother Meta Diphoko took her ex-husband to court for child support payments, DNA tests were carried out on their five children. They would reveal a shocking fact - that one of Meta's sons, Kamogelo, was not her biological child. This is a story about a devastating mistake which made a family question their relationships, and rethink what family means.

    Image: Newborn baby holding mum's hand Credit: michellegibson/Getty Images

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  • 19.08.2019
    17 MB
    35:45
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    Bassem Youssef: Egypt’s revolutionary comedian

    The rise and fall of Egypt's star satirist.

    Bassem Youssef was a heart surgeon in Cairo during the Arab Spring when he started poking fun at the politicians in power. His style of subversive comedy was ground-breaking, and Bassem soon became one of the best known comedians in the Middle East. For a while he was described as 'Egypt's Jon Stewart'. Bassem's television show was wildly popular but his fan base didn't extend to the Egyptian authorities. His show was cancelled and soon he had to flee his home.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producers: Nathan Gower and June Christie

    Image: Bassem Youssef Credit: Kareem Mazhar

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  • 16.08.2019
    7 MB
    16:04
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    Our wedding made LGBT history in Costa Rica

    Jazmin Elizondo and Laura Flores Estrada are a lesbian couple in Costa Rica. They realised they could get married because of a clerical error on one of their birth certificates - Jazmin was mistakenly listed as male. It was at a time when same-sex marriage was illegal in Costa Rica and their wedding caused a national controversy. Jazmin and Laura faced harassment and criminal charges, but after a court battle, their marriage was recognised. Clayton Conn reports.

    Producer: Saskia Edwards

    Image: Jazmin Elizondo and Laura Flores Estrada Credit: Claytonn Conn

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  • 15.08.2019
    9 MB
    20:23
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    The Blind Boys of Alabama: a life in music

    Jimmy Carter is a titan in the world of gospel music. He's the last surviving original member of The Blind Boys of Alabama – America’s ultimate octogenarian boyband. The group has won several Grammy Awards and even had an audience at the White House, performing for Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. Jimmy was just a child when he met the fellow founding members at a school for the blind in the 1930s. It was in the segregated American South, but from there, the boys sang their way to stardom.

    Produced and presented by Emily Webb

    Picture: The Blind Boys of Alabama circa 1970 Credit: Getty Images

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  • 14.08.2019
    11 MB
    23:25
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    The secret missionary who lost her faith

    Amber Scorah grew up in Canada in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was passionate about her belief and moved to Shanghai to become an undercover missionary – undercover because of the restrictions on religious preaching in China. She was determined to convert people, but ended up doubting her own faith. However Amber knew that if she left the religion, she would be ostracised from her community and family. She tells Emily Webb her story.

    Caleb Swanepoel is a South African actor who embodies the word resilience. When he was a drama student he lost his leg in a shark attack while he was out surfing with his brothers. Now, he’s back on the stage and also back in the water – hoping to take his swimming talents to the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. Outlook's Andile Masuku went to meet him.

    Image: Amber Scorah Credit: Lee Towndrow

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  • 13.08.2019
    14 MB
    29:38
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    Exposing Nigeria’s cough syrup crisis, for my brother

    Nigerian Ruona Meyer was inspired by her famous journalist father - Godwin Agbroko - to become an investigative reporter like him. When he was killed, her grieving brother became addicted to codeine cough syrup. Ruona - clad in bullet proof vest and blue lipstick - risked her life to uncover the black market trade in the medicine that’s become a street drug. Her documentary Sweet, Sweet Codeine has been nominated for an Emmy.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Constanza Hola

    Image: Ruona Meyer Credit: BBC

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  • 12.08.2019
    9 MB
    19:29
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    Secret SMS texts saved my family from IS

    Idriss is a Yazidi farmer whose home in northern Iraq was overrun by fighters from so-called Islamic State. He and the other men from the villages were rounded up, most were shot, and buried in a mass grave. Idriss was one of the few to escape – but his wife and five children were kidnapped and taken to IS territory. He then began a perilous mission – resorting to smugglers and secret text messages – to rescue his family. Along the way, Idriss has tried to help hundreds of other enslaved Yazidi women reunite with their families.

    Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Deiniol Buxton

    Image: Yazidi man on his phone Credit: Getty Images

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  • 10.08.2019
    12 MB
    26:28
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    My escape, thanks to a Russian mail-order bride

    As a film-obsessed gay teen, Wes Hurley was thrilled to move to the US from Russia. But his mother’s new husband was moody and homophobic. How they ended up bonding, after a surprise revelation.

    Wes made a film about his life, co-directed by Nathan Miller, called Little Potato: https://vimeo.com/topicstories/littlepotato

    This episode is presented and produced by Saskia Edwards.

    Image: Wes Hurley with his mother Elena Credit: Wes Hurley / Nathan Miller

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  • 08.08.2019
    11 MB
    23:45
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    Yacht race disaster: alone in a vicious sea

    In 1979, English sailor Nick Ward found himself in the middle of the biggest disaster in ocean racing. He was in the crew of the Grimalkin, one of 303 yachts taking part in the Fastnet Challenge Cup – a demanding 608-mile race around the south-west coast of the British Isles. The course started in fine weather but ended up in unimaginable horror after a freak storm swept into the Celtic Sea and pounded Nick’s boat. The ensuing rescue operation was the UK’s largest since World War 2 – and Nick was the last man to be saved.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham

    Image: The rescue of Nick Ward from the sinking Grimalkin Credit: Getty Images

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  • 07.08.2019
    11 MB
    23:54
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    Why would beggars steal my little brother?

    Samuel Abdulraheem was just seven years old when he was snatched while playing outside his home in northern Nigeria. His older sister Firdausi was distraught. The police were called, a search was conducted – but it yielded nothing. Samuel had disappeared.

    However, Firdausi still clung to belief he might still be alive. And six years later, at the other end of the country, she finally found him. Samuel had been abducted, and taken to Lagos where he was used as a guide for blind beggars.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Saskia Edwards

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  • 06.08.2019
    8 MB
    16:52
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    The ingredients for a happier life

    Olivia Potts was in her early 20s and had just got her dream job - as a criminal lawyer in London. Then her mum died, and Olivia needed distracting from her grief. For the first time in her life she baked a cake – and life was never the same again. She gave up her law career and went to one of the world’s top cooking schools. She’s now a fulltime baker and private chef.

    Image: Olivia Potts Credit: Jamie Drew

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  • 05.08.2019
    9 MB
    20:38
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    The sad tale of the laughing cab driver

    Moustafa Chamseddine was one of thousands of people who were disappeared during Lebanon’s civil war in the 1980s. For many years his family didn’t know where he was. Moustafa had ended up in Syria’s notorious Tadmur jail. But there, even torture couldn’t quell his spirits, and he used humour to help him and his fellow inmates survive their ordeal. Lizzie Porter went to meet Moustafa in Beirut where he now works as a taxi driver.

    Image: Moustafa Chamseddine Credit: Leila Molana-Allen

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  • 03.08.2019
    12 MB
    26:29
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    Pollen detective: Forensics’ secret weapon

    Professor Patricia Wiltshire is a leading forensic ecologist and botanist. For the last 25 years she has helped solve some of the UK’s most serious crimes including a number of the country's most high-profile murder cases. To do this she uses her vast knowledge of plant science, finding clues to the crimes in microscopic grains of pollen and spores. She’s written a book called Traces: Every body leaves a mark.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder

    Image: pollen under high-powered photomicrographic magnification Credit: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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  • 01.08.2019
    19 MB
    40:14
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    James Rhodes: I'm alive because of music

    British concert pianist James Rhodes is a star in the world of classical music. He's won awards, had several hit albums, performed in top venues all over the world and Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield is about to play him in a biopic. His career is a testament to overcoming unimaginable trauma. James is a survivor of child sexual abuse. As a result, he turned to self-harm and even contemplated suicide. This is the story of how music became his lifeline.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Image: James Rhodes Credit: Oscar Gonzalez/Getty Images

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  • 31.07.2019
    11 MB
    23:48
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    I came out during a lie detector test

    Todd Ross came out as a gay man after being forced to take a lie detector test. He was in the Canadian military, and the confession - which cost him his career - was during the country's ‘LGBT purge.’ He tells his story to Emily Webb. (Image: Todd Ross on HMCS Saskatchewan in 1989. Photo courtesy of Todd Ross.)

