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Witness History

Witness History

By BBC World Service

History as told by the people who were there.


Kenya: Nairobi shopping mall attack

In 2013, gunmen from a Somali Islamist group known as Al-Shabab attacked a shopping centre in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. They took hundreds of people hostage during the siege which lasted four days. More than 60 people were killed, with many more injured. In 2021, Rebecca Kesby spoke to Daniel Ouma who was a paramedic on duty at the time. (Photo: A Kenyan police officer deployed near the Westgate mall. Credit: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
21/09/23·8m 59s

The first person inside the 'Gates of Hell'

In November 2013 George Kourounis arrived in the Turkmenistan desert. He was determined to become the first person to enter the Darvaza Crater. The crater is a burning natural gas field that has been on fire for at least 50 years and has become known as the 'Gates of Hell.' On 6 November, George put on a giant silver aluminium suit and began his descent into the crater. He says he felt like a giant baked potato! George shares memories of the adventure with Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty. (Photo: George Kourounis in the Darvaza Crater. Credit: George Kourounis)
20/09/23·9m 58s

Fighting for legal abortion in Italy

In 1978, campaigners won their long fight to legalise abortion in Italy. Emma Bonino and other members of the Radical Party went on hunger strike and were even jailed, after helping women access illegal abortions across the country. But they faced fierce opposition in the Catholic country, as the church was heavily integrated into Italian politics. Emma Bonino was so passionate about the cause that it led her to become a politician. She speaks to Reena Stanton-Sharma about her role in the campaign. (Photo: Emma Bonino in 1976. Credit: Vittoriano Rastelli/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
19/09/23·9m 1s

Nazi eugenics

In July 1933, the new German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, passed 'The Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases'. It required the sterilisation of Germans with physical and mental disabilities. Helga Gross was one of those sterilised. Ben Henderson uncovers archive interviews from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, recorded in 2003. (Photo: Helga Gross as a child. Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
18/09/23·10m 1s

The Ramallah concert

In August 2005, an unusual orchestra performed an extraordinary concert in the city of Ramallah. The West-Eastern Divan orchestra was founded in 1999 by Israeli conductor, Daniel Barenboim and Palestinian literary critic and philosopher, Edward Said. Their belief was that music has the power to bring people together. Violinists, Tyme Khelefi and Daniel Cohen tell their stories to Gill Kearsley. (Photo: The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Credit: Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty Images)
15/09/23·10m 6s

The siege at the Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is on the site believed by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ. But in 2002, it was at the centre of one of the most dramatic sieges of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For almost six weeks, Palestinian gunmen and civilians were holed up in the church. In 2015 Louise Hidalgo spoke to Father Amjad Sabbara, a Franciscan friar who lived in the compound, and to Carolyn Cole, an American photojournalist who managed to get inside the church in the last days of the siege. (Photo: Journalists stand behind barricades guarded by Israeli soldiers metres away from where Palestinians are holed up in the Church of the Nativity. Credit: Gali Tibbon/ AFP via Getty Images)
14/09/23·9m 55s

Ariel Sharon visits al-Aqsa

Rioting broke out in 2000 after the Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon made a controversial visit to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city. In 2012, Mike Lanchin spoke to an Israeli and a Palestinian who were there that day. (Photo: Ariel Sharon is flanked by security guards as he leaves the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Credit: AWAD AWAD/AFP via Getty Images)
13/09/23·10m 3s

Camp David Summit: How Middle East peace talks failed

In 2000, President Bill Clinton led a major effort to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The two sides were brought together at the leafy presidential retreat in Maryland. The Israeli leader, Ehud Barak and the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, failed to reach any agreement and the summit ended in failure. In 2017, Farhana Haider spoke to senior American diplomatic interpreter and policy adviser, Gamal Helal, who attended the Camp David summit. (Photo: US President Bill Clinton with Israeli leader, Ehud Barak and the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafa, at Camp David. Credit: Getty Images)
12/09/23·9m 55s

Oslo Peace Accords: The secret talks behind Middle East deal

In September 1993, a peace agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinians after months of secret negotiations. The historic handshake between Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin took place on the lawn of the White House. Mona Juul and her husband were part of the team that planned and orchestrated top-secret meetings that culminated in the signing of the Oslo Accords. She spoke to Louise Hidalgo in 2010. (Photo: Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres signs the historic Oslo Accords looked on by (from left) Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, unidentified aide, US President Bill Clinton and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Credit: J David Ake/AFP via Getty Images)
11/09/23·9m 56s

Victor Jara: killed in Chile's coup

On 11 September 1973, General Augusto Pinochet deposed Chile's President Salvador Allende in a military coup. Thousands of people were tortured and killed in the months after the coup, including the folk singer Victor Jara. His widow, Joan Jara, spoke to Gideon Long in 2013. (Photo: Victor Jara. Credit: Gems/Redferns via Getty Images)
08/09/23·9m 7s

Organising Chile's 1973 military coup

On 11 September 1973, General Augusto Pinochet deposed Chile's democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, in a violent military coup. Hermógenes Pérez de Arce was a politician and helped organise the coup. He speaks to Jane Chambers. (Photo: Hermógenes Pérez de Arce. Credit: sourced)
07/09/23·10m 5s

Murder of Swedish politician Anna Lindh

In 2003, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was stabbed to death in a department store in the middle of Stockholm. The 46-year-old member of the ruling Social Democratic party, was tipped as successor to Swedish Prime Minister Göran Person, and an important international career was likely around the corner. Her murder caused national trauma in Sweden. Her press secretary and best friend, Eva Franchell, witnessed the murder. She speaks to Marie Fjellborg. An SMT production for BBC World Service, produced by Anna Iverson. (Photo: Anna Lindh in 2001. Credit: Getty Images)
06/09/23·9m 12s

Bi Kidude: Zanzibar's 'golden grandmother of music'

In the 1980s, Bi Kidude burst onto the international music scene, when she was in her 70s. She was one of the first women from Zanzibar to sing in public without wearing the veil, in the traditional Muslim country. She was born Fatuma binti Baraka, known as Bi Kidude or "little madame" in Swahili, and fondly referred to as the "golden grandmother of music". Maryam Hamdani was one of her oldest friends and helped launch Bi Kidude's career globally. Maryam spoke to Reena Stanton-Sharma about the charismatic musician who died in 2013. (Photo: Bi Kidude at the Sauti za Busara Music Festival. Credit: Mwanzo Millinga/AFP via Getty Images)
05/09/23·10m 1s

Arctic 30: Russian arrest of Greenpeace campaigners

On 14 September 2013, the Arctic Sunrise - a ship belonging to the environmental group Greenpeace - embarked on an Arctic expedition. Its aim was to disrupt the first day of drilling on a newly built oil rig. This would be the first to drill for Arctic oil - something that had only been made possible in recent years by melting ice in the region. Frank Hewetson, a Greenpeace campaigner, was on board. He tells the story of the protest and arrest of 30 people by the Russian authorities. A Falling Tree production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Sign asking for Frank Hewetson's release. Credit: In Pictures Ltd/Corbis via Getty Images)
04/09/23·9m 3s

Leaving China to study after the Cultural Revolution

Launched in 1966 by Communist leader Mao Zedong, the Cultural Revolution plunged China into a decade of chaos. The education of millions of young people was disrupted and China was cut off from the rest of the world. When students first started venturing out, it was still a country feeling the after effects of the Cultural Revolution. Farhana Haider spoke to writer Zha Jianying in 2021. She was one of the first batch of Chinese students to arrive in the USA in the early 1980s. (Photo: Zha Jianying. Credit: Simon Song/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
01/09/23·10m 36s

Saving Guadalupe from goats

In 2000, an expedition to the Mexican island of Guadalupe launched a fight to save its ecosystem from being eaten by goats. Russian whalers had introduced the goats to the island in the 19th Century and the population exploded as they ate their way through Guadalupe’s plants, shrubs and trees. Several species of birds were already extinct when a group of scientists, from the San Diego Natural History Museum, visited to inspect the damage. Their expedition would begin the campaign to save the island’s wildlife from extinction, as Professor Exequiel Ezcurra tells Jane Wilkinson. (Photo: Goats on Guadalupe Island. Credit: Northern Light Productions)
31/08/23·10m 9s

Egypt's Rabaa massacre

On 14 August 2013, Egypt's army killed hundreds of protestors in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square. They were protesting against a military coup that had taken place a month earlier, in which the democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted. Sameh Elbarky was in the square that day. He speaks to Ben Henderson. (Photo: A poster of Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, among debris in Rabaa Square. Credit: NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images)
30/08/23·10m 3s

North and South Korean leaders meet for the first time in decades

In June 2000, a historic meeting took place between South Korean president Kim Dae-jung and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il. This was the first inter-Korean summit since the Korean War, almost 50 years earlier. Professor Chung-in Moon from South Korea was a special delegate at the summit. He told Gill Kearsley about his experience in North Korea. (Photo: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. Credit: Newsmakers)
29/08/23·10m 11s

The Bristol bus boycott

Sixty years ago, there was a boycott of local bus services in the English city of Bristol. The bus company had specified that it did not want to employ black bus drivers. The boycott ended on 28 August 1963 and the campaign helped to bring about Britain's first laws against racial discrimination. In 2013, Louise Hidalgo heard from Paul Stephenson and Roy Hackett, who died in 2022. This programme contains some racist language, used at the time. (Photo: Bus on Park Street in Bristol in the early 1960s. Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)
28/08/23·9m 58s

Women invade Dublin's male-only swimming spot

The Forty Foot is a famous sea swimming spot in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin. For hundreds of years, only men had the privilege of bathing in its deep, icy waters – naked if they chose. That was until one day in the summer of 1974, when a group of women decided to plot an invasion. At a time when Irish women couldn’t even access contraception, why did this group of hardy feminists decide to fight this particular battle for equality? Rosie Blunt speaks to poet, writer, women’s rights activist, and swimmer Mary Dorcey. (Photo: Woman diving at the Forty Foot in 2019. Credit: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
25/08/23·10m 6s

Celtic Tiger: Ireland's 'ghost estates'

In 2006, Michele Burke and her fiancé William were looking forward to moving into their dream home in the picturesque town of Killaloe, in Ireland. But when Ireland's economic boom - known as the Celtic Tiger - ended and the global financial crisis of 2008 hit, construction on Michele and William's new house abruptly stopped. The couple were stuck paying a mortgage on a home they couldn't move into. They were not the only ones struggling. During the recession, there were more than 1,000 abandoned 'ghost estates' in Ireland. Michele tells Vicky Farncombe about her eight-year fight to move into her house. (Photo: Michele Burke outside her abandoned home in Killaloe in 2013. Credit: BBC)
24/08/23·10m 9s

The first Rose of Tralee

In 1959, Tralee, in Ireland, hosted a festival to promote the town and build Irish connections around the world. It became known as the Rose of Tralee and is now one of Ireland’s oldest and largest festivals, as well as one of the most watched TV programmes. Last year, more than 30 international ‘roses’ or contestants took part, including representatives from Toronto, Sydney and Dubai. Rachel Naylor speaks to the first woman to be crowned the Rose of Tralee, an unofficial ambassador of Ireland, Alice O’Sullivan, from Dublin. (Photo: Alice O'Sullivan at the Rose of Tralee in 1959. Credit: George Doyle, Paudi Cronin (Neustock Media). From Kerry County Museum’s photo library, created with support from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through their 2020 Audience Engagement Fund)
23/08/23·9m 0s

How electricity came to rural Ireland

In May 1948, Canon John Hayes flicked a switch and brought electricity to the parish of Bansha, in Ireland. The village was the first in County Tipperary to be connected to the grid, under the Rural Electrification Scheme. The ambitious programme ran from 1946 to 1964 and saw 300,000 homes powered up. Vicky Farncombe produced this episode of Witness History using archives from Irish electricity board, the ESB. (Photo: Erecting electricity poles in rural Ireland. Credit: ESB Archives)
22/08/23·10m 4s

Easter Rising in Ireland

At Easter 1916, a small army of Irish rebels attempted to start a revolution against British rule. They held out for more than a week against a massive British military response. Simon Watts brings together eye-witness accounts of the Easter Rising. (Photo: Irish rebels lying in wait on a roof getting ready to fire during the Easter Rising. Credit: Mondadori via Getty Images)
21/08/23·10m 19s

The Wizard of Oz: The stolen ruby slippers

The ruby slippers from the 1939 movie 'The Wizard of Oz' are some of the most treasured film memorabilia of all time. There are thought to be four pairs from the film that have survived. This is the story of the slippers that were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota, USA in 2005. John Kelsch is one of the people who started the museum. He tells Gill Kearsley the story of the stolen slippers. (Photo: Publicity still from 'The Wizard of Oz', Credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
18/08/23·11m 2s

Judy Garland: The final shows

Judy Garland ended her long and glitzy stage and screen career at a London theatre club in January 1969. She was booked for five weeks of nightly shows at the 'Talk of the Town', but by that time, the former child star of the 'Wizard of Oz' was struggling with a drug and drink addiction. In 2019, Mike Lanchin heard the memories of Rosalyn Wilder, then a young production assistant, whose job was to try to get Judy Garland on stage each night. (Photo: Judy Garland performing in one of her final shows. Credit: Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
17/08/23·9m 58s

Returning Benin Bronzes

In 2004, a chance encounter in Nigeria led to the return of two of the country’s ancient artworks, the looted Benin Bronzes. The treasures were among thousands stolen from Benin City by the British Army in 1897, and acquired by museums around the world. More than a century later, Tim Awoyemi and Steve Dunstone were on a charity trip when they were approached by campaigners demanding the bronzes return. The two men vowed to help, but it took them 10 years before they were able to fulfil that promise, as Tim Awoyemi tells Jane Wilkinson. (Photo: Benin Bronzes, Nigeria, 2014. Credit: Kelvin Ikpea/AFP via Getty Images)
16/08/23·10m 8s

Iran: How the prime minister was overthrown in 1953

The coup of 1953 changed the course of Iranian history. The USA - with British help - overthrew a nationalist prime minister and installed the Shah in power. In 2010, Alan Johnston heard archive recordings of the CIA officer who played a part and spoke to Hedayat Matine-Daftary, the grandson of Mohammed Mossadeq, the deposed prime minister. (Photo: crowds of people protest against the Iran coup in 1953. Credit: Getty Images)
15/08/23·9m 0s

The boy who discovered a new species of human ancestor

On 15 August 2008, nine-year-old Matt Berger tripped over a fossil that would lead to one of the most important discoveries in the history of human evolution. The young adventurer had been exploring the Cradle of Humankind, in South Africa, with his father Lee, a paleoanthropologist. "I didn't really know what was happening. I was just there for fun. But my dad was so excited. So obviously that made me excited too," said Matt. The fossil turned out to be from a new species of hominid called Australopithecus sediba. Matt speaks to Vicky Farncombe about his memories of the day. (Photo: Matt Berger, son of Prof Lee Berger, found the fossil of a new hominid species that lived 1.95 million years ago. Credit: Foto24/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
14/08/23·10m 7s

Jean-Michel Basquiat bursts onto the New York art scene

In the early 1980s, the young black graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat took the New York art world by storm. Soon, his paintings were selling for huge sums of money, but he would die before the decade was out on the 12th August 1988. Tom Esslemont hears from Patti Astor who knew him in his heyday. This programme was first broadcast in 2014. (Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1985 Credit: Getty Images)
11/08/23·10m 57s

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's diamonds scandal

In 1979, French journalist Claude Angeli and his colleagues discovered Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the French President, received gifts of diamonds worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from the grisly and deposed former Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Republic. The scandal damaged Giscard d’Estaing’s reputation and contributed to him losing the French Presidential election in 1981. Ben Henderson speaks to Claude Angeli. (Photo: Giscard d'Estaing and Bokassa in 1975. Credit: William Karel/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
10/08/23·10m 5s

Sarajevo’s haven of peace

After the collapse of former Yugoslavia, Bosnian Serb forces laid siege to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, in 1992. More than a quarter of a million people lived under almost constant bombardment and sniper fire for more than four years. Over 10,000 were killed. Hunger and destitution took hold quickly. So, a small Jewish charity stepped in to provide essential food and medicine and evacuate elderly people and children from all sides of the conflict. In peace time, Sarajevo’s Jewish community had maintained good relations with Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats. This enabled them to provide a haven of peace for everyone. In this episode, Jacky Rowland hears from Jakob Finci, who was the vice president of the Jewish community at the time. Part of their motivation, he says, was that many Jews in Sarajevo had been sheltered by Bosnian Muslims during the Nazi occupation in the 1940s. This is a CTVC production for the BBC World Service. (Photo: members of the Jewish community being evacuated by bus to Croatia in 1993. Credit: Getty Images)
09/08/23·9m 56s

The Great Train Robbery

On 8 August 1963, a gang of thieves held up a British Royal Mail train on its journey from Glasgow to London. They stole more than £2 million. It was the biggest ever raid on a British train. Most of the robbers ended up behind bars, but most of the money has never been recovered. The robbery still occupies a unique place in the history of British crime. In 2012 Chloe Hadjimatheou spoke to Reginald Abbiss who was a young BBC journalist who covered the story. (Photo: The train involved in the robbery. Credit: Getty Images)
08/08/23·10m 10s