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  • 30.07.2019
    7 MB
    15:10
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    The selfie that changed my life twice

    Anas Modamani is a Syrian refugee obsessed with selfies. In 2015 he fled his hometown for Europe, and all along the difficult route he would send photographs of himself to his family back home in Syria. When he finally reached Germany he had a chance encounter with the country's leader Angela Merkel. He didn't really know who she was at the time but he took a selfie with her. That selfie changed his life - for better and for worse. (Photo courtesy of Anas Modamani.)

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  • 29.07.2019
    6 MB
    13:09
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    Why I started a Holocaust survivors’ band

    Saul Dreier is a Holocaust survivor and musician. He’s always tried to find the joy in life – even in Nazi concentration camps where he taught himself to play the spoons. After World War Two, he moved to the US and stopped playing music. That is until he was 89 years old, when he felt the urge to buy a drum kit and start a klezmer band. (Photo courtesy of Saul Dreier.)

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  • 27.07.2019
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    Exposing my twin – the paedophile priest

    Margaret Harrod was a nun and her twin brother was a priest. They were inseparable, but one day while visiting a parish family Margaret witnessed her brother doing something that would shock her to the core. It brought up memories that she had tried to bury and ultimately forced her to blow the whistle on her own twin brother. Margaret talks openly about child sexual abuse throughout this programme and it may be difficult and triggering to hear. If you are affected by anything in Margaret's interview the BBC has a website where you can get advice and more information: www.bbc.co.uk/actionline

    Image: Twins Margaret Harrod and her brother Michael wearing their Catholic religious clothing Credit: Margaret Harrod

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  • 25.07.2019
    9 MB
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    I had a baby and thought I was Cameron Diaz

    When Jen Wight was sitting in a doctor's surgery in Sydney, Australia, she had a lightbulb moment. She suddenly believed she was the American actor Cameron Diaz. The truth was very different of course. She was a new mum, and this was just the beginning of a series of unsettling delusions. Jen Wight was suffering from postpartum psychosis.

    Image: Jen Wight Credit: Catherine Cullen

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  • 24.07.2019
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    The dating scam that made a friendship

    Maria Grette ignored most of the messages she received from men on her online dating profile. But there was one that she felt a connection to. He was a Danish-American businessman, handsome and living in South Carolina in the USA. They spoke daily, and as their relationship intensified 'Johnny' made plans to visit Maria in Sweden. But then an horrific incident, a phone-call and demands for money. 'Johnny's' identity began to unravel. Maria tells her story to Emily Webb.

    Image and credit: Maria Grette

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  • 23.07.2019
    19 MB
    40:41
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    Was this father wrong to help convict his son?

    Roger Stringer and his son Zac are from Mississippi, in the deep south of the USA. They're from a community where guns and hunting are part of the culture. And growing up, Zac and his brother Justin loved to hunt deer with their dad in the forests around their home.

    On a summer's evening in 2011, Roger dropped 15-year-old Zac and 11 year-old Justin home after taking them out for a meal. Twenty minutes later, he got a call from the boys' mother. She was screaming. Then, another call - it was Zac. What he said would change everything.

    Zac had loaded a rifle to threaten Justin, just to scare him, he says. But when he went to put it down, he heard a click. The rifle had gone off and struck Justin in the head, who died instantly. Zac swore he hadn’t pulled the trigger, but Roger didn’t believe him. And in Zac’s trial, Roger testified against his own son, saying that guns don’t fire by themselves.

    But when Zac went to prison Roger made a discovery that turned their lives upside down.

    Warning: this programme descriptions that some listeners may find distressing.