Brownie Wise: The creator of Tupperware parties

In the 1950s, self-made businesswoman Brownie Wise transformed the fortunes of Tupperware by inspiring thousands of housewives to sell it at parties. Her methods for motivating staff included selling the dress off her back and holding annual parties at the company's headquarters. But as she became a star - appearing on magazine covers and chat shows - Brownie's relationship with her boss, Earl Tupper, soured. Author Bob Kealing speaks to Vicky Farncombe about Brownie's rise and fall from grace. (Photo: Brownie Wise tosses a bowl filled with water at a Tupperware party. Credit: Getty Images)
07/08/23·9m 12s

Dinosaur in court

In 2012 a dinosaur skeleton became the subject of both a restraining order and a court case. Mongolian palaeontologist, Dr Bolortsetseg Minjin helped stop the dinosaur falling into the hands of a private buyer after spotting a photo of the skeleton on TV in the United States. The case became known as United States v One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton. She told Gill Kearsley her extraordinary story. (Photo: The 70-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus bataar on display in Ulan Bator. Credit: Byambasuren Byamba-Ochir/AFP via Getty Images)
04/08/23·10m 0s

Treehouse on the Berlin Wall

In the 1980s, a Turkish worker in Germany, Osman Kahlin, provoked controversy when he turned a patch of disputed land against the Berlin Wall into a makeshift farm. The land was owned by East Germany, but lay on the Western side of the wall due to a quirk in the wall's hurried construction. Kahlin fought a running battle with both East and West German police to keep hold of the land, and kitted it out with a fully functioning treehouse that became a local symbol of resistance to authority. Alex Eccleston speaks to Osman's son, Mehmet. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Osman's treehouse. Credit: Schlemmer/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
03/08/23·9m 12s

Birth of a new language

In the early 1980s deaf children in Nicaragua invented a completely new sign language of their own. It was a remarkable achievement, which allowed experts a unique insight into how human communication develops. In 2020, Mike Lanchin spoke to an American linguist Judy Shepard-Kegl, who documented this process. (Photo: Sign language class in Nicaragua. Credit: INTI OCON/AFP via Getty Images)
02/08/23·10m 3s

First dinosaur eggs identified in India

In 1982, nests of dinosaur eggs were identified for the first time in India. They were found in Jabalpur, on a historic fossil site and former British military cantonment. The eggs were from Titanosaurs, living at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Palaeontologist Professor Ashok Sahni made the discovery, he’s been speaking to Laura Jones. (Photo: Ashok Sahni at home with fossilised dinosaur eggs. Credit: BBC)
01/08/23·10m 4s

José Mujica: Prison break to president

In the 1960s and '70s, José Mujica was a leading member of a notorious left-wing militant group in Uruguay called the Tupamaros. He survived multiple bullet wounds, torture, and executed a daring prison escape. After years held in solitary confinement, Mujica was released from prison in 1985 and entered politics. He became Uruguay’s president in 2009. He speaks to Ben Henderson. (Photo: José Mujica at home in Montevideo. Credit: Ricardo Ceppi/Getty Images)
31/07/23·8m 58s

Mr Bigg's: The birth of Nigeria's iconic takeaway

It’s been 50 years since a popular Nigerian fast food chain which later became known as Mr Bigg's was first launched. The restaurants began as coffee shops in department stores in the 1960s and were later rebranded in 1986. Mr Bigg's currently has more than 170 locations in 40 cities around Nigeria, and there were also restaurants in other African nations at one time. Justice Baidoo spoke to Emmanuel Osugo, one of the pioneers of the chain. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: A Mr Bigg's restaurant. Credit: Adebola Familusi)
28/07/23·9m 1s

The 1960 coup against Haile Selassie

In December 1960, there was an attempt to dethrone the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie and replace him with his son. While the emperor was out of the country, the crown prince was taken to the headquarters of the military unit, the Imperial Bodyguard. The conspirators, led by the troops' commander and his brother, also took top government officials hostage. In 2015, Alex Last spoke to Dr Asfa-Wossen Asserate, the grandnephew of Haile Selassie, about the failed coup. (Photo: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Credit: Terry Fincher via Getty Images)
27/07/23·9m 0s

The Pope’s controversial Nicaragua visit

In 1983 Pope John Paul II visited Nicaragua as part of an eight-day tour of Central America. His trip came at a time of heightened tensions between the ruling Sandinista revolutionaries and the country’s Roman Catholic hierarchy. The Pope, a staunch anti-communist, condemned members of the Nicaraguan clergy serving in the left-wing government and was heckled by Sandinista supporters during a large open-air mass in the capital, Managua. Mike Lanchin has been hearing the memories of Nicaraguan Carlos Pensque, who turned out to protest as the Pope passed by, and of former US Catholic News Service reporter, Nancy Frazier O’Brien, who covered the papal visit. A CTVC production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Pope John Paul II. Credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
26/07/23·8m 58s

Brain: The first personal computer virus

'Welcome to the dungeon' was the message that flashed up on computer screens in 1986. This was thought to be the first virus for personal computers and became known as 'Brain'. 'Brain' spread around the world and became infamous when it was featured in newspapers and magazines. Amjad Farooq Alvi tells Gill Kearsley how he and his brother, Basit, came to develop this accidental virus from their shop in Lahore, Pakistan. (Photo: The 'Brain' computer virus. Credit: Amjad and Basit Alvi)
25/07/23·10m 7s

Escaping the Nazis in Greece

The Greek city of Thessaloniki, or Salonica, was once known as the Jerusalem of the Balkans. It was previously home to a large and thriving Sephardi Jewish population whose ancestors had been expelled from Spain in 1492. However, the Nazi occupation of Greece from 1941 to 1944 almost completely wiped out that culture and community. More than 90% of the approximately 50,000 Jews living in Salonica in 1943 were deported to Auschwitz and killed. Yeti Mitrani was a young teenager at the time. She speaks to Maria Margaronis about her family's escape and her childhood. (Photo: Yeti as a child. Credit: Doris Mitrani)
24/07/23·8m 58s

The US singer who became the Soviet Union’s Red Elvis

In 1966, at the height of the Cold War, American singer Dean Reed became the first western rock and roll star to tour the Soviet Union. His visit was such a success that over the next two decades Dean became known as ‘Red Elvis’. His concerts behind the Iron Curtain were sell-outs and he was mobbed by fans. But when he wanted to return home to the United States, the reaction he faced was very different, as Dean’s daughter Ramona told Jane Wilkinson. (Photo: Dean Reed in East Berlin, 1976. Credit: Getty Images)
21/07/23·10m 13s

The birth of Barbie

The first Barbie doll was sold in 1959. It took Ruth Handler, who created it, years to convince her male colleagues that it would sell. The plastic creation sold 350,000 in the first year and went on to take the world by storm selling millions. It’s now been turned into a live action film starring Margot Robbie which hits the cinemas on Thursday 20 July. Ruth and husband Elliot Handler spoke to the BBC’s Alan Dein in a 1990s documentary which Claire Bowes used to make this programme first broadcast in 2014. (Photo: A Barbie doll from 2009. Credit: Victor Chavez/WireImage via Getty Images)
20/07/23·10m 5s

Japan surrenders in China

In the autumn of 1945, World War II surrender ceremonies took place across the Japanese Empire. The one in China was held at the Forbidden City in Beijing bringing an end to eight years of occupation. Thousands of people watched the incredible moment Japanese generals handed over their swords. The United States, China, Russia and the United Kingdom were all represented. John Stanfield, now 103, is the last surviving British person who was there. He recalls to Josephine McDermott how he signed the surrender declaration documents on behalf of the British. (Photo: Crowds gather in the Forbidden City to watch the Japanese surrender. Credit: John Stanfield, Bristol University's Historical Photographs of China)
19/07/23·10m 4s

The ‘Barricades’ of Latvia

In January 1991, more than half a million people protested in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. They wanted to stop Soviet troops taking over important landmarks, so they built barricades and camped out on the streets. Vents Krauklis was among the demonstrators. He’s been speaking to Laura Jones. (Photo: People filling the streets of Riga during the Barricades. Credit: 1991 Barricades Museum, Riga/Ilgvars Gradovskis)
18/07/23·10m 20s

Tamoxifen: Breast cancer ‘wonder drug’

The story of how tamoxifen went from a failed contraceptive pill, to being used to prevent and treat breast cancer around the world. It was the first ever targeted cancer drug. Laura Jones speaks to Professor V. Craig Jordan, who helped bring it to the world’s attention in the 1970s.
17/07/23·11m 14s

Creating the first emoji

In 1999, Japanese software developer Shigetaka Kurita created the first emoji. The umbrella was one of 176 original images, featuring weather, transport signs, numbers and emotions. He was inspired after noticing the popularity of a pager, aimed at teenagers, that used a heart symbol. The idea took off. Today, more than 10 billion emoji are sent by people across the world every day. Shigetaka told Jane Wilkinson of his pride in the creation. (Photo: Umbrella emoji, 1999. Credit: Copyrighted by NTT DOCOMO)
14/07/23·9m 12s

When disposable nappies were invented

In 1947, after the birth of her third child, Valerie Hunter Gordon, from Surrey, in England, decided she was sick of the drudgery of cloth nappies. She came up with a solution – a reusable outer garment, initially made out of parachute material, with a disposable, biodegradable pad inside. She named it the Paddi and once her friends saw it, they all wanted one, so she went into business. Rachel Naylor speaks to Nigel Hunter Gordon, Valerie’s son, who modelled them as a baby in the first adverts. (Photo: Nigel's younger sister Frances Hunter Gordon wearing one of the mums nappies. Credit. Frances Ross)
13/07/23·10m 3s

Inventing Rubik’s Cube

In 1974, a Hungarian architect, Ernő Rubik invented his very popular puzzle. Nearly 50 years later, more than 450 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold worldwide. In 2015, Ernő told Dina Newman how he came up with the idea and how it became a global phenomenon. (Photo: Rubik's Cube. Credit: BBC)
11/07/23·10m 17s

Invention of the ballpoint pen

In 1938, László Bíró, a Hungarian journalist, invented the ballpoint pen, because he was sick of smudging the ink from his fountain pen. Inspired by the rollers of the printing press at his newspaper, he came up with the idea for a small ball at the end of the pen, which would stop ink from leaking. Thanks to a chance meeting with the Argentine president Agustín Justo, László was invited to Argentina to manufacture his pen. They soon took off and now around 15 million of them are sold every day around the world. Rachel Naylor speaks to László’s daughter, Mariana Bíró. (Photo: Ballpoint pens. Credit: Bernard Annebicque/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
10/07/23·9m 11s

A right royal night out

The tale of an extraordinary night at a legendary British gay pub. Princess Diana, disguised as a man, along with star broadcaster Kenny Everett and Queen singer Freddie Mercury enjoyed a drink in London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern one night at the height of their fame in 1988. The veracity of the event has been questioned but Cleo Rocos, who co-starred with Kenny in his hit TV show, described the celebrity night out in her in her book The Power of Positive Drinking. Cleo tells her story to Alex Collins. (Photo: Kenny Everett and Cleo Rocos. Credit: Tom Wargacki/WireImage via Getty Images)
07/07/23·9m 0s

When tourism came to the Maldives

In 1972 the first tourists arrived in the Maldives. They stayed in humble lodgings in three houses, looked after by young Maldivians including Ahmed Naseem, Mohamed Umar Maniku and their friends. Perfect for sunbathing, swimming and fishing. Tourists loved it. Italian travel agent George Corbin promised to bring more travellers if they had a place to stay. On 3 October 1972, the first hotel resort called Kurumba opened, changing the islands forever. Now, more than 1.5 million visitors enjoy the Maldives every year. Ahmed Naseem, one of the pioneers of the industry, shares his memories with Nikola Bartosova. (Photo: Kurumba in the 1970s. Credit: Kurumba)
06/07/23·10m 7s

The National Health Service begins

On 5 July 1948, the UK’s National Health Service began as part of a series of reforms with the aim of supporting and protecting Britain's citizens from the “cradle to the grave”. The architect of the NHS was the health minister in the post-war Labour party government, Aneurin Bevan. The care was to be free for all and paid for by taxation. The birth of the NHS was not without controversy, the British Medical Association worried that doctors would be turned into civil servants. On the same day that the NHS was born, John Marks qualified as a doctor. Dr Marks spoke to Louise Hidalgo about the early days of the NHS in this programme first broadcast in 2009. (Photo: Prime Minister Aneurin Bevan meets staff at Park Hospital, Manchester on the opening day of the NHS Credit: Trafford Healthcare NHS/PA Wire)
05/07/23·9m 51s

Longest-serving democratically elected communist government

In 1977 what was to become the world’s longest-serving democratically elected communist government came to power in eastern India. Poverty and absolute rule by the central government led to West Bengal embracing a different political ideology to the rest of the country. Their rule lasted until 2011 when they were voted out. Communist Party of India (Marxist) official Mohammad Salim shares his memories of when his party came to power with Rumella Dasgupta. (Photo: Mohammed Salim. Credit: Biswarup Ganguly/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
04/07/23·10m 2s

The trial of John Demjanjuk

In 1986 a car factory worker from the United States was accused of being ‘Ivan the Terrible’, a notorious concentration camp guard at Treblinka during the Holocaust. John Demjanjuk was extradited from the United States to Israel. His trial became one of the most high profile cases in Israel’s history. He was convicted, then later acquitted and then re-convicted in a German court for having worked in a different camp, Sobibor. Lawyers for the defence, Yoram Sheftel, and prosecution, Eli Gabay, in the Israeli trial tell Dan Hardoon about the process of trying Demjanjuk, and the impact it made on their country’s society. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: John Demjanjuk in the Supreme Court of Israel. Credit: David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
03/07/23·8m 55s

I made Lady Gaga's meat dress

On 12 September 2010 Lady Gaga, won the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. She accepted the award in a dress made entirely out of beef. 13 years later Franc Fernandez, the man behind the meat dress, speaks to Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty about his memories of designing the fleshy frock. He says, pulling apart the flesh and stitching it back together, had "serial killer vibes"! (Photo: Lady Gaga in the meat dress. Credit: Getty Images)
30/06/23·10m 6s

The 'graveyard' for communist statues

The Hungarian city of Budapest's communist statue 'graveyard' opened on 29 June 1993. Statues representing communism were not destroyed, instead they were relocated to a specially designed park on the outskirts of the city. Laura Jones has been speaking to Judit Holp, who runs Memento Park. This programme has been updated since the original broadcast. In the original version, we said Budapest is in Eastern Europe. We should have said that it is in Central Europe. (Photo: Republic of Councils Monument in Memento Park Credit: Getty Images)
29/06/23·10m 14s

Sampoong department store disaster

On 29 June 1995, the Sampoong Department Store in Seoul, South Korea, collapsed due to structural failures. The disaster killed 502 people and injured more than 900. It provoked national outrage as the building's construction was riddled with corruption and malpractice. Sun Minh Lee was working at the shop that day. She speaks to Ben Henderson. (Photo: Sampoong Department Store after the collapse. Credit: Choo Youn-Kong/AFP/Getty Images)
28/06/23·9m 3s

First reports of Ebola

In 1976 in a small Belgian missionary hospital in a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then known as Zaire, people were dying from an unknown disease which caused a high temperature and vomiting. It was the first documented outbreak of Ebola the virus. About 300 people died. Dr Jean Jacques Mueyembe and Dr David Heymann worked to bring the outbreak under control. Claire Bowes spoke to them in this programme first broadcast in 2009. (Photo: Residents who were being examined during the Ebola outbreak in Zaire in 1976. Credit: Public domain/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
27/06/23·10m 30s

JFK’s Ich Bin Ein Berliner speech

United States President John F Kennedy gave a speech in Berlin at the height of the Cold War on 26 June 1963. It galvanised the world in support of West Berliners who had been isolated by the construction of the Berlin Wall. Tom Wills speaks to Gisela Morel-Tiemann, who attended the speech as a student. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: John F Kennedy making his speech in Berlin. Credit: Lehnartz/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
26/06/23·10m 11s

My dad played golf on the moon

Alan Shepard played golf on the moon in 1971. He became the first and only person to enjoy the sport on the lunar surface. The astronaut golfer’s daughter Laura Shepard Churchley was inspired by her father’s big journeys and later travelled to space herself, although she didn’t pack golf clubs. Tricia Penrose hears Laura’s recollections of life with her father and his unique sporting space trip. A Moon Road production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Alan Shepard on the moon. Credit: NASA)
23/06/23·9m 58s

The Empire Windrush arrives

The Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in England on 22 June 1948 with 802 people on board from the Caribbean. The former passenger liner's arrival on that misty June day is now regarded as the symbolic starting point of a wave of Caribbean migration between 1948 and 1971 known as the "Windrush generation". Sam King was one of the passengers. He describes to Alan Johnston the conditions on board and the concerns people had about finding jobs in England. In this programme first broadcast in 2011, Sam also talks about what life was like in their adopted country once they arrived. (Photo: Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in 1948. Credit: Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)
22/06/23·8m 58s

Anti-gay police raid at Tasty nightclub

In the early hours of 7 August 1994, police raided Tasty, a gay nightclub in downtown Melbourne, Australia. On the hunt for drugs they strip-searched more than 450 people in a raid that lasted hours. Many people felt what happened was homophobic and that the police had abused their powers. Some of those searched took legal action. Damages were awarded and years later Victoria Police gave a formal apology. Gary Singer who was in Tasty when the raid happened and was the organiser of the class-action lawsuit tells Alex Collins about how his night out on the town went from joy to despair once the police entered the club. (Photo: People being searched by police in Tasty)
21/06/23·9m 3s

The Somali pilot ordered to bomb his own country

At the end of May 1988, rebels from the Somali National Movement launched a series of lightning attacks on cities in northern Somalia - the area that today is the self-declared republic of Somaliland. The rebels were fighting against the military dictatorship of President Siad Barre. By the start of June, they had taken control of most of Hargeisa, the biggest city in the north. Government forces fell back to Hargeisa airport and other areas on the outskirts and were ordered to begin the indiscriminate bombardment of the city. At the time Ahmed Mohamed Hassan was a fighter pilot in the Somali air force. He now faced a choice: join other pilots in bombing the city or refuse and face the prospect of being shot. He’s been talking to Rob Walker. (Photo: Ahmed Mohamed Hassan in 2023. Credit: Ahmed Mohamed Hassan)
20/06/23·12m 17s

Uprising in East Germany

East German workers went on strike in protest at Soviet rule on 16 June 1953. Demonstrations spread throughout the country but were soon crushed by communist troops. Martial law followed. In 2011, Nina Robinson spoke to Helmut Strecker who was a 21-year-old student and the son of communist party supporters. Helmut was on the streets of East Berlin trying to persuade marchers to go home. (Photo: East Germany demonstrators march through Brandenburg Gate. Credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
19/06/23·8m 53s

Ming Smith makes history at MoMA

In 1979, The Museum of Modern Art, (MoMA) purchased photographs from an African-American woman for the first time in its history. Ming Smith was famous for capturing her subjects with slow shutter speeds and using oil paints to layer colour onto her black and white photos. She worked as a model in New York in the 1970s, while pursuing her passion for photography and was friends with Grace Jones. Ming took a powerful image of Grace performing at the iconic Studio 54 nightclub in 1978 after meeting her at an audition. Ming was also a backing dancer in Tina Turner’s music video for What’s Love Got to Do with It, where she captured Tina glancing away from the camera, in front of Brooklyn Bridge wearing a leather skirt, denim jacket and patent stilettos with huge spiky hair. Ming speaks to Reena Stanton-Sharma about graduating with a degree in microbiology, modelling and struggling to make a living, and then becoming a famous photographer with a retrospective at MoMA in 2023. (Photo: Tina Turner, What’s Love Got to Do with It. Credit: Ming Smith)
16/06/23·10m 2s

Sir Don McCullin’s photo of a US marine

In 1968, British photographer Sir Don McCullin travelled to Vietnam for his second ever war assignment. His graphic photographs of the fighting made his reputation and influenced public opinion in the West. Sir Don produced some of his most powerful work during the visit including 'Shell-Shocked US Marine, The Battle of Hue'. The photograph shows an American soldier, gripping his rifle whilst the carnage of one of the war’s most intense battle surrounds him. Speaking to Louise Hidalgo in 2012, Sir Don describes how he took several frames of this man and how the soldier didn’t blink once. (Photo: Sir Don McCullin in front of his photographs including 'Shell-Shocked US Marine, The Battle of Hue'. Credit: Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images)
15/06/23·9m 54s

Malick Sidibé: Mali’s star photographer

The Malian photographer, Malick Sidibé, is one of Africa’s most celebrated artists. His most famous photographs show black and white scenes of young people partying in the capital Bamako in the joyful, confident era after Mali’s independence from France in 1960. In the 1990s, a chance encounter with a French curator brought Sidibé’s work international acclaim. The wider world had been used to seeing a narrow range of images from Africa, so when Sidibé’s work went on show in Western galleries, audiences were stunned by the exuberant world they revealed. In 2022, Manthia Diawara, the Malian filmmaker and professor at New York University, who knew Malick when he was a roving nightlife photographer spoke, to Viv Jones. (Photo: Danser le Twist, 1963 by Malick Sidibé. Credit: Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris)
14/06/23·8m 58s

A Great Day in Harlem: The story behind the iconic jazz photo

It's 65 years since aspiring photographer Art Kane persuaded 58 of the biggest names in jazz, including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk to line up for a photo outside a townhouse in Harlem. The resulting photo officially called Harlem 58 became known as 'A Great Day in Harlem' and appeared in Esquire magazine's Golden Age of Jazz edition. But making it wasn't easy. Jonathan Kane, Art Kane's son, tells Vicky Farncombe the obstacles his late father had to overcome to create the iconic image. (Photo: Harlem 58. Credit: Art Kane)
13/06/23·10m 15s

Lee Miller in Hitler's bath

Vogue's war correspondent Lee Miller found herself in Adolf Hitler's Munich apartment when the news broke that he was dead. Earlier that day, she and fellow photographer David Scherman had witnessed the harrowing scenes at the liberated Dachau concentration camp. Lee Miller's son and biographer, Antony Penrose, explains to Josephine McDermott the significance of the photograph taken in the final days of World War II in Europe. (Photo: Lee Miller in Hitler's bathtub. Credit: David E. Scherman © Courtesy Lee Miller Archives)
12/06/23·9m 58s

1955 Le Mans disaster

On 11 June 1955, more than 80 people were killed and 100 injured at the Le Mans 24-hour race. A car driven by Pierre Levegh crashed into the crowd of around 300,000 causing the deaths. John Fitch was an American racing driver on the Mercedes team at the centre of the tragedy. After the crash, racing was banned in several countries. John Fitch spoke to Claire Bowes in 2010. (Photo: Crash at Le Mans. Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)
09/06/23·9m 2s

Last communist march before Hitler

On 25 January 1933 the last legal communist march was held in Berlin. Just a few days later Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Soon the Communist Party was banned and the Nazi grip on power was complete. Eric Hobsbawm was a schoolboy communist at the time. He spoke to Andrew Whitehead in 2012. (Photo: Communist rally 1932. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
08/06/23·8m 55s

Facial reconstruction: From mummy to murder

In 1975, British forensic artist Richard Neave used a pile of modelling clay, two prosthetic eyes and a woman’s wig to reconstruct the face of an Egyptian mummy. It was to be the start of a 40-year career recreating the faces of the dead using the pioneering ‘Manchester technique’ that he invented. And as his reputation spread worldwide, the police came calling. They needed Richard’s skills to help catch a killer, as he told Jane Wilkinson. (Photo: Richard Neave in 2012. Credit: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)
06/06/23·9m 17s

Inuit children taken from families

In the early 1960s, the Canadian government launched an experimental programme to take academically promising Inuit children from their homes to be educated in Canada’s cities. The aim was to produce administrators who could spearhead development in the north of the country, but the project came at a great cost for the children and their families. Adamie Kalingo, born and raised in Nunavik, Northern Quebec, speaks to Maria Margaronis about being taken away at the age of 12 in 1964, his years living with a white family in Ottawa, and his eventual return. (Photo: Adamie Kalingo in 1963. Credit: Maureen Bus)
05/06/23·9m 4s

The first Indian woman to conquer Everest

As a child, Bachendri Pal never dreamt of conquering mountains but a chance meeting with a climber changed all that. She applied for a mountaineering course and was chosen to be part of India’s first mixed-gender team to climb Mount Everest. On the journey, she faced icy winds, freezing temperatures and an avalanche that destroyed the camp. But finally, on 23 May 1984, Bachendri became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Everest. It was an achievement that changed her life, as she told Jane Wilkinson. (Photo: Bachendri Pal, pictured on right, on Everest 1984. Credit: Sonam Paljor)
02/06/23·9m 13s

Tragedy on Everest

Michael Groom is one of the survivors of a tragic climbing expedition to Mount Everest in Nepal. In 2010, Jonny Hogg spoke to Michael Groom about the moments that went badly wrong when a storm struck the world's highest mountain on 10 May 1996. (Photo: Michael Groom on Everest in 1993. Credit: Guy Cotter)
01/06/23·10m 5s

Mallory’s body discovered on Everest

In 1999 the body of the legendary British mountaineer, George Mallory, was found on Mount Everest. Mallory disappeared on the mountain in 1924 together with his fellow climber Andrew Irvine. In 2016, Farhana Haider spoke to Jochen Hemmleb, one of the original members of the team that discovered George Mallory's remains. (Photo: George Mallory in 1909. Credit: AFP via Getty Images)
31/05/23·10m 6s

Tenzing Norgay conquers Everest

Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had tried to climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, six times before his successful climb with Edmund Hillary in 1953. His son, Jamling Norgay, spoke to Louise Clarke about the spiritual importance of the mountain for his father, and how Tenzing Norgay saved Hillary’s life when he fell down a crevasse on the mountain. (Photo: Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. Credit: BBC)
30/05/23·10m 19s

Edmund Hillary conquers Everest

On 29 May 1953 Edmund Hillary, climbing with sherpa Tenzing Norgay, became the first people to reach the summit of Everest. The two men instantly became famous all over the world. Edmund Hillary’s son, Peter Hillary, tells Louise Clarke about his father's heroic climb. (Photo: Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. Credit: BBC)
29/05/23·10m 13s

The deadliest glacial avalanche in the world

On 31 May 1970, the Huascarán avalanche, caused by the Ancash earthquake, destroyed the town of Yungay, in Peru. Only 400 people, out of a population of 18,000, survived. A clown, named Cucharita, saved approximately 300 children, who were at a circus performance, by leading them to higher ground. Rachel Naylor speaks to his son, Christian Peña. (Photo: Statue of Christ at the cemetery overlooking Yungay, after the avalanche. Credit: Science Photo Library)
26/05/23·10m 11s

Trying to unite Africa

On 25 May 1963, leaders of 32 newly-independent African nations came together for the first time in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. At stake was the dream of a united Africa. In 2013, Alex Last spoke to Dr Bereket Habte Selassie who took part in that first gathering. (Photo: Haile Selassie, centre, and Ghana's first President Kwame Nkrumah, left, during the formation of the Organisation of African Unity. Credit: STR/AFP via Getty Images)
25/05/23·8m 59s

Chasing the world’s biggest tornado

On 31 May 2013, a huge tornado hit an area close to El Reno in the US state of Oklahoma. It was the widest tornado ever recorded and produced extreme winds of more than 400 kilometres an hour. Eight people were killed, including three storm chasers. One of the people tracking the storm was Emily Sutton, a meteorologist with KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City. She’s a member of the station’s storm chasing team and was caught in the tornado. She tells Rob Walker about the impact that day had on her and other storm chasers. Archive: KFOR-TV/Nextstar Media Group (Photo: Cars damaged by the El Reno tornado. Credit: Joe Raedle via Getty Images)
24/05/23·9m 19s

Fikret Alić

In August 1992, a shocking photograph of a starving, emaciated man behind a barbed wire fence of a Bosnian concentration camp stunned the world. The picture, taken from an ITN TV report was of Bosniak Muslim Fikret Alić. Reporter Ed Vulliamy was there when the photograph was taken. Ed reunites with Fikret and hears how the picture, which was published around the world, eventually helped Fikret flee to safety. This programme contains descriptions of sexual violence. It was produced by Anna Miles. (Photo: Fikret Alic in a Bosnian refugee camp. Credit: ITN/Shutterstock)
23/05/23·8m 58s

The sergeants' coup in Suriname

In 1980, a group of 16 army sergeants, led by Dési Bouterse, seized power in the small South American country of Suriname, overthrowing the government in a swift and violent coup d’état. The coup came just five years after the country was granted independence from the Netherlands. The country’s first president, Johan Ferrier, was forced to leave Suriname after the coup. Rosemarijn Hoefte, professor of the history of Suriname at the University of Amsterdam, and Johan Ferrier's daughter, Cynthia, have been sharing their memories of that time with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Johan Ferrier. Credit: Alamy)
22/05/23·8m 58s

Pippi Longstocking

In Stockholm in 1941, Astrid Lindgren made up a story for her seven-year-old daughter, Karin, about a young girl who lived alone and had super-human strength. Karin named her Pippi Långstrump, or Pippi Longstocking in English. Four years later, Astrid submitted her story into a competition and it won. Her book, Pippi Långstrump, was published and became an overnight success. It’s now been translated into more than 70 languages, as well as being made into more than 40 TV series and films. Rachel Naylor speaks to Astrid’s daughter, Karin Nyman. (Photo: Astrid Lindgren. Credit: Getty Images)
19/05/23·9m 1s

Creating New Zealand's national walking trail

In 2011 a 3,000 km long walking trail was opened in New Zealand. Geoff Chapple had spent years lobbying for the creation of Te Araroa. He’d written articles in newspapers and tested out routes in the country's rugged landscape. The process of exploring where it could go sometimes put him in danger as he tells Alex Collins. (Photo: Geoff wading in the Waipapa River in the far north of New Zealand while on the Te Araroa trail. Credit: Amos Chapple)
18/05/23·8m 58s

The Dambusters

In the early hours of 17 May 1943 a bold World War II attack destroyed two dams in the Ruhr Valley in Germany's industrial heartland, causing 1,600 casualties and catastrophic flooding which hampered the German war effort. The dams were highly protected but 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force had a new weapon – the bouncing bomb. Invented by Barnes Wallis, the weapon was designed to skip over the dams' defences and explode against the sides. The Dambusters mission was a huge propaganda success for Britain and later inspired a famous film. In 2013, Simon Watts spoke to George "Johnny" Johnson, the last survivor of the Dambusters squadron. (Photo: Squadron Leader George "Johnny" Johnson. Credit: Leon Neal via Getty Images)
17/05/23·10m 28s

German child evacuees of World War Two

Beginning in 1940 thousands of German children were evacuated to camps in the countryside to avoid the bombs of World War Two. These camps were seen as safe places where they could continue their education but also where Nazi beliefs could be taught. Alex Collins has listened to archive recordings from "Haus der Geschichte der Bundersrepublik Deutschland" in Bonn one of Germany's national history museums and hears the stories of former camp residents Gunter Stoppa and Klaus Reimer. You may find some of the contents distressing. (Photo: German children being evacuated to Prussia. Credit: Getty Images)
16/05/23·9m 10s

Singapore executes Filipina maid

In 1995, the execution of Flor Contemplacion caused protests, a government resignation and a diplomatic crisis between the Philippines and Singapore. Flor, who worked in Singapore, was convicted of killing another domestic helper, Delia Maga, and the four-year-old boy Delia looked after, Nicholas Huang. While Singapore stood by the conviction, millions of Filipinos believed Flor was innocent and had been let down by their government as an overseas worker. Flor’s daughter Russel Contemplacion, who was 17 at the time, and Flor's lawyer Edre Olalia give Josephine McDermott their account. (Photo: The coffin of Flor Contemplacion is carried to church prior to her funeral. Credit: Getty Images)
15/05/23·9m 55s

World War II victory in North Africa

Peter Royle, 103, endured a month of solid fighting in the hills outside of Tunis in 1943. Eventually the Allies prevailed and took more than 250,000 German and Italian prisoners of war. They declared victory in Tunisia on 13 May. Peter came close to dying many times. He recalls how he once hummed God Save the King to prevent himself being shot by friendly fire. He was under the command of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, fresh from victory in the North African desert, and recalls him being inspirational to the troops. This episode is presented by Josephine McDermott. Ahead of the 80th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2025, the BBC is trying to gather as many first-hand accounts from surviving veterans as possible, to preserve for future generations. Working with a number of partners, including the Normandy Memorial Trust and the Royal British Legion, the BBC has spoken to many men and women who served during the war. We are calling the collection World War Two: We were there. (Photo: Peter Royle in battle kit in 1941. Credit: Peter Royle's family)
12/05/23·11m 32s

Warsaw Ghetto uprising

In May 1943, the uprising in the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw in Poland came to an end. The Germans had crushed the uprising and deported surviving ghetto residents to concentration camps. Simha "Kazik" Rotem was one of the Jewish fighters who survived to tell his story. He spoke to Louise Hidalgo in 2010. (Photo: Warsaw Ghetto. Credit: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
11/05/23·9m 15s

The last commercial flight out of Kai Tak

In 1998, one of Hong Kong’s best known landmarks, Kai Tak airport, closed after 73 years. Kai Tak, which was built between the mountains and the city, was world-famous for its unique landing approach that became known as 'the Kai Tak heart attack’. Captain Kim Sharman was the pilot of the last commercial flight out of Kai Tak. During his career he landed at the airport more than 1,000 times. Twenty-five years on he shares his memories with Gill Kearsley. (Photo: Boeing 747 landing at Kai Tak Airport. Credit: Russ Schleipman via Getty Images)
10/05/23·9m 1s

The sinking of the SS Tilawa: the ‘Indian Titanic’