    Image: Roger & Zac Stringer Credit: Ashton McKenzie/Shutterup Photography

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  • 22.07.2019
    11 MB
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    Andy McNab: soldier, writer, psychopath

    Andy McNab's books have sold millions of copies around the world. And while his name will be recognisable to many, his true identity is known to very few. After years working in the British special forces, he uses a pseudonym and conceals his face in photos for his own safety. Andy took part in some of the most daring raids in British military history, but is best known for his writing. Surprisingly, he only learned to read aged 16. He credits reading with teaching him empathy, which, as a diagnosed psychopath, he had to learn. He spoke to Jo Fidgen about his childhood, military career, and his writing. His new children's book is called Get Me Out of Here and has been co-written by Phil Earle.

    Image: silhouette of a soldier Credit: Getty Images/south agency

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  • 20.07.2019
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    Chasing El Chapo

    This week a US judge sentenced Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to life in prison plus 30 years. The trial is significant because El Chapo achieved notoriety for twice escaping custody in Mexico as well as avoiding arrest on numerous other occasions. One of these arrests was in 2014 and was the culmination of years of work by an American drug enforcement agent called Drew Hogan. When Drew started searching for the world's most wanted drug lord, he wasn't aware how consumed he would become with the hunt. From organising undercover money laundering operations to camping out in the kingpin's house in Mexico, Drew was about to embark on an extraordinary quest.

    Image: poster with the face of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, from 2015 Credit: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images

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  • 18.07.2019
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    40:30
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    Wrestling stardom nearly tore us apart

    The Knight family are from Norwich in the UK and they are wrestlers. They spent years striving for stardom. The parents, Ricky and Saraya Knight, met through the sport and when they started their own wrestling business, their children also caught the entertainment bug. But when one of their daughters, Paige, became a WWE superstar in America, her success threatened to tear the family apart. This is a sporting story that spans generations and continents. The Knight wrestling dynasty not only survived chokeslams and anaconda squeezes in the ring - but high dives and bitter lows in real life.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Katy Davis

    Image: (L) L-R: Ricky, Saraya, Zak and Paige Knight. Credit: Katy Davis/BBC (R) Paige wrestling in Cologne, Germany. Credit: Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images

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  • 17.07.2019
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    Voyage from the Pacific Islands to Hollywood

    Opetaia Foa'i grew up in Samoa surrounded by the island's rhythms, sounds and songs. But, surviving wasn't easy and his family moved to the city of Auckland in New Zealand. As he grew up in this new environment he began to look into his roots and started to make music about his voyager ancestors. It caught the eye of producers at Walt Disney Animation Studios who wanted him to write the music for their upcoming movie Moana about a Pacific Island teenager trying to save her community. Opetaia Foa'i made sure the smash hit movie stayed true to Pacific culture.

    Listen to an extended version of this interview with the music Opetaia wrote for Moana here: https://bbc.in/2XUE9fw

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  • 16.07.2019
    11 MB
    23:21
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    The heart of a heart surgeon

    Heart surgeon Stephen Westaby has saved thousands of patients throughout his 40 year career but it’s the deaths that stick with him. As a teenager he was smart but felt he wasn't bold enough to make the split-second life and death decisions required of a surgeon. It wasn’t until medical school when a rugby accident damaged the part of his brain that controls inhibition and risk-taking, that Professor Westaby overcame his shyness. He would become famous for complex paediatric surgeries and would pioneer the use of a small artificial heart. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Westaby.)

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  • 15.07.2019
    11 MB
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    Why music on a bus gave me a panic attack

    Maryam Zaree's birth inside a notorious Iranian prison was a family secret. That was until a bus journey unearthed traumatic memories. She tells Jo Fidgen her story. (Photo courtesy of Maryam Zaree.)

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  • 13.07.2019
    12 MB
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    The IS orphans rescued by their grandpa

    Patricio Galvez is a Chilean musician who has lived in Sweden for the last 30 years. In 2014 his daughter Amanda travelled to Syria with her children and joined the Islamic State group. When she was killed earlier this year he battled governments, crossed borders and entered a war zone to try and rescue her seven young children.