On 23 November 1942, in the middle of the Second World War, a ship called the SS Tilawa was carrying more than 950 passengers and crew from India to East Africa when it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes. Two hundred and eighty people died. The ship became known as the 'Indian Titanic'. Ben Henderson speaks to the last two known survivors, Arvind Jani and Tej Prakash Mangat. (Photo: Arvind Jhani and Tej Prakash Mangat. Credit: their families)
09/05/23·9m 0s

United States bomb the Chinese embassy in Belgrade

In 1999, NATO carried out a bombing campaign in Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. On 7 May, five American bombs hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing three people and damaging relations between China and the West. Ben Henderson speaks to Hong Shen, a Chinese businessman, who was one of the first on the scene. (Photo: Protesters hold pictures of Chinese journalists killed in the embassy bombing. Credit: Stephen Shaver/AFP via Getty Images)
08/05/23·9m 10s

The removal of Scotland's Stone of Destiny

On Christmas Eve 1950, four young Scottish students took the 'Stone of Destiny' from Westminster Abbey in London. The symbolic stone had been taken from Scotland to England centuries earlier and had sat beneath the Coronation Chair in the abbey ever since. In 2018, Anya Dorodeyko spoke to the late Ian Hamilton who took part in the daring escapade in order to draw attention to demands for Scottish home rule. (Photo: Ian Hamilton. Credit: BBC)
05/05/23·9m 2s

Last King of Bulgaria

In June 2001, more than half a century after being driven into exile by communists, Bulgaria’s former King Simeon II made a dramatic comeback by winning the country’s parliamentary election. In 2018, Farhana Haider spoke to Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha about his remarkable journey from child king to prime minister. (Photo: Former King Simeon II of Bulgaria. Credit: Luc Castel/Getty Images)
04/05/23·8m 52s

The 'execution' of Oliver Cromwell

In 1661 in England, following the restoration of the monarchy, the body of Oliver Cromwell was dug up for ritual execution. Cromwell had overthrown King Charles I and ruled as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. In 2014, Vincent Dowd spoke to civil war historian Charles Spencer. (Photo: The death mask of Oliver Cromwell. Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
03/05/23·8m 52s

Jean-Bédel Bokassa's coronation

Jean-Bédel Bokassa crowned himself Emperor of the Central African Republic in a lavish ceremony on 4 December 1977. He'd already been president for several years since taking power in a military coup - but he wanted more. In 2018, Janet Ball spoke to his son Jean-Charles Bokassa. (Photo: Jean-Bédel Bokassa at his coronation. Credit: Pierre Guillaud / AFP via Getty Images)
02/05/23·8m 51s

The king under the car park

In 2012, archaeologists from the University of Leicester discovered the lost grave of King Richard III under a car park in Leicester in the English East Midlands. Richard was the King of England more than 500 years ago and for centuries was portrayed as one of the great villains of English history. He was killed in 1485 leading his army in battle against a rival claimant to the throne, Henry Tudor. After the battle, King Richard III's corpse was stripped naked and paraded around before being hastily buried in a church within a friary in Leicester. In 2020, Alex Last spoke to Dr Richard Buckley who led the archaeological team that dug up the remains. (Photo: Remains of King Richard III. Credit: BBC)
01/05/23·8m 51s

The fight to televise the Queen's Coronation

Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953 was a watershed moment for television as millions watched the ceremony live. But it nearly never happened as the UK Government initially refused to allow TV cameras inside Westminster Abbey. The late Peter Dimmock, the BBC’s former head of outside broadcasts, looks back on the challenges the corporation faced. Former maid of honour Lady Jane Rayne Lacey also shares her memories of the day with Vicky Farncombe, including the part that felt “too sacred” to televise. (Photo: Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: Getty Images)
28/04/23·9m 4s

The Met Gala goes global

The Met Gala takes place annually on the first Monday in May. In 1995, Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour chaired the huge fashion celebration for the first time that takes place at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Anna changed the date of the celebrity bash from December to May and is the driving force that transformed the event from a society dinner to the star-studded affair labelled “fashion’s biggest night”. The shindig has been attended by stars including Rihanna, Beyoncé and Madonna. Fashion podcaster and former Vogue International editor Suzy Menkes tells Alex Collins about her memories of the gala as it became a global sensation. (Photo: Rihanna at the 2015 Met Gala wearing a dress designed by Guo Pei. Credit: Getty Images)
27/04/23·10m 55s

Guatemala's outspoken bishop

On 26 April 1998 leading human rights campaigner, Bishop Juan Gerardi, was attacked and killed in his home, just two days after presenting the conclusions of a major investigation into abuses committed during Guatemala’s civil war. Bishop Gerardi’s report blamed the country’s military and paramilitary forces for the deaths of most of the 50,000 civilians killed during the conflict. Ronalth Ochaeta, who worked alongside Bishop Gerardi, tells Mike Lanchin about the murdered bishop’s life-long quest for justice. A CTVC production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Bishop Juan Gerardi. Credit: ODHAG)
26/04/23·9m 2s

Discovering the secrets of DNA

James Watson and Francis Crick first published their discoveries about the structure of DNA on 25 April 1953. Their findings were to revolutionise our understanding of life. We hear archive recordings of their memories, 70 years on. This programme, presented by Louise Hidalgo, was first broadcast in 2010. (Photo: James Watson and Francis Crick. Credit: Getty Images)
25/04/23·9m 4s

Althea McNish: 'I designed fabrics for the Queen'

In 1966, the artist Althea McNish designed fabrics for the Queen's tour of the West Indies when she visited Trinidad and Tobago. Althea, who was born in Trinidad and moved to England in 1950, had her vibrant designs turned into the Queen's dresses and they were even used for curtains and cushions for the royal residence. Rose Sinclair, a lecturer in textile design at Goldsmiths, University of London, speaks to Reena Stanton-Sharma. (Photo: Althea McNish. Credit: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
24/04/23·9m 0s

The Russian man who pretended to be a dog

In 1994, Russian conceptual artist Oleg Kulik posed naked, pretending to be a guard dog, attacking passers by in Moscow. He was protesting conditions in post-Soviet Russia. He claimed Russians had lost their ability to relate to each other, and were reduced to living like animals. In this programme, first broadcast in 2014, Dina Newman speaks to Kulik about his protest performance, which made him famous around the world. (Photo: Oleg Kulik dressed as dog on car bonnet. Credit: Oleg Kulik)
21/04/23·9m 40s

Smoky the World War II dog hero

In 1944, Bill Wynne who was serving with the U.S. Army during World War II, adopted a tiny Yorkshire terrier called Smoky. When Bill caught dengue fever and was sent to hospital, his friends brought Smoky to see him. Soon the nurses were taking Smoky to visit other patients who had been wounded in the Biak Island invasion. She had a powerful healing effect on the soldiers and is believed to be one of the world’s first therapy dogs. Reena Stanton-Sharma talks to Bill's friend Adrian Brigham about Smoky, her role in World War II, and her TV career. Archive: University of Tennessee, PDSA, WCPN. (Photo: Bill Wynne and Smoky (centre) at the Vaughan General Hospital, in Illinois. Credit: Smoky War Dog, LLC)
20/04/23·9m 55s

Roselle the 9/11 guide dog

After the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, a New York guide dog called Roselle was hailed as a hero for helping her owner safely down 78 flights of stairs and away from the Twin Towers before they collapsed. In this programme, first broadcast in 2017, Simon Watts speaks to Roselle's owner, Michael Hingson. (Photo: Roselle and Michael Hingson, right, meeting a 9/11 rescue team. Credit: Getty Images)
19/04/23·9m 38s

The world's first labradoodle

In 1989, Australian dog breeder Wally Conron was tasked with finding a suitable dog for a blind woman in Hawaii whose husband was allergic to pet hair. By breeding together a poodle and a Labrador, he inadvertently created the world’s first ever labradoodle. More than three decades on, Wally believes he created Frankenstein’s monster. He has been sharing his memories of Sultan the labradoodle with George Crafer. (Photo: Wally Conron with Sultan the first ever labradoodle. Credit: Getty Images)
18/04/23·9m 44s

The first dog in space

Laika the Russian stray was the first dog to orbit the Earth. She was sent into space on a flight in 1957 which had been timed to mark the anniversary of the Russian Revolution. She died after orbiting Earth four times. Professor Victor Yazdovsky's father was in charge of the dogs in the Russian space programme. In 2017, Professor Yazdovsky spoke to Olga Smirnova about playing with Laika, before her flight, when he was just nine-years-old. (Photo: Laika. Credit: Getty Images.)
17/04/23·9m 44s

Richard Dimbleby describes Belsen

The BBC’s Richard Dimbleby was the first reporter to enter the liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. His report describing the unimaginable horror he found was for many listeners around the world the first time they had heard the truth of what it was like to have endured life and death under the Nazis. An estimated 70,000 people died in the camp. The broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby reflects on the impact of the report on his father and why the BBC was reluctant to broadcast it at first. Produced by Josephine McDermott. This programme contains distressing details. (Photo: Prisoners at Belsen. Credit: Getty Images)
14/04/23·21m 11s

I led the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers

On 15 April 2013, brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev set off two bombs at the Boston Marathon and killed three people. After the attack they disappeared, only to resurface three days later in the quiet city of Watertown, Massachusetts. The local police force were dispatched to catch the terrorists. An eight-minute gun fight followed, and pressure cooker bombs were hurled down the street at officers. Watertown’s chief of police, Edward Deveau, was in charge of detaining the brothers. Ten years later, he speaks to Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty. (Picture: Chief of police Edward Deveau. Credit: Getty Images)
13/04/23·8m 58s

Mass grave at Sernyky

In 1990, archaeologist Richard Wright flew half way around the world to unearth a mass grave in Sernyky, Ukraine as part of an Australian Nazi war crimes investigation. The site contained more than 500 bodies of Jewish people who had been killed in a mass execution. Richard's findings were used in the war crimes trial of Ivan Polyukhovich. He had fled to Australia after World War Two. Decades later Richard recounts his experience to Alex Collins. This programme contains destressing details. (Photo: Mass grave in Sernyky. Credit: Sydney Jewish Museum)
12/04/23·9m 0s

The universal recycling symbol

In 1970, American architecture student Gary Anderson won a competition, to mark the first Earth Day on 22 April, to design a logo for recycled paper products. His design of three arrows in a triangle shape remains in the public domain and is now used to mean recycling around the world. He spoke to Rachel Naylor. (Photo: Rubbish for recycling on a doorstep for collection. Credit: Getty Images)
11/04/23·8m 59s

Emperor Tewodros II

Emperor Tewodros II is one of the towering figures of modern Ethiopian history. He tried to unify and modernise Ethiopia but his reign was also marked by brutality. He faced a rising tide of rebellion inside the country and then in 1868 a British military expedition marched into the Ethiopian highlands. Its aim was to free British diplomatic envoys the Emperor had imprisoned. Tewodros II made a last stand at Magdala, his mountain top fortress. In 2016, Rob Walker spoke to historian Philip Marsden. (Picture: Tewodros II. Credit: Getty Images)
10/04/23·9m 0s

The Good Friday Agreement referendum

On 22 May 1998, a referendum was held in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland asking voters if they supported the Good Friday Agreement. In both, the majority of the electorate voted in favour of adopting the peace deal. Rachel Naylor speaks to Jane Morrice, from the Yes campaign, and Lee Reynolds, from the No campaign. (Photo: A poster in Belfast ahead of the referendum. Credit: Gerry Penny via Getty Images)
07/04/23·9m 5s

Beto Perez: 'I created Zumba by accident'

In 2001, Colombian born choreographer Beto Perez created Zumba, a fitness craze which would go on to become a global phenomenon. The aerobic workout was inspired by Latin dance moves including Merengue and Salsa, and it was all created by accident. Now classes are held in 185 countries from Indonesia to Iceland, and 15 million people take part each week according to the company. Beto Perez shares his story with Reena Stanton-Sharma. (Photo: Beto Perez by Daniel Perez Garcia-Santos. Credit: Getty Images)
06/04/23·9m 4s

Awaji Kannon: One of the world's tallest statues

In 1982, a Japanese businessman unveiled one of the tallest statues in the world called the World Peace Giant Kannon in Awaji Island, Japan. At 100 metres tall, the statue was visible from all across the island. Despite healthy visitor numbers when it first opened, the statue fell into disrepair and locals believed it was haunted. Emily Finch speaks to local resident Yusuke Natsukawa about the impact of the statue on the island, and Goro Otsubo who visited the statue in 2002. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Picture: Awaji Kannon. Credit: Shutterstock)
05/04/23·9m 1s

Pan-European picnic

In 1989, a picnic was held on the border between Austria and Hungary, as a demonstration for peace and European integration. It prefigured the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union and finished with hundreds of East Germans escaping to the West through the Iron Curtain. In 2011, Rob Walker spoke to one of the organisers, Walburga Habsburg Douglas. (Picture: A leaflet from the Pan European picnic. Credit: Getty Images)
04/04/23·8m 57s

Escaping national service in Eritrea

In 2002, the Eritrean government extended its programme of compulsory national service to make it open-ended. Instead of serving 18 months as the government had originally decreed, most students finishing secondary school would be conscripted and forced to remain in government service indefinitely - either serving in the army or in civilian jobs. The Eritrean government said conscription was necessary because the recently ended war with neighbouring Ethiopia could break out again. But the prospect of working for the state for an indefinite period, without a proper salary, prompted many young Eritreans to begin trying to escape to neighbouring countries and to Europe. Over the past 20 years hundreds of thousands have left. It’s an exodus that continues to this day. Rob Walker speaks to Semhar Ghebreslassie who began her national service working as a teacher in 2008. This programme contains descriptions of sexual violence. (Picture: Eritrean migrants. Credit: Getty Images)
03/04/23·26m 9s

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time, the best-selling book written by the renowned theoretical physicist Prof Stephen Hawking, was published in March 1988. In this programme first broadcast in 2018, Louise Hidalgo talks about physics, existence and the universe that made the book so popular. The editor who published it, Peter Guzzardi, is her guest. (Picture: Prof Stephen Hawking. Credit: Getty Images)
31/03/23·9m 2s

The first photo sent from a phone

On 11 June 1997, French software engineer Philippe Kahn shared the first ever photo from a mobile phone. It was of his newborn daughter, Sophie. He created a prototype of a camera phone by connecting his digital camera to his flip phone and his laptop. He speaks to Rachel Naylor. (Photo: Baby Sophie. Credit: Philippe Kahn)
30/03/23·8m 59s

Godfather of manicures

In November 1975, Vietnamese Navy commander Minh Nguyen, left behind his macho military life and retrained as a manicurist. He migrated from Vietnam to the United States during the fall of Saigon. He went on to open a beauty school in Little Saigon, California and encouraged thousands of Vietnamese refugees to become nail technicians. Today, more than 40,000 students have graduated from Minh’s beauty schools and they have helped establish Vietnamese-Americans as the mainstay of the nail salon industry. Minh’s wife Kien talks to Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty. (Photo: Minh Nguyen. Credit: Minh Nguyen)
29/03/23·8m 58s

How Bengaluru became India’s Silicon Valley

The city of Bengaluru in southern India, previously called Bangalore, is renowned for its huge technology companies and buzzy start-up culture. But, 50 years ago it was a technological backwater. Entrepreneurs like Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys, which is one of India’s biggest tech companies, were right at the heart of the city’s remarkable transformation into India’s Silicon Valley. He tells his story to Ben Henderson. (Photo: Narayana Murthy and Infosys colleagues in 2004. Credit: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)
28/03/23·9m 3s

The windmill that revolutionised wind power

In 1978, with energy prices rocketing due to the oil crisis, a group of volunteers in Denmark took matters into their own hands and built a wind turbine to power the town's school. They called it Tvindkraft and its design revolutionised the wind industry. Rachel Naylor speaks to Britta Jensen, a teacher from the school, who worked on the turbine. (Photo: Tvindkraft. Credit: Tvindkraft)
27/03/23·9m 5s

Keiko: Freeing 'Free Willy'

In 1998, Keiko became the first ever killer whale to be released back into the wild after a life of captivity. Keiko shot to fame as the star of the 1993 Hollywood blockbuster, Free Willy. A multimillion dollar campaign to free Keiko began following the success of the movie and he was flown back to his native country, Iceland. Dave Phillips was in charge of making it all happen. He has been sharing his memories with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Keiko in Iceland. Credit: Getty Images)
24/03/23·9m 55s

The man who lived in an airport

In 1988, Mehran Karimi Nasseri, from Iran, flew into Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris intending to transfer onto a flight to London. But he wasn’t allowed to board, as he didn’t have a passport. Caught in diplomatic limbo, he ended up staying at the airport for 18 years. Rachel Naylor speaks to his biographer, Andrew Donkin, who spent nearly three weeks with him at his ‘home’, in the departures lounge of Terminal 1. (Photo: Mehran Karimi Nasseri on his red bench at the airport in 2004. Credit: Eric Fougere via Getty Images)
23/03/23·9m 2s

DDLJ: India’s longest running movie

In 1995, Bollywood film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was released to critical acclaim. It premiered at the Maratha Mandir cinema in Mumbai. It's been screened there every day since then for the past 27 years, stopping only briefly because of the Covid pandemic, and has become the longest-running film in Indian cinema history. Actress Kajol starred opposite Shah Rukh Khan; following its release, they became superstars overnight. Kajol, who played Simran in the film, spoke to Reena Stanton-Sharma about her memories of shooting the iconic movie. (Photo: Kajol (r) in Hindi film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Credit: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP via Getty Images)
22/03/23·9m 6s

Alcatraz: The strangest escape

In June 1962 three prisoners escaped from the maximum security US jail on the island of Alcatraz. They achieved this using a homemade raft, papier-mâché and... spoons. In 2013, Ashley Byrne spoke to Jolene Babyak who was living on the island at the time. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Picture: Alcatraz. Credit: Getty Images)
21/03/23·9m 9s

Kieu Chinh: A real Hollywood story

In 1974, legendary Vietnamese actress Kieu Chinh found herself on a farm in Canada cleaning up after chicken. She had narrowly escaped the fall of Saigon and a jail sentence in Singapore but Kieu was determined to get back to doing what she loved... making movies. How would she do it? Well, it involved Hollywood stars Burt Reynolds, William Holden and Tippi Hedren! Kieu tells Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty of her cinematic survival. (Picture: Kieu Chinh and Tippi Hedren. Credit: Getty Images)
20/03/23·8m 58s

Iraq War: US security guards killed my son

It has been 20 years since the start of the Iraq War. On 16 September 2007, private security guards employed by the American firm Blackwater opened fire on civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square. Seventeen Iraqis were killed, and another 20 injured. The Blackwater guards, who were escorting a convoy from the American embassy, claimed that they had come under attack from insurgents, but eye-witnesses and Iraqi officials quickly dismissed that version of events. Mohammed Kinani's nine year old son, Ali, was one of the victims. In this programme, first broadcast in 2020, Mohammed shares his story with Mike Lanchin. (Photo: An Iraqi looks at a burnt car on the site where Blackwater guards opened fire on civilians in Baghdad. Credit: Ali Yussef/AFP via Getty Images)
17/03/23·10m 9s

Iraq War: The capture of Saddam Hussein

It has been 20 years since the start of the Iraq War. On 13 December 2003 the deposed president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was captured by US forces. Muwafaq al Rubaie was asked to help to identify the former dictator, face-to-face. In this programme, first broadcast in 2012, he shares his memories of that time with Louise Hidalgo. (Picture: Saddam Hussein shortly after being captured. Credit: Getty Images)
16/03/23·10m 11s

Iraq War: 'Most wanted' playing cards

It has been 20 years since the start of the Iraq War. In April 2003, the US military unveiled a set of playing cards to help troops identify the most-wanted members of Saddam Hussein's government. The cards were first revealed to the world by Brigadier General Vincent K Brooks at a press conference on 11 April 2003. He has been sharing his memories of that time with Matt Pintus. (Picture: Vincent K Brooks holds up the 'most wanted' playing cards. Credit: Getty Images)
15/03/23·10m 31s

Iraq War: Refugees escaping

It has been 20 years since the start of the Iraq War. Millions of citizens attempted to flee the country after America and its allies invaded in March 2003. One of those people was Baghdad resident, Yasir Dhannoon. He has been sharing his story with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Refugees fleeing from the fighting zone around Baghdad in 2003. Credit: Getty Images)
14/03/23·10m 29s

Iraq War: The beginning

It has been 20 years since the start of the Iraq War. In March 2003, the United States launched its invasion, dropping bombs on Iraq's capital Baghdad. For Iraqis it marked the beginning of three weeks of helplessness as the US and its allies overwhelmed Saddam Hussein's forces. In this programme, first broadcast in 2012, Robin Lustig speaks to Lubna Naji who was a schoolgirl in Baghdad when the war broke out. (Photo: Bombs fall on Baghdad. Credit: Getty Images)
13/03/23·10m 12s

From girl to goddess to financial analyst

In 2000, when Chanira Bajrycharya was just five years old, she was chosen to be a Kumari - a child goddess in Nepal. For the next 10 years, she remained inside her Kumari house, receiving worshippers and giving blessings. She tells Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty about being a living deity, and how her life changed after losing her status as a goddess aged 15. Chanira now works for a mortgage broker in Kathmandu. (Picture: Chanira Bajrycharya whilst Kumari. Credit: Chanira Bajrycharya)
10/03/23·8m 58s

Monica McWilliams’ role in the Northern Ireland peace process

Monica McWilliams played one of the most pivotal roles in the Northern Ireland peace process. She spent two years at the negotiating table which finally resulted in the Good Friday Agreement on 10 April 1998. That made her a joint signatory to an international peace accord – something that very few women in the world manage to be. She speaks to Alys Harte about the representation of women in the historic retelling of Northern Ireland’s peace process and why women are so often written out of the history they make. (Picture: Monica McWilliams. Credit: Getty Images)
09/03/23·10m 13s

First all-women peacekeeping unit

In 2007, the UN deployed its first all-female contingent of peacekeepers in Liberia in West Africa. The country was still recovering from its long civil war when the Indian policewomen arrived. In this programme first broadcast in 2019, Jill McGivering hears from Seema Dhundia of India’s Central Reserve Police Force who led the unit. (Photo: Seema Dhundia. Credit: Getty Images)
08/03/23·8m 54s

Mexico's first female presidential hopeful

In 1982, human rights campaigner Rosario Ibarra became the first woman and first political outsider to stand for president in Mexico. Her presidential bid was a direct challenge to the country’s long-established male-dominated political system. Ibarra’s motivation to stand was both political and highly personal. She wanted to draw attention to the country’s “disappeared” political prisoners, among them her own son. Mike Lanchin has been hearing about Rosario Ibarra from her eldest daughter, Rosario Piedra. This is a CTVC production for BBC World Service. (Picture: Rosario Ibarra campaigning. Credit: The Rosario family)
07/03/23·8m 58s

Octavia E. Butler: Visionary black sci-fi writer

In 1995, Octavia E Butler became the first author to receive a MacArthur “genius” award for science fiction writing. From a young age she dreamed of writing books, but faced many challenges, including poverty, sexism and racism in the publishing industry. She died aged 58 in 2006. Alex Collins speaks to her friend and fellow author Nisi Shawl. (Photo: Octavia E. Butler. Credit: Getty Images)
06/03/23·8m 58s

Zoran Djindjic: The murder of Serbia's prime minister

Zoran Djindjic, the prime minister of Serbia, was assassinated on 12 March 2003. He was murdered by an associate of former president, Slobodan Milosevic. Gordana Matkovic served in Djindjic's cabinet. Two decades on from the murder, she shares her memories of that time with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Zoran Djindjic poster held up during remembrance gathering. Credit: Getty Images)
03/03/23·10m 16s

The museum at the end of the world

In 1992, the late zoologist Nigel Bonner opened one of the world's most remote museums, the South Georgia Whaling Museum, on South Georgia, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic. Despite its isolated location, 1,400km east of the Falkland Islands, it remains open today and gets around 15,000 visitors a year. Rachel Naylor speaks to Jan Cheek, a friend of the founder and former trustee of the museum. (Photo: South Georgia Museum. Credit: Richard Hall for SGHT)
02/03/23·9m 3s

Grenada's underwater sculpture park

In 2004 Jason deCaires Taylor started building the world's first underwater gallery. He wanted to attract divers away from fragile coral reefs, so he submerged life-sized, human cement models in the Caribbean Sea. Within a few days the art was covered in purple and blue sponges, orange fire coral and green algae... and was even home to a few octopuses. Nineteen years later, Jason tells Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty about his memories of building the park. Archive Credit: Grenada Broadcasting Network. (Photo: ‘Viscissitudes’ - A sculpture installed in Grenada. Credit: Jason deCaires Taylor)
01/03/23·8m 59s

Pink Triangles: Gay men in Nazi concentration camps

In 2009, Rudolf Brazda, one of the last known survivors of the Pink Triangles, returned to the former site of Buchenwald concentration camp where he’d been imprisoned during World War Two, for being gay in Nazi Germany. In never previously broadcast recordings, taped by Jean-Luc Schwab, who wrote Rudolf’s biography, we hear Rudolf’s reaction to returning as a 95-year-old man. Jean-Luc Schwab who became friends with Rudolf in the last few years of his life, speaks to Reena Stanton-Sharma. This programme contains distressing details. (Photo: Rudolf Brazda. Credit: Frederick Florin/ Getty Images)
28/02/23·8m 59s

Wounded Knee siege

Fifty years ago, indigenous American activists staged a historic protest against the US authorities. A siege began which lasted for two months and resulted in the violent deaths of two tribal members and the injuring of a US marshal. In 2011 Russell Means, the former national director of the ‘American Indian Movement', spoke to the programme. (Photo: Russell Means in 1973. Credit: Getty Images)
27/02/23·9m 1s

When the Queen 'jumped out of a helicopter'

How did an estimated 900 million people come to witness Her Majesty the Queen apparently parachuting from a helicopter with James Bond? Frank Cottrell-Boyce who wrote the scene for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games explains how it came about. Josephine McDermott hears how corgis, a clothes line and the Queen’s dresser all played important parts. (Photo: The moment the Queen and James Bond appeared to jump out of a helicopter above the Olympic Stadium in London. Credit: Getty Images)
24/02/23·10m 55s

Families interned in WW2 China

Despite facing malnutrition, starvation and disease, Christopher John Huckstep's father set up a school in the Japanese internment camp where his family was sent in 1943. Herbert Huckstep ensured the 350 children of Lunghwa Civilian Assembly Centre were taught a wide range of subjects using brown paper bags to write on. The school was called Lunghwa Academy and it had its own badge, motto and certificates. A syllabus was followed, exams were taken and there were even evening classes for adults. The Japanese set up more than 20 internment camps in China and Hong Kong holding an estimated 14,000 people, but it is not believed that such a sophisticated schooling system was established elsewhere. In spite of the many hardships, educational standards were kept so high that qualifications taken in the camp were later recognised by the Cambridge exam board when the exam scripts were taken to England after the war. Christopher John Huckstep shares his memories with Josephine McDermott. (Photo: Christopher John Huckstep and other children at Lunghwa Civilian Assembly Centre, Shanghai, in 1945. Credit: Oscar Seepol. Image courtesy of Susannah Stapleton and Special Collections, University of Bristol Library)
23/02/23·10m 53s

The invention of Semtex

In 1958, Stanislav Brebera invented Semtex. It was a malleable, odourless and stable plastic explosive which became the choice weapon for those seeking to spread terror. In 2018, Maria Jestafjeva spoke to Mirisov Brebera, the brother of the chemist who created it. (Photo: Semtex. Credit: Getty Images)
22/02/23·8m 57s

Seggae riots in Mauritius

Mauritian musician Kaya, who pioneered a new genre called seggae, fusing reggae and sega, died in police custody on 21 February 1999. His death sparked three days of rioting. People believed Kaya had been beaten to death. Veronique Topize, Kaya's widow demanded an independent autopsy and President Cassam Uteem travelled into the heart of the disorder to appeal directly to the rioters to put down their weapons and go home. Veronique Topize and Cassam Uteem shared their memories with Reena Stanton-Sharma. (Photo: Painting of Kaya (left). Credit: BBC)
21/02/23·9m 4s

Battle for the capital: Bonn v Berlin

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and Germany had to decide which city would be the new capital. The contenders were the West German city of Bonn and the East German city of Berlin and the two fought it out in a ferocious political battle that would help define the country. Ilona Toller hears from Bonn citizen Jürgen Nimptsch, who would later become the mayor of the city and Wolfgang Schäuble who fought on the side of Berlin. (Photo: Bundestag 2023. Credit: Getty Images)
20/02/23·9m 14s

First winter ascent of Everest

On 17 February 1980, the first people climbed Everest in winter. John Beauchamp hears from Leszek Cichy and Krzysztof Wielicki from Poland who were the men who did it. It was at the height of the Cold War, when Poland was behind the Iron Curtain. The two climbers decided that they had to show the world that their country was still capable of doing extraordinary things. Despite a lack of money and equipment and using whatever they could lay their hands on – including welding goggles – they made it to the top of the world’s tallest mountain. A Free Range and Overcoat Media co-production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Leszek Cichy (left) Krzysztof Wielicki (right). Credit: Krzysztof Wielicki)
17/02/23·8m 59s

Discovering Tutankhamun’s tomb

On 16 February 1923, the sealed burial chamber of ancient Egypt’s most famous pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened for the first time. Mike Gallagher takes us back to the Valley of the Kings and the discovery of the ancient Egyptian ruler king’s resting place in 1922 by the English archaeologist Howard Carter. This programme was first broadcast in 2010. (Photo:The opening of Tutankhamun's tomb. Credit: Getty Images)
16/02/23·9m 2s

'I developed Pokémon'

On 27 February 1996, gamers were first introduced to characters Pikachu, Eevee, and Charmander when the first Pokémon games were released in Japan. Known as Pocket Monsters Red and Pocket Monsters Green, the games were released simultaneously on the Nintendo Game Boy hand-held console. In a matter of years the franchise would make the leap from an ageing games console to television animation and beyond, making it a worldwide pop culture powerhouse. Kurt Brookes speaks to game developer Akihito Tomisawa about the development, release, and success of the game series. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Pikachu. Credit: Made in Manchester)
15/02/23·9m 2s

First Danish queen for 600 years

In January 1972, King Frederick IX of Denmark died after a short illness at the age of 72. He was succeeded by his daughter Margrethe who became the first Queen of Denmark in 600 years. Watching her proclamation as Margrethe II of Denmark in the room next to the balcony of the Christiansborg Palace was the country’s former Foreign and Defence Minister Kjeld Olesen. He’s been remembering that day with Ashley Byrne at his home in Copenhagen. A Made in Manchester Production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Margrethe II of Denmark in 1970. Credit: Getty Images)
14/02/23·9m 0s

'Hot Autumn': When Italy’s workers revolted

In 1969 and 1970, thousands of workers in Italy went on strike, protesting against low pay and poor working conditions. It became known as the ‘Hot Autumn’. Renzo Baricelli represented tyre workers at the Pirelli rubber factory in Milan, one of the main centres of protest. He tells Vicky Farncombe how he had to step in when angry workers with hammers were threatening to smash up the factory. (Photo: Workers protesting in Milan during the 'Hot Autumn'. Credit: Getty Images)
13/02/23·10m 50s

'I told the world Pope Benedict XVI was resigning'

On 11 February 2013, Benedict XVI shocked the world by becoming the first pope in nearly 600 years to quit. All other popes in the modern era had held the position from election until death. He said he was resigning because of old age. Little known journalist Giovanna Chirri got the world exclusive on the story. She shares her memories of that time with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Getty Images)
10/02/23·10m 39s

The Pope and Jews

In April 1986, Pope John Paul II made a historic visit to a Rome synagogue. It was aimed at healing centuries of deep wounds between Jews and Catholics. Giacomo Saban, who welcomed the pontiff to the synagogue, tells his story to Alan Johnston. This programme was first broadcast in 2014. (Photo: Pope John Paul II at the synagogue. Credit: Getty Images)
09/02/23·8m 55s

Pope John Paul I’s sudden death

Cardinal Albino Luciani became Pope John Paul I on 26 August 1978. He died unexpectedly 33 days later. He was discovered in the early morning lying on his bed, a collection of sermons in his hand. He was considered an excellent communicator, and his warm personality earned him the nickname of "the smiling Pope". But his death shook the Catholic Church. Rebecca Kesby spoke to Cardinal Beniamino Stella who knew him well. This programme was first broadcast in 2017. (Photo: Pope John Paul I. Credit: Getty Images)
08/02/23·9m 5s

Reforming the Catholic Church with Vatican II

In January 1959, Pope John XXIII announced a council of all the world's Catholic bishops and cardinals in Rome. It led to sweeping reforms, including allowing Mass to be said in languages other than Latin and an attempt to build relationships with other denominations and faiths. But not everyone was happy with the changes. Monsignor John Strynkowski was a student priest in Rome at the time and told Rebecca Kesby about the excitement and controversy surrounding the council that became known as Vatican II. This programme was first broadcast in 2019. (Photo: Pope John XXIII. Credit: Getty Images)
07/02/23·9m 3s

How a Pope is chosen

Following the death of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005. He was elected after four ballots of the papal conclave. The late Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor took part and told Rebecca Kesby the story of how the new leader of the Catholic Church was chosen by 115 cardinals. This programme was first broadcast in 2013. (Photo: Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Getty Images)
06/02/23·8m 39s

The first black music station in Europe

In 1981, Rita Marley’s brother Leroy Anderson aka Lepke launched the Dread Broadcasting Corporation (DBC), Europe’s first dedicated black music station. Frustrated by the lack of airtime for reggae music in the UK, Lepke setup a mast in his back garden and began to broadcast to a small area of West London every Sunday afternoon. DBC soon expanded to cover all styles of black music and with its unmistakable logo featuring a dread with headphones and a spliff became a trailblazer for the future of black British radio in the UK. Neil Meads speaks to former DBC station manager Michael Williams about the early days of the station, and DJ Carmella Jervier explains how inspiring it was to finally hear black female DJs on the radio. (Photo: Dread Broadcasting Corporation. Credit: BBC)
03/02/23·9m 3s