    Photo courtesy of Patricio Galvez

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  • 11.07.2019
    11 MB
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    A kid in Australia’s doomsday cult

    Ben Shenton's mum handed him over to a notorious Australian cult when he was a baby. The group was called 'The Family.' His hair was bleached, he was forced to take drugs and was told that the glamorous cult leader was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. So what happened when the lies came crashing down?

    Correction: We said two girls went to the police with information about the cult. In fact there were three.

    Image: Ben Shenton (second child on the right) with other cult members Credit: supplied by Ben Shenton

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  • 10.07.2019
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    Using boxing to help DRC’s 'outcasts'

    Balezi Bagunda is known as Kibomango and his first love is boxing, but a lack of career options in the Democratic Republic of Congo meant that he became a soldier at 17. But when the government was overthrown in a coup, Balezi found himself destitute and forced into hiding. He tells Emily Webb how he went from sleeping in a football stadium to creating a boxing club inside that stadium for other people who are looked at as outcasts. (Image: Young people training at a boxing club in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo credit: Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images.)

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  • 09.07.2019
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    Reclaiming Pepe, my cartoon frog

    How does a frog cartoon become a hate symbol? Matt Furie is a comic book illustrator who created Pepe the Frog, a chilled-out character that ended up becoming a hugely popular internet meme. But this frog took on a sinister life of its own as it was adopted by far-right groups in the US. Neal Razzell finds out how this unexpected turn affected Matt and how he’s fought to reclaim his frog.

    Image: Pepe the Frog Credit: Matt Furie

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  • 08.07.2019
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    Solving international crime from our sofas

    Eliot Higgins has been described as "a real life, modern-day Sherlock Holmes". Outlook's Neal Razzell finds out how Eliot went from being an unemployed admin worker to a world-class digital sleuth. He set up Bellingcat, an investigative website that seeks to solve international crimes and was joined by stay-at-home dad Timmi Allen. Their painstaking digital work has unmasked the Salisbury poisoning suspects, cracked the MH17 air crash case and they are now working with the International Criminal Court.

    Image: remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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  • 06.07.2019
    21 MB
    44:55
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    What I found in the minds of serial killers

    In the 1970s John E. Douglas was a relatively young FBI agent who would travel around the US teaching police officers the bureau's tactics. John knew he was inexperienced compared to the seasoned detectives he was instructing. But he had an idea to accelerate his learning: go into prisons and speak to notorious serial killers. They weren't called 'serial killers' back then. John helped come up with the term. Through the interviews John was able to understand how the minds of these criminals worked and how it could be applied to solve open cases. But the gruelling work took its toll on John. Andrea Kennedy spoke to him about how it began to erode his mental health and very nearly cost him his life.

    Image: murderer Edmund Kemper (left) with former FBI agent John E. Douglas (right) Credit: supplied by John E. Douglas

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  • 04.07.2019
    10 MB
    22:48
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    My fugitive dad made me get a nose job

    As a child Margo Perin remembers strangers in the living room and having a new surname and address every few years. Unsure of what her father really did for a living, her childhood was shrouded in mystery. It wouldn't be until she was much older that she would come to understand her family's secrets, including why her father forced her to change her appearance completely.

    Image: Young Margo Perin Courtesy of Margo Perin

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  • 03.07.2019
    8 MB
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    Uncovering my family's showbiz past

    Claire Belhassine’s Tunisian grandfather died when she was young. She remembers him from childhood summer holidays in Tunisia, sitting quietly in his chair, never the centre of attention. But years later, sitting in a taxi in Paris, Claire came upon her grandfather’s glamorous past. Claire made a documentary about her grandfather's story. It's called The Man Behind The Microphone and it is screening at the Shubbak Festival in London.

    Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf

    Image: Claire's grandmother Ninette and her musical troupe. Courtesy: Claire Belhassine.

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  • 02.07.2019
    11 MB
    23:34
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    The unmasking of China's secret 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?

    Presenter: Neal Razzell Producer: Maryam Maruf

    (Photo credit: Getty Images.)