The assassination of Burundian President Melchior Ndadaye

In July 1993, Melchior Ndadaye became Burundi’s first democratically elected president. He was also the first president to come from the country’s Hutu majority. For decades up to that point, Burundi had been ruled by a small group of individuals drawn from the among the Tutsi minority. President Ndadaye had come to power promising a new vision for Burundi. But within months he was murdered by soldiers. Rob Walker hears from Jean-Marie Ngendahayo who was Minister of Communications in President Ndadaye’s government. (Photo: A relative of Melchior Ndadaye holding a photo of him at his funeral. Credit: Getty Images)
02/02/23·13m 19s

Columbia space shuttle disaster

The US space shuttle Columbia broke up on its way back to Earth on 1 February 2003. It had been in use since 1981. Iain Mackness spoke to Admiral Hal Gehman who was given the job of finding out what went wrong. The admiral’s report led to the ending of the American space shuttle programme in 2011. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service first broadcast in 2019. (Photo: Space shuttle Columbia. Credit: Getty Images)
01/02/23·8m 59s

Czechoslovakia's 'Velvet Divorce'

30 years ago this month, Czechoslovakia split into the separate states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It was a rare instance of a state separating without a single life being lost. Thanks to this it became known as the ‘Velvet Divorce’. Rather than putting it to a vote, the country and its assets were divided behind closed doors by the Czech and Slovak leaders, Václav Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar, who became the Prime Ministers of their newly independent states. Ben Henderson speaks to both of them about their memories from the time. (Photo: Václav Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar negotiate the split. Credit: Zehl Igor/ČTK)
31/01/23·9m 56s

Palestine Post bombing

Mordechai Chertoff was the foreign editor on the Palestine Post (precursor to the Jerusalem Post) when it was bombed on 1 February 1948. He tells Lucy Williamson how, despite the attack, the newspaper still came out the next morning. This programme was first broadcast in 2010. (Photo: Palestine Post bombing. Credit: Getty Images)
30/01/23·8m 43s

Invention of the MP3

Professor Karlheinz Brandenburg from Germany spent more than a decade developing MP3 technology, which was developed to convert audio into digital form. He had been working on it since 1982. It compressed music into a file size that made it easier to transmit, leading to the first MP3 players and fast music sharing. Laura Jones has been speaking to Professor Brandenburg. (Photo: Karlheinz Brandenburg wearing headphones, with his team. Credit: Fraunhofer IIC)
27/01/23·10m 30s

Albert Pierrepoint: Britain's executioner

Using archive recordings, Alex Last tells the story of Britain's most famous hangman. During the 1940s and 1950s, Albert Pierrepoint was responsible for the execution of some of Britain's most notorious murderers and was sent to Germany to hang more than 200 Nazi war criminals after World War Two. He said he was always determined to treat prisoners with dignity and respect whatever their crime. This programme was first broadcast in 2015. (Photo: Albert Pierrepoint. Credit: Getty Images)
26/01/23·8m 58s

Smolensk air disaster

In 2010, a plane carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczyński, crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk, killing everyone on board. It was one of the most tragic moments in modern Polish history. The country’s minister of foreign affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski was one of the first people to hear about it. He’s been sharing his memories of the disaster with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Smolensk air crash wreckage. Credit: Getty Images)
25/01/23·9m 0s

Japanese death row guard

Yoshikuni Noguchi spent time as a guard in one of the prisons in Japan that would carry out the death penalty, and witnessed the hanging of a condemned prisoner in 1971, before going on to become a lawyer. He describes in detail what he saw. Yoshikuni began speaking out to cast light on the reality of what death row inmates go through, as Japan continues to resist the calls to ban the practice, which is no longer in use in most countries. He tells his story to Dan Hardoon. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Yoshikunu Noguchi. Credit: Alamy)
24/01/23·8m 57s

When Britain tried to censor the Troubles in Northern Ireland

Frontman of punk-rock band The Undertones, Paul McLoone, recalls the “weird, slightly funny, slightly sad, slightly surreal” time he was the voice of IRA commander-turned-politician, Martin McGuinness. It was during the so called ‘broadcasting ban’ in the UK which came into force in 1988. It saw organisations believed to support terrorism forbidden from directly broadcasting on radio or television. Paul tells Alys Harte how the legislation led to extra work for him. (Photo: Paul McLoone during a performance. Credit: Getty Images)
23/01/23·9m 0s

Swine flu vaccine and narcolepsy

In 2009, hundreds of teenagers’ lives were changed forever, when a vaccine designed to protect them against swine flu appeared to trigger a sleep disorder. It affected people in various countries including Sweden. Maddy Savage speaks to Christopher Tyvi from Stockholm, who is one of those who experienced problems. A Bespoken Media production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Swine flu vaccine. Credit: Getty Images)
20/01/23·9m 6s

France's nuclear tests in Algeria

Between 1960 and 1966, France carried out 17 nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara. High levels of radioactivity, and a failure to safely dispose of nuclear waste, have left a dangerous legacy. Dan Hardoon speaks to Abdelkrim Touhami, who was just a teenager when the French authorities announced a nuclear test near his home. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Dummies at the nuclear testing site in the Algerian Sahara. Credit: Getty Images)
19/01/23·8m 59s

Kosovo’s house schools

In 1990s Kosovo, a generation of Albanians received their education crammed into thousands of private homes. When Slobodan Milosevic’s Serb nationalist regime forcibly evicted them from schools and universities, Kosovan Albanians responded with improvised house schools in their apartments, attics and cellars. The spontaneous reaction to their ethnic exclusion quickly evolved into a nationwide education system that would endure for the best part of a decade. Linda Gusia, a pupil in the house schools, and university professor Drita Halimi speak to Jack Butcher. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: A Kosovan house school. Credit: Shyqeri Obërtinca)
18/01/23·9m 4s

Europe's horse meat scandal

In 2013, horse meat was discovered in Irish beef burgers. The scandal snowballed and within six weeks horse meat was found in beef products in more than a dozen European countries. The story revealed how complex and unregulated Europe’s meat industry was, making it a target for fraudsters. Ben Henderson speaks to Alan Reilly, former Chief Executive of the Irish Food Safety Authority, who uncovered the scandal. (Photo: Meat inspection in a French supermarket. Credit: Sebastien Bozon via Getty Images)
17/01/23·9m 2s

Miracle on the Hudson

On 15 January 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River in New York, after geese struck both its engines shortly after take off. All 155 people on board survived. Rachel Naylor speaks to Dave Sanderson, the last passenger to be rescued. (Photo: Passengers and crew aboard US Airways Flight 1549 await rescue. Credit: AP)
16/01/23·9m 3s

World’s first tidal power station

The world’s first tidal power station is on the estuary of the River Rance in France. It was opened in 1966 by President Charles de Gaulle and has been capturing the natural power of the oceans’ tides and turning it into electricity ever since. Alex Collins hears how the project to build it was a cause for national pride and how the facility is now a tourist attraction, as he speaks to Brittany historian Marc Bonnel. (Photo: La Rance tidal power station. Credit: Getty Images)
13/01/23·8m 59s

Galápagos Islands’ sea cucumber dispute

A boom in demand for sea cucumbers in Asia in the 1990s set off a confrontation between fishermen and conservationists in the waters off the Galápagos Islands, where the protein-rich ocean creature was found in abundance. The high price being paid for the sea cucumbers led to a gold rush on the South American archipelago, a chain of 21 islands home to many unique species. In 2020, Mike Lanchin spoke to a Galapagos fisherman Marcos Escaraby and conservationist Alan Tye, who found themselves on opposite sides of the dispute. (Picture: Sea cucumber. Credit: Getty Images)
12/01/23·8m 38s

Paul Robeson and the transatlantic phone line

In September 1956, a telephone cable called TAT-1 was laid under the Atlantic Ocean, making high-quality transatlantic phone calls possible for the first time. Eight months later in May 1957, 1,000 people squeezed into St Pancras Town Hall in London for the world’s first transatlantic concert. The person performing, Paul Robeson, was a globally renowned singer, but he’d been banned from travelling outside the USA. So, he made use of the new transatlantic telephone line to perform to his fans in the UK. Ben Henderson speaks to John Liffen, who curated an exhibition on TAT-1 and the concert at the Science Museum in London. (Photo: Engineers build repeaters used in TAT-1. Credit: Russell Knight/BIPs via Getty Images)
11/01/23·8m 58s

Dutch North Sea flood

In 1953, a winter storm combined with high tides breached sea defences in the Netherlands, more than 1,800 people drowned. Ria Geluk, remembers the once-in-a-lifetime flood. In this programme first broadcast in 2011, Ria tells Trish Flanaghan what happened when water overwhelmed the farm she lived on. (Photo: A man walking a flooded street. Credit: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images. )
10/01/23·8m 59s

Plastics in oceans

In 1971, marine biologist Edward Carpenter made a shocking discovery finding small bits of plastics floating thousands of miles of the east coast of America in the Atlantic Ocean. More than 50 years later he tells the story of how he had to fight hard to get the scientific world to take notice of his discovery. He also tells Alex Collins about when plastics in oceans went viral. (Photo: Plastic floating in water. Credit: Getty Images)
09/01/23·8m 58s

Pussy Riot’s cathedral protest

In February 2012, Diana Burkot and other members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot protested inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour against the church and its support for Russian president Vladimir Putin. Some members were arrested and put on a trial which made the news inside Russia and around the world. Diana kept her participation in the protest secret and avoided going to prison. She shares her memories with Alex Collins. (Photo: Diana Burkot on stage. Credit: Getty Images)
06/01/23·8m 57s

The man Pinochet wanted dead

After the 1973 military coup in Chile, Miguel Enriquez led resistance against the dictatorship. The secret police were ordered to track him down and assassinate him. His wife Carmen Castillo remembers the day in October 1974 when she was six months pregnant and the military finally caught up with one of Chile’s most wanted men. Carmen tells her story to Jane Chambers. (Picture: Admiral Toribio Merino, General Augusto Pinochet and Air Force General Leigh in 1973. Credit: Getty Images)
05/01/23·9m 2s

When America banned silicone breast implants

On 6 January 1992, the US Government ordered a suspension of all procedures involving silicone breast implants. More than 2,000 women had complained of poor health and pain after receiving implants. Among the issues were ruptures of the implants, connective tissue diseases, and even fears of a possible link with cancer. The story raised concerns around the world. Iain Mackness talks to plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso about the time the US banned silicone filled breast implants. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Silicone breast implant. Credit: Getty Images)
04/01/23·8m 58s

Arctic African

Tété-Michel Kpomassie grew up in West Africa but he was obsessed with the Arctic. When he was 16 years old he ran away from his village in Togo determined to reach Greenland. It took him eight years but in 1965, he finally arrived. He then went north to fulfil his dream of living among the indigenous people. Years later, he wrote an award-winning account of his odyssey, An African in Greenland, which has been translated into eight languages. In this programme, first broadcast in 2019, he tells Alex Last about his journey. (Photo: Tété-Michel Kpomassie in Greenland in 1988. Credit: BBC)
03/01/23·8m 59s

One team in Tallinn

In 1996, Scotland took to the field for a football World Cup qualifying tie in the Estonian capital city of Tallinn. The only problem was that there was no opposition on the other side. Paul Lambert was one of the Scottish players who had to take part in the so-called match. He has been sharing his memories of that time with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Scotland kick off the match. Credit: Getty Images)
02/01/23·9m 0s

The birth of the Slow Food Movement

In 1986, thousands of people gathered in the middle of Rome to protest against the opening of Italy’s first McDonalds fast food restaurant. One of the opponents to the opening of McDonalds was journalist Carlo Petrini. Soon after, he founded a new organisation called the Slow Food Movement. Its main aim was to protect traditional foods and cooking. He has been sharing his story with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Carlo Petrini. Credit: Slow Food International)
30/12/22·8m 54s

Inventing instant noodles

In August 1958, the Japanese entrepreneur, Momofuku Ando, came up with the idea of a brand new food product that would change the eating habits of people across the world. In 2018, Ashley Byrne spoke to Yukitaka Tsutsui, an executive for the company founded by Ando, about the birth of the Instant Noodle. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Momofuko Ando holding noodles. Credit: Getty Images)
29/12/22·9m 0s

Malta's bread strike

In February 1977 the bakers of Malta went on an unprecedented strike. It sent shock waves through the Maltese people who couldn’t imagine life without their favourite food… bread. Before long the military was guarding bakeries, the panicked population had created a bread black market and local prisoners were enlisted to bake for the public. Forty-five years later Maltese cultural historian Noel Buttigieg shares his memories of the time, with Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty. (Photo: A queue outside of a bakery during the 1977 strike. Credit: Noel Buttigieg)
28/12/22·8m 58s

Inventing Chicken Manchurian

Chef Nelson Wang created his signature dish Chicken Manchurian in 1975. It was the birth of modern Indo-Chinese cuisine which went on to become hugely popular around the world. He went on to open China Garden, a Chinese restaurant in Mumbai that would draw in Bollywood's glitterati. Nelson's son Edward Wang, who is also a chef, speaks to Reena Stanton-Sharma. (Photo: Chicken Manchurian. Credit: Paul Yeung/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
27/12/22·8m 58s

Creating ciabatta bread

In 1982, rally driver Arnaldo Cavallari created ciabatta bread in Adria, in northern Italy. His family owned a flour mill and he wanted to invent a loaf to rival the French baguette. Rachel Naylor speaks to his close friend and fellow baker, Marco Vianello. (Photo: Ciabatta. Credit: Getty Images)
26/12/22·9m 4s

Chile mine rescue

On 5 August 2010, 33 miners were trapped underground after a rockfall in the San José copper and gold mine in Chile. They were rescued 69 days later. Rachel Naylor speaks to one of the miners, Mario Sepúlveda, who was nicknamed Super Mario by the media. (Photo: Mario Sepúlveda, in the centre, celebrates being rescued from the mine on 13 October 2010. Credit: Rodrigo Arangua / AFP via Getty Images)
23/12/22·9m 0s

Grozny siege

In December 1994, Russian forces began the siege of Chechnya’s capital Grozny. Dr Aslan Doukaev was a university teacher when the first Chechen war started. In this programme first broadcast in 2010 he tells Ed Butler about surviving months of conflict. (Photo: Russian soldier during the siege of Grozny. Credit: Getty Images)
22/12/22·9m 34s

Colombia's 'false positives' killings

In 2008, it was revealed that Colombia’s army had been executing civilians and pretending they were rebels killed in the country’s ongoing civil war. At least 4,600 innocent people were murdered in this way. They became known as the ‘false positives’. Ben Henderson speaks to Jacqueline Castillo, whose brother was one of the victims, and Carlos Mora, who was ordered to execute civilians when he was a soldier. (Photo: Families of 'false positives' victims. Credit: Juancho Torres/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
21/12/22·9m 7s

The BBC broadcasting through the Iron Curtain

It is the 90th anniversary of the BBC World Service. Broadcasting to countries behind the Iron Curtain without a free or independent media between 1947 and 1991 was arguably the service’s finest hour. The corporation was on the front line of the information war as the BBC’s former Moscow correspondent Bridget Kendall recalls. Programmes such as the German Service’s Letters Without Signatures created a sense of community among isolated East Germans who could not air their views publicly at home. Meanwhile, Peter Udell, the former controller of European Services, had the challenge of trying to overcome the Soviet censors. Produced and presented by Josephine McDermott. Archive recordings of former employees in the BBC Oral History Collection were used courtesy of Sussex University. (Photo: A West Berlin policeman looks at an East German watchtower at night, 1961. Credit: Getty Images)
20/12/22·9m 4s

Una Marson and the BBC Caribbean Service

To mark the 90th anniversary of the BBC World Service, we trace the development of the Caribbean Service. Its beginnings go back to the early 1940s when the BBC’s first black producer, Una Marson was employed. She created Caribbean Voices, which gave future Nobel laureates such as Derek Walcott their first international platform. In 1969, one of the UK’s best known newsreaders, Sir Trevor McDonald, left Trinidad to join the BBC Caribbean Service as a producer. He reflects on its legacy. Produced and presented by Josephine McDermott. Archive recording of West Indies Calling from 1943, is used courtesy of the Imperial War Museum. Una Marson's poem Black Burden is used courtesy of Peepal Tree Press and the BBC Caribbean Service archive material was provided by the Alma Jordan Library, The University of the West Indies. (Photo: Sir Trevor McDonald and Una Marson. Credit: BBC)
19/12/22·9m 5s

Felix Baumgartner's huge leap

In October 2012, skydiver and former Austrian paratrooper Felix Baumgartner was watched live by millions as he ascended into the stratosphere in a helium balloon. He then jumped an estimated 38km from space back to earth. In doing so, he broke the speed of sound and the highest skydive record that had lasted more than 50 years. Felix tells Dan Hardoon about his big leap. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Felix Baumgartner jumping from space. Credit: Getty Images)
16/12/22·9m 1s

Soviet fashionista

Slava Zaitsev was the first designer to create high fashion collections in the Soviet Union. He tells Dina Newman about the challenges he faced working under communism. This programme was first broadcast in 2018. (Photo: A sketch of a dress designed by Slava Zaitsev. Credit: Slava Zaitsev)
15/12/22·9m 0s

Returning to District Six

When Zahra Nordien was forced out of District Six in Cape Town in 1977, she vowed to one day return. She was one of the 60,000 people who were forcibly removed from the neighbourhood because of the racist South African apartheid government. What seemed like a pipe dream became a reality when Zahra set up the District Six Working Committee campaigning to get former residents into newly rebuilt homes. In 2013 her elderly mother moved back into District Six with Zahra, more than three decades after they were expelled. Zahra tells Reena Stanton-Sharma about her ongoing fight for restitution. (Photo: Cape Town, South Africa in the 1970s. Credit: Gallo Images / Juhan Kuus)
14/12/22·10m 20s

The Nazi occupation of Jersey

Shopkeeper Louisa Gould risked her life to hide a Russian prisoner who had escaped from the Nazis during the German occupation of Jersey in World War Two. She was later betrayed and died in Ravensbrück, a concentration camp, in 1945. Vicky Carter speaks to her great-niece Jenny Lecoat. (Photo: Louisa Gould. Credit: Courtesy of the Channel Islands Occupation Society (Jersey) Collection held at Jersey Archive)
13/12/22·9m 1s

Mongolian revolution

In 1990, a peaceful revolution brought democracy to Mongolia after almost 70 years of Soviet backed rule. University lecturer Ganbold Davaadorj was one of the lead figures in bringing together the Mongolian people. He went on to be the first deputy prime minister of Mongolia. He shares his story with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Protestors occupy Sükhbaatar Square in 1990. Credit: Getty Images)
12/12/22·9m 0s

Creating Teletubbies

It’s 1994 and the BBC is looking for a brand-new children’s TV series. TV producer Anne Wood decides she’s going to make a show aimed at an audience that’s never had programmes made for it before – two and three-year-olds. She tells Melanie Stewart-Smith the fascinating story of how spacemen and technology inspired the creation of one of the most popular kids TV shows of all time, Teletubbies. (Photo: Teletubbies. Credit: Ragdoll Productions for the BBC/Wildbrain)
09/12/22·9m 2s

'The Dismissal' of Gough Whitlam

In November 1975, the Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, was controversially sacked by an unelected official in the country's biggest constitutional crisis. Many Australians were outraged and rumours spread that Buckingham Palace was involved. It became known simply as 'The Dismissal'. Paul Kelly was a political correspondent in the Australian parliament that day. He shares his memories with Ben Henderson. (Photo: Gough Whitlam in 1975. Credit: George Lipman/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
08/12/22·9m 0s

The killing of Jean Charles de Menezes

On the 22 July 2005, unarmed Brazilian man Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by anti-terrorism police in London. He was shot because he was mistaken for terrorist Hussain Osman who had been involved in a failed suicide attack just 24 hours previously. The killing made headlines all over the world, and Jean Charles’ family demanded justice. Matt Pintus has been speaking to Jean Charles’ cousin and best friend, Patricia da Silva. (Photo: Patricia da Silva in front of mural of Jean Charles de Menezes. Credit: Getty Images)
07/12/22·8m 58s

Demolishing the Babri Masjid

Hindu extremists demolished a 16th century mosque in the Indian city of Ayodhya in December 1992 prompting months of communal violence across India. Photojournalist Praveen Jain witnessed rehearsals for the demolition the day before the activists stormed the mosque. He spoke to Iknoor Kaur in 2019. (Photo: Hindu extremists rehearsing the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Credit: Praveen Jain)
06/12/22·9m 18s

Quebec’s 1995 referendum

In October 1995, the people of Quebec went to the polls to decide whether the province should declare independence from Canada. Kevin Caners hears the first-hand testimony of Jean-François Lisée and Stephane Dion, who represented opposite sides of a debate which nearly split the country in two. A Whistledown Production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Voters at the 1995 Quebec referendum. Credit: Getty Images)
05/12/22·9m 0s

Miss World protest

In 1970, feminists stormed the stage at the Miss World pageant in London. They were protesting against the objectification of women. Sally Alexander was one of the young protesters who was arrested for her part in the demonstration. She spoke to Andrew Whitehead in 2014. (Photo: Protestors outside the 1970 Miss World pageant. Credit: Getty Images)
02/12/22·8m 41s

The woman who smuggled HIV into Bulgaria in her handbag

In 1985, at the height of the Cold War, Bulgaria was a strictly controlled communist dictatorship. It was also facing a wave of infection and death caused by a mysterious new virus. The authorities refused to recognise the threat of HIV and AIDS, so one of Bulgaria’s virologists took the initiative. In this programme for World Aids Day, Professor Radka Argirova tells Janet Barrie how she smuggled the live HIV virus back from Germany to start testing in Bulgaria for the first time. (Photo: Professor Radka Argirova in her laboratory. Credit: BBC)
01/12/22·9m 44s

The islands Japan and Russia can’t agree on

In 1947, thousands of Japanese families were expelled from their island homes by Soviet troops. They were taken from the Northern Territories, also known as the Southern Kurils, after the Soviet Union took control of the islands. Japan and Russia have failed to sign a peace agreement after World War Two because of the dispute. Yuzo Matsumoto, who's now 81, has been speaking to Laura Jones. (Photo: Yuzo Matsumoto with photos of his parents, standing in front of a map of Etorofu. Credit: BBC)
30/11/22·10m 9s

CrossFit: The fitness phenomenon that changed the industry

In 2000, an American personal trainer invented CrossFit. They now have gyms around the world and hold an annual international competition. Rachel Naylor speaks to two-time world champion Annie Thorisdottir, from Iceland. (Photo: Annie Thorisdottir. Credit: CrossFit LLC)
29/11/22·9m 6s

Mombasa terror attacks

In 2002, journalist Kelly Hartog was on a press trip in Mombasa, in Kenya, when suicide bombers drove a car packed with explosives into the hotel where she was staying. The attack killed 18 people and injured 80. Almost at the same time, terrorists tried to bring down an Israeli charter jet using surface-to-air missiles – but narrowly missed. Kelly tells Vicky Farncombe about her ordeal. (Photo: People stand outside the Paradise Hotel after it was attacked by suicide bombers. Credit: Getty Images)
28/11/22·9m 10s

How cat's eyes were invented

In 1934, the late Percy Shaw almost crashed while driving home from the pub on a foggy night in West Yorkshire, in England. He was saved when his headlights were reflected in the eyes of a cat and it gave him a brilliant idea. He invented reflective studs for the road and called them cat’s eyes. Rachel Naylor speaks to Percy's great-niece, Glenda Shaw. (Photo: Percy Shaw holding one of his cat's eyes, outside his factory in Halifax, England, in 1958. Credit: Getty Images)
25/11/22·9m 3s

The corruption and sodomy trials of Anwar Ibrahim

On 20 September 1998, the former deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, was arrested and charged on suspicion of committing fraud and sodomy. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia but charges are rare and the case was internationally condemned as being political motivated. Anwar believed that he was being framed by his former boss, the Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Almost 25 years on, Anwar shares his memories of the time with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Anwar Ibrahim in 1998. Credit: Getty Images)
24/11/22·10m 30s

When Sweden’s roads went right

In September 1967, all Swedish traffic had to change the habit of decades and swap to driving on the right-hand side of the road. It brought them into line with most of the rest of Europe except for Britain and Ireland but caused a day of chaos. In 2016, Ashley Byrne spoke to Bjorn Sylven who remembered that day. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: First day of driving on the right-hand side in Stockholm. Credit: Keystone-France/Gemma-Keystone via Getty Images)
23/11/22·9m 6s

First women’s minister in Iran

Iran’s first ever minister for women’s affairs was appointed in 1975. Mahnaz Afkhami was the first person in the Muslim world to hold that position. While she was in that role, the government granted women equal divorce rights, raised the minimum age of marriage to 18 and supported women’s employment with maternity leave and childcare. In 2018, Farhana Haider spoke to her about being the only woman in the pre-revolutionary Iranian cabinet. (Photo: Mahnaz Afkhami at the UN in 1975. Credit: Mahnaz Afkhami)
22/11/22·8m 59s

The invention of the seat belt

In 1958, the late Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin invented the three-point safety belt for cars. It's estimated to have saved more than one million lives around the world. Rachel Naylor speaks to Nils' stepson, Gunnar Ornmark. (Photo: Nils Bohlin, in 1959, modelling his invention. Credit: Volvo Cars Group)
21/11/22·9m 7s

Qatar's first female published author

In 1978, Kaltham Jaber published her first book – a collection of short stories. She is an assistant professor and acclaimed writer from Qatar. Her success as an author came just two decades after girls were first allowed to go to school in the oil-rich state. Kaltham became a really important figurehead for women in the country as she campaigned for gender equality. She shares her story with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Kaltham Jaber. Credit: Kaltham Jaber)
18/11/22·10m 25s

First Emirati female teacher

It was rare for women in what is now the United Arab Emirates to go to school in the 1960s. At the time, the future country was a collection of emirates under British protection. The Sheikdoms were traditional societies. This is the story of a young woman who was among the first to graduate from high school. She went on to become the first teacher there. Nama bint Majid Al Qasimi tells Farhana Haider about her trailblazing experience. (Photo: Nama bint Majid Al Qasimi with her students at Fatima Al Zahra School, Sharjah, 1970. Credit: Shaikha Nama bint Majid bin Saqr Al Qasimi)
17/11/22·10m 20s

Inventing robot camel jockeys

In 2003, a Qatari engineer came up with the idea for a robot jockey, to replace child jockeys in camel racing. Two years later, the robot was approved for use. The tiny gadgets, which wear caps and hold whips, are now used all over the Middle East. Rachel Naylor speaks to Esan Maruff, who helped develop them. (Photo: Robot jockeys riding camels. Credit: Getty Images)
16/11/22·10m 27s

Burj Khalifa: Designing the world’s tallest building

The tallest building in the world opened in 2010. There was a glitzy firework display to celebrate the occasion. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is nearly three times the height of the Eiffel Tower. The statement building cemented the reputation of the city as a place for luxury tourism and high-end real estate. Alex Collins speaks to chief architect Adrian Smith about his creative vision and the challenges he faced on such a huge project. (Photo: Burj Khalifa. Credit: Getty Images)
15/11/22·8m 57s

Formation of the United Arab Emirates

A new country, the United Arab Emirates, was formed in 1971. It’s a federation of seven states that has grown from a quiet backwater to one of the Middle East’s most important economic centres. Laura Jones speaks to businessman Mohammed Al-Fahim about his country’s dramatic transformation. (Photo: Mohammed Al-Fahim as a child. Credit: Mohammed Al-Fahim)
14/11/22·9m 1s

The child evacuees of World War Two

The 1 September 1939 was Kitty Baxter’s ninth birthday, it was also the day her life and millions of other people’s changed with the beginning of World War Two. Kitty was among the hundreds of thousands of children taken out of UK cities and into the countryside, away from the risk of German bombs. She’s been speaking to Laura Jones. (Photo: Child evacuees leaving a London train station. Credit: Getty Images)
11/11/22·10m 29s

Māori protests stops South African rugby tour

In 1981, the South African rugby tour of New Zealand was disrupted by Māori anti-racism campaigners who invaded pitches. They wanted to highlight the injustice of apartheid in South Africa and the discrimination Maoris were suffering in New Zealand. Ripeka Evans organised and took part in the protests. She tells Alex Collins about the direct action she took to sabotage high-profile matches. (Photo: Protesters form a circle in the middle of the pitch at Rugby Park, Hamilton. Credit: John Selkirk)
10/11/22·8m 58s

The assassination of Pim Fortuyn

It has been 20 years since one of the most controversial politicians in Europe was assassinated just days before a general election. On 6 May 2002, Pim Fortuyn was shot dead by an animal rights activist because of his anti-Islamic views. It was the first time a Dutch politician had been murdered since the 17th century. TV journalist Dave Abspoel was one of the first people on the scene. He has been sharing his memories with Matt Pintus. (Photo: Pim Fortuyn pictured in 2002. Credit: Getty Images)
09/11/22·9m 1s

First rape crisis centres in the US

1972 was a time of feminist action in the US. People were talking more openly about rape and sharing their experiences. It led to rape crisis centres being set up, which offered support for women. Activist Sue Lenaerts taught women self-defence and worked on the helpline at the first centre in the capital, Washington DC. She’s been speaking to Laura Jones. (Photo: Sue Lenaerts in the early 1970s. Credit: Sue Lenaerts)
08/11/22·10m 23s

Polynesian Panthers

In the early 1970s, New Zealand’s government cracked down on Polynesian migrants who had overstayed their work permits. They carried out what became known as the Dawn Raids, when police raided Polynesian households in the early hours of the morning looking for overstayers. The Polynesian community felt targeted and formed a resistance group, the Polynesian Panthers, in June 1971. Ben Henderson spoke to founding member, Melani Anae. (Music credit: Thou We Are - Unity Pacific) (Photo: Protestors. Credit: Getty Images)
07/11/22·8m 59s

Umuganda: Rwanda's community work scheme

In 1975, President Juvénal Habyarimana introduced Umuganda in Rwanda, where citizens had to help with community projects like planting trees and building schools, every Saturday morning. Rachel Naylor speaks to former minister Jean Marie Ndagijimana, who loved taking part. (Photo: Residents of the village of Mbyo, in Rwanda's Eastern Province, taking part in Umuganda in 2014. Credit: Getty Images)
04/11/22·9m 3s

Dame Carmen Callil: Feminist publisher

Dame Carmen Callil, who died in October this year, founded feminist publisher Virago Press in 1972 to promote women’s writing. In this programme first broadcast in 2019, she tells Claire Bowes how she hoped to put women centre stage at a time when she and many others felt side-lined and ignored at work and at home. Music: Jam Today by Jam Today courtesy of the Women’s Liberation Music Archive. (Photo: Dame Carmen Callil 1983. Credit: Peter Morris/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
03/11/22·8m 58s

Campaigning against sex-selection in India

Over the last 50 years an estimated 46 million girls have been aborted in India. The cultural preference for boys and the development of pre-natal sex determination tests like ultrasound in the 1980s, meant an increase in the number of girls being aborted. Activist Manisha Gupte describes how she campaigned, as part of the feminist movement, against sex-selective abortion - including the use of sit-ins and rallies - eventually raising enough awareness to bring about a national law in 1994 - the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. The legislation has had limited effect in a complex society with entrenched male preference and poverty. Manisha has been speaking to Josephine McDermott. (Photo: Campaigners rally against fetal sex selection in Mumbai in the 1980s. Credit: Dr Vibhuti Patel)
02/11/22·9m 1s

Albania’s Stalinist purges

In the 1970s, Albania’s Stalinist leader, Enver Hoxha, launched a new series of purges against government ministers and officials, following numerous purges in previous decades. Those accused of being ‘enemies’ of the ruling Party of Labour were executed or received lengthy prison sentences. Their families were punished too. Many were sent into internal exile and forced to work in the fields. Rob Walker speaks to Kozara Kati whose father was imprisoned in 1975. She spent 15 years in a camp with her mother, brother and sister. Rob also hears from Fred Abrahams, long term researcher and writer on Albania, who is the author of ‘Modern Albania: From Dictatorship to Democracy in Europe’. (Photo: Enver Hoxha embraces Chinese Leader Yao Wen-Yuan 1967. Credit: Keystone-France, Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
01/11/22·12m 8s

The Little Black Book survival guide

In 1985, Carol Taylor wrote a survival guide for young black men in the Unites Stated who were stopped by the police. Her son, Laurence Legall, tells Ashley Byrne the story of the small and important book created by his mum to help young black men stay safe on the streets of New York. It all began when Laurence went shopping and was robbed but the police didn’t take his complaint seriously. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Carol Taylor. Credit: Laurence Legall)
31/10/22·9m 2s

Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech

In October 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard made an impromptu speech in the Australian parliament setting out the misogyny she endured for years as a prominent female politician. Ten years on, she discusses with Alex Collins her career defining-speech which has been viewed online by millions of people. (Photo: Julia Gillard giving her misogyny speech. Credit: PA)
28/10/22·8m 59s

Arrested for wearing trousers in Sudan

In 1991, a law was introduced in Sudan which was used to control how women acted and dressed in public. It resulted in arrests, beatings and even deaths during the 30 years it was in place. Amiera Osman Hamed was arrested and fined for wearing trousers in 2002. She’s been speaking to Laura Jones. (Photo: Amiera Osman Hamed. Credit: Amiera Osman Hamed)
27/10/22·11m 3s

Theatre siege in Moscow

It is 20 years since heavily-armed Chechen rebels took an entire theatre full of people hostage. They threatened to kill them all if the Russian government didn't call off the war in Chechnya. When Russian special forces stormed the theatre they let off gas to stun the Chechens - it killed many of the hostages as well. In this programme first broadcast in 2012 Dina Newman speaks to one of the survivors, Prof Alex Bobik. (Photo: Chechen rebel on Russian TV. Credit: Getty Images)
26/10/22·11m 3s