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  • 01.07.2019
    11 MB
    23:04
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    Thrown overboard: a stowaway's survival

    A boy is stolen off the street on his way to school and forced to fight in the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. After years of fighting, he escapes and stows away on a ship. But to his horror, he finds it's not much safer than the battlefield. The extraordinary story of Jemal Damtawe, the man who spent a lifetime on the run. He speaks to Neal Razzell. (Photo credit: Getty Images.)

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  • 27.06.2019
    8 MB
    18:26
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    Overcoming IS terror with books

    Dr Alaa Hamdon is a geologist from the Iraqi city of Mosul who always loved books. One of the most magical places for him in the city was the university library - with over a million books, it was the biggest of its kind in the Middle East. That was until the Islamic State group took over the city in 2014 and burned down the library. Dr Hamdon is now made it his mission to restore the library. He's been telling Emily Webb his story.

    Image: Dr Alaa Hamdon Credit: Book Aid International

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  • 26.06.2019
    17 MB
    36:16
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    My Mormon mum, my gay rights hero

    Growing up, Dustin Lance Black didn't think he'd be able to open up about his sexuality to his loved ones. His family was conservative – and Mormon. But when he was a teenager, a speech by the openly gay politician Harvey Milk allowed him to imagine a very different life for himself. Lance never forgot that speech, and years later, when he became a screenwriter, he decided to make a film about Milk. Lance went on to win an Oscar for that film. He told Outlook’s Emily Webb that a lot of his success is down to his mum.

    (Photo: Anne and Dustin. Credit: Dustin Lance Black)

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  • 25.06.2019
    9 MB
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    The child who saved my life – and vanished

    When so-called Islamic State attacked northern Iraq, Hogir Hirori - a documentary maker and refugee from the region - went back there to record what was going on. He came across a young girl who was seriously ill, and decided to drop everything to help her. But then she vanished. And Hogir now had a mystery to solve. Jo Fidgen takes up the story.

    Image: Souad Credit: Hogir Hirori

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  • 24.06.2019
    9 MB
    19:15
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    Becoming a star: the busker with albinism

    Singer Lazarus Chigwandali has albinism which meant his life in Malawi wasn't easy, but that all changed when a video of him was seen by Swedish music producer Johan Hugo. Jo Fidgen takes up the story.

    For information on Lazarus’ documentary and touring dates go to: https://www.facebook.com/LazarusMusicMalawi/

    Image: Lazarus Chigwandali Credit: David Darg

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  • 22.06.2019
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    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.

    Image and credit: Bobomurod Abdulla

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  • 20.06.2019
    11 MB
    23:57
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    My dad the unlikely meth dealer

    Growing up, James Lubbock knew his dad Richard as a clean-living family man. He was ‘solid, principled’, James says, and sold antique coins for a living. He loved jazz and opera. Then in his 50s Richard announced to the family that he was gay and things started to change. He shaved his head, changed his wardrobe, went clubbing. He then started taking hard drugs. It was a complete transformation from the father James knew, and drug-taking became drug-dealing: Richard became one of Britain's biggest dealers of crystal meth. Father and son join Emily Webb to tell their story.

    Image: Richard & James Lubbock Photo cred: James Lubbock

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  • 19.06.2019
    8 MB
    16:48
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    My brother’s sickle cell disease made me a doctor

    Tartania Brown is from New York City and she has sickle cell anaemia, a genetic disorder that affects red blood cells and can be fatal. At one stage, Tartania didn’t know if she would reach her 20s. Her brother Christopher also has the condition, and when he was just four years old, he had multiple strokes which left him unable to speak or move. It was a challenging time for Tartania's whole family, but also transformative for her. Seeing the way the doctors and nurses cared for her brother, she was inspired to study medicine herself. After much hard work, she is a palliative care physician and looks after patients with sickle cell anaemia. Tartania's story is part of the film and photo series: www.untoldsicklecellstories.com. (Photo credit: Dr Alexander Kumar on behalf of untoldsicklecellstories.)

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  • 19.06.2019
    9 MB
    20:19
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