The Iranian Revolution and women

Many women supported Iran’s 1979 revolution against the monarchy but some later became disillusioned. Islamic rules about how women dressed were just one of the things that women objected to. Sharan Tabari spoke to Lucy Burns in 2014 about her experiences during, and after, the Iranian Revolution. (Photo: Iranian women at the 1 May 1979 protest. Credit: Getty Images)
25/10/22·11m 4s

Indonesia’s indigenous people take a stand

In 1998 President Suharto of Indonesia resigned after more than thirty years of military rule. It meant people from indigenous communities were finally free to speak out after years of being ignored. Tribal leaders seized their chance to gather together at the first ever Congress of Indigenous People of the Archipelago in Jakarta in 1999. Laura Jones has been speaking to Rukka Sombolinggi. (Photo: People in tribal dress at the Congress of Indigenous People of the Archipelago in 1999. Credit: Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, the Indigenous Peoples' Alliance of the Archipelago)
24/10/22·10m 50s

Founder of the Cuban National Ballet

We go back to 1959 when Cuba’s most famous ballet dancer Alicia Alonso turned her back on a successful career on the world stage and returned home to form Cuba’s National Ballet Company. She spoke to Mike Lanchin in 2015. (Photo: Alicia Alonso. Credit: Alicia Alonso)
21/10/22·10m 54s

Cuba's boxing ban

Earlier this year, Cuba lifted a 60-year ban on professional boxing, which Fidel Castro imposed in 1962. Before then, amateur boxers who wanted to turn pro, had to risk everything in order to defect. Rachel Naylor speaks to Mike ‘The Rebel’ Perez, who escaped in 2007 with the assistance of Mexican gangsters, a fishing boat and an Irish promoter. (Photo: Mike Perez (right) and Bryant Jennings during their heavyweight bout at Madison Square Garden on 26 July 2014 in New York. Credit: Getty Images)
20/10/22·9m 13s

The ‘army’ that taught Cuba to read and write

In 1961, Fidel Castro launched a nationwide campaign aimed to eradicate illiteracy in Cuba. An ‘army’ of volunteers known as brigadistas equipped with books and pencils travelled across the country to teach people how to read and write. Alex Collins spoke to Rosa Hernandez Acosta who taught many adults even though she was a 10-year-old schoolgirl herself. (Photo: Rosa Hernandez Acosta. Credit: Kian Seara)
19/10/22·8m 31s

Cuban Missile Crisis: The showdown

Jo Fidgen hears what was happening in the Pentagon and the Kremlin in the final days of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev finally offered to withdraw the missiles as the crisis came to a head. In 2012, his son Sergei remembered those fraught few days. (Photo: Nikita and Sergei Khrushchev. Credit: Sergei Khrushchev)
18/10/22·10m 51s

Cuban Missile Crisis: The photos

In 1962, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Jo Fidgen spoke to American Intelligence officer Dino Brugioni who played a crucial role as the crisis unfolded. Dino was a CIA expert whose job was to interpret the photographs of missiles in Cuba. This programme was first broadcast in 2012. (Photo: Dino Brugioni. Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images)
17/10/22·10m 49s

Cesar Chavez’s campaign for farm workers

In the 1960s, a wave of strikes and protest marches by Mexican-American farm workers inspired Latinos across the US. The movement was led by Cesar Chavez - a man now regarded by his community as a civil rights hero. Dolores Huerta, who coined the slogan “yes we can!”, worked closely with Chavez. She spoke to Simon Watts in this programme first broadcast in 2012. (Photo: Cesar Chavez pointing in front of a crowd at a protest. Credit: Getty Images)
14/10/22·10m 10s

Torturing strikers in South Korea

Park Heongjun takes us back to May 1980, when a strike in the city of Gwangju became one of the most divisive moments in South Korea’s history and led to the imprisonment of activist Bae Ok Byoung. She worked in a factory making wigs and along with other female employees, went on strike to demand better working conditions. In this programme first broadcast in 2021, Bae recalls the brutal crackdown by authorities and describes the torture she suffered after her arrest. This is a 2 Degrees West production for BBC World Service. This programme contains descriptions of torture. (Photo: Labour activist Bae Ok Byoung talking to some of the workers at the wig factory in Seoul where she worked in 1980. Credit: Bae Ok Byoung)
12/10/22·9m 3s

Disney animators' strike

Walt Disney cartoonists went on strike for nine weeks in 1941. They were led by Art Babbitt, Disney’s top animator who created Goofy. The picket line was remarkable for its colourful artwork and support from Hollywood actors. The confrontation was rooted in the paranoia of the day – the infiltration of communism into American life, as Art Babbitt explains in BBC archive recordings presented by Josephine McDermott. (Photo: Art Babbitt leads Disney animators holding placards with cartoon characters at a film premiere. Credit: Kosti Ruohomaa, a former Disney worker, courtesy of Cowan-Fouts Collection)
11/10/22·9m 5s

UK’s ‘Winter of Discontent’

In 1979, British public sector workers went on strike over pay. Among those taking industrial action were gravediggers. But the media, politicians and even their own families turned against them at the thought of bodies being left unburied. Claire Bowes spoke to the gravediggers’ convener Ian Lowes in 2011. (Photo: Protestors during the 'Winter of Discontent'. Credit: Getty Images)
10/10/22·10m 28s

The beginnings of Notting Hill Carnival

On 30 January 1959, the late Trinidadian activist Claudia Jones held a Caribbean party in St Pancras Town Hall in London, planting the seeds for the famous carnival. She wanted to bring Caribbeans across the UK's capital together for dancing, singing and steel bands. Rachel Naylor hears from her best friend, Corinne Skinner-Carter. (Photo: A woman having a good time at Claudia Jones' Caribbean carnival, at St Pancras Town Hall in London, 1959. Credit: Daily Mirror via Getty Images)
07/10/22·10m 21s

The Harder They Come

In 1972, a low-budget Jamaican film and its legendary soundtrack helped popularise reggae music in the world. Ben Henderson speaks to one of the most famous reggae artists ever, Jimmy Cliff, who played the film's protagonist and wrote a number of the songs. Jimmy explains why the film was so popular and how it reflected his own life. 'The Harder They Come' was produced by International Films Inc. (Photo: Jimmy Cliff in 'The Harder They Come'. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images)
06/10/22·10m 16s

The fall of Slobodan Milosevic

On 5 October 2000, protests in the Yugoslav capital Belgrade spiralled into an attack on the parliament building. Hours later President Slobodan Milosevic stood down. Mark Lowen spoke to Srdja Popovic - one of the leaders of the student-led opposition movement - in 2010. (Photo: Demonstrators and police at the Belgrade parliament. Credit: Getty Images)
05/10/22·10m 31s

The release of Gilad Shalit

On 18 October 2011, Israeli solider Gilad Shalit was freed after spending over five years in captivity in Gaza. His release was part of a controversial prisoner exchange which saw more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails. Alex Collins talks to Israeli spy, David Meidan, who was successful in negotiations where others had failed. (Photo: Gilad Shalit and David Meidan standing directly behind him. Credit: IDF via Getty Images)
04/10/22·8m 57s

The funk and soul club that changed Manchester

In 1962, Nigerian man Phil Magbotiwan opened a brand new nightclub in Manchester, England. In part because of his own personal experiences of racism, Phil wanted to create somewhere where everyone would be welcome – Manchester’s first racially inclusive nightclub. The Reno was born. The nightclub became a particularly important space for Manchester's mixed heritage community, who felt unwelcome in city centre venues. Phil’s youngest daughter, Lisa Ayegun shares her memories, of the Reno and her dad, with Matt Pintus. This programme contains descriptions of racial discrimination. (Photo: Phil Magbotiwan (right) standing in front of the Reno nightclub in Manchester. Credit: The Magbotiwan family)
03/10/22·10m 10s

Dassler brothers’ rift

In 1948, brothers Adi and Rudi Dassler who lived in a small German town fell out. They went on to create globally renowned sportswear firms Adidas and Puma. Adi Dassler played a crucial role in West Germany's victory in the 1954 World Cup with his game-changing footwear. Reena Stanton-Sharma hears from Adi Dassler’s daughter Sigi Dassler, who remembers her dad’s obsession with sports shoes and talks about her fondness for rappers Run-DMC who paid tribute to her dad’s shoes in their 1986 song My Adidas. (Photo: Adi Dassler. Credit: Brauner/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
30/09/22·10m 21s

The raising of the Mary Rose

It’s 40 years since a wrecked English Tudor warship was brought back to the surface. On 11 October 1982, 60 million people worldwide watched the extraordinary feat live on television – the raising of the 400-year-old Mary Rose – from the seabed off the south coast of England. Susan Hulme spoke to Christopher Dobbs, one of the archaeologists who helped excavate the Mary Rose. This programme was first broadcast in 2017. (Photo: The Mary Rose is raised above the water by a crane near Portsmouth Harbour, 11 October 1982. Credit: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
29/09/22·10m 51s

Castrating Pablo Escobar's hippos

When drug kingpin Pablo Escobar died in 1993 having built a billion dollar cocaine empire, he left behind a zoo. While his rhinos, giraffes, elephants and kangaroos were re-housed, the hippos were left in Escobar’s abandoned ranch in the Colombian countryside. In 2007 they started turning up 100 kilometres away, frightening fishermen. Vet Carlos Valderrama was called in to tackle the problem. He describes to Josephine McDermott his experience of the first ever castration of a hippo in the wild. (Photo: Carlos Valderrama castrating the hippo. Credit: Carlos Valderrama)
28/09/22·9m 45s

The power of Jomo Kenyatta

In the 1970s, Sharad Rao was Kenya’s assistant director of public prosecutions, working closely with Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta who was seen as ruthless and unpredictable. Rao took the unusual step of defying Kenyatta’s orders by refusing to jail students after they rioted about chapatis in 1972. Rao also tells Alex Collins how he witnessed Kenyatta chasing a British diplomat with a stick. (Photo: Jomo Kenyatta. Credit: BBC)
26/09/22·10m 27s

Festival of Light

In September 1971, Christians from all over the UK held the Nationwide Festival of Light to protest against what they saw, as increasingly liberal attitudes to sex and the change in traditional family values. Katie Edwards hears from three people who attended the event - organiser Peter Hill, Christian activist Celia Bowring and LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who protested against the event. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Nationwide Festival of Light. Credit: Getty Images)
23/09/22·9m 1s

Iran-Iraq War begins

The Iran-Iraq war began on 22 September 1980. It lasted for eight years and became one of the bloodiest wars in recent history. Pooneh Ghoddoosi was just a child when it started - a teenager when it ended. She told her story to Alan Johnston in 2010. (Photo: Iranian artillery, tanks, arms and munitions. Credit: AFP via Getty Images)
22/09/22·10m 37s

The first Pope to visit Africa

In the 1960s, popes rarely left the Vatican City. So it was a major event when Pope Paul VI accepted an invitation to visit Uganda in 1969. Hugh Costello talks to Mobina Jaffer, whose Ismaili Muslim family played an enthusiastic role in welcoming the Pope to the family’s hotel. A Whistledown production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Pope Paul VI meets President of Uganda Apollo Milton Obote. Credit: Getty Images)
21/09/22·9m 5s

Ancient fossils give new insight

In 1967, a major breakthrough was made in our understanding of the evolution of the world. A student discovered fossils at Mistaken Point in Newfoundland, Canada. The fossils give us a record of the oldest multi-cellular organisms to inhabit the earth. Catherine Harvey has been speaking to Dr Shiva Balak Misra about his ground-breaking find. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Image of Newfoundland's shores. Credit: Getty Images)
20/09/22·9m 3s

World War Two child evacuees in Britain

The 1 September 1939 was Kitty Baxter’s ninth birthday, it was also the day her life and millions of other people’s changed with the beginning of World War Two. Kitty was among the hundreds of thousands of children taken out of UK cities and into the countryside, away from the risk of German bombs. She’s been speaking to Laura Jones. (Photo: child evacuees leaving a London train station. Credit: Getty Images)
19/09/22·10m 23s

The last days of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. In this programme from 2010, Claire Bowes looks back on the monarch’s last days. She speaks to the author Tony Rennell and hears recollections from the BBC archive. (Photo: Queen Victoria. Credit: Press Association)
16/09/22·8m 58s

When the Queen opened Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth II first opened her London home to the paying public on 7 August 1993. Tourists were allowed to look round Buckingham Palace while the Royal family was staying elsewhere for the summer. In 2018, Ashley Byrne spoke to former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter. This is a Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: Buckingham Palace. Credit: BBC)
15/09/22·8m 57s

Windsor Castle fire

In November 1992, a fire devastated Windsor Castle - a symbol of the British monarchy and Queen Elizabeth II’s weekend home. Coming at the end of a year of family problems, the blaze upset the Queen deeply and led her to declare 1992 her ‘annus horribilis’. In 2012, Simon Watts spoke to Sir Hugh Roberts, one of Her Majesty’s art experts. (Photo: Windsor Castle on fire. Credit: Press Association)
14/09/22·8m 58s

Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Derby

A few days after Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, she had her best chance of owning the winner of the Derby, but first the horse would have to beat the British public’s favourite jockey. Peter O’Sullevan talked to Julian Bedford in this programme first broadcast in 2012. (Photo: Champion jockey Sir Gordon Richards being led in after winning the Coronation Derby on 'Pinza'. Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)
13/09/22·8m 57s

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

In June 1953, the young Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. Two of her Maids of Honour, Lady Anne Glenconner and Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart, share their memories of Coronation Day. This programme, presented by Claire Bowes, was first broadcast in 2013. (Photo: Queen Elizabeth II in a carriage during the Coronation. Credit: Getty Images)
12/09/22·8m 57s

The car that charmed Brazil

Since its launch in the 1950s, the Brazilian version of the VW Beetle has had a special place in the nation's heart. Cheap, charismatic and virtually indestructible, it was many Brazilians' first car and is affectionately known as the Fusca. The Fusca played a key role in the development of Brazil's economically and politically vital national car industry. In 2014, Candace Piette spoke to two Fusca superfans, Silio Boccanera and Edivaldo Fernandes. (Photo: A Fusca in the colonial town of Paraty. Credit: Getty Images)
10/09/22·9m 34s

The Candelaria child massacre

In 1993, eight homeless children were murdered outside the Candelaria church in Rio De Janeiro. The murders caused international outrage and put a spotlight on corrupt policing in Brazil. Matt Pintus has been speaking to Yvonne Bezerra de Mello, a social worker and teacher who had worked with the Candelaria children for years before the massacre. (Photo: Yvonne Bezerra de Mello with the Candelaria children, Credit: courtesy of Yvonne Bezerra de Mello)
08/09/22·9m 40s

Building of Brasilia

In 1960, Brazil opened a new capital city in its remote central plains. The city was designed by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer and was supposed to symbolise Brazil's future ambitions. In 2014, Claire Bowes spoke to Osorio Machado, an engineer who worked on the city's construction. (Photo: The building of Brasilia. Credit: Getty Images)
07/09/22·9m 27s

The murder that shocked Brazil

In 2002, an investigative journalist called Tim Lopes was brutally killed by a drug gang in Rio de Janeiro. The murder sent shockwaves throughout Brazil. His son, Bruno Quintella, spoke to Mike Lanchin in 2014. This programme contains descriptions of violence and some listeners may find parts of it distressing. (Photo: Tim Lopes and his son, Bruno, courtesy of the family)
06/09/22·9m 25s

Doomed hero of Brazilian democracy

In March 1985, Brazil experienced the most traumatic moment in its transition to democracy when the first civilian president-elect in more than 20 years was rushed to hospital on the eve of his inauguration. Tancredo Neves, who had led political opposition to military rule in Brazil, eventually died 38 days later. He is now regarded as a hero in Brazil. In 2018, Simon Watts spoke to Tancredo Neves' press secretary, Antonio Britto. (Photo: Tancredo Neves, centre, on a visit to Spain. Credit: Getty Images)
05/09/22·8m 46s

Mikhail Gorbachev: Release of Irina Ratushinskaya

Mikhail Gorbachev - the last leader of the Soviet Union - has died aged 91. On the eve of an important summit on nuclear disarmament between the Soviet Union and America in October 1986, Gorbachev ordered the release of a dissident poet called Irina Ratushinskaya. In 2012, Louise Hidalgo spoke to Irina about her imprisonment, her poetry, and the day she was set free. (Photo: Irina and her husband Igor, arriving in London in December 1986. Credit: Topfoto)
02/09/22·10m 21s

Mikhail Gorbachev: Perestroika

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has died aged 91. Gorbachev came to power in 1985 at a time when the Soviet economy was on the brink of collapse. He introduced a radical reform programme called Perestroika. 25 years on from Perestroika, in 2012, Louise Hidalgo spoke to three people who remembered those exciting days in Moscow. (Photo: Mikhail Gorbachev (centre right) meets with participants of the Warsaw Pact Foreign Ministers' Committee in Moscow on March 25, 1987 Credit: AFP / Getty Images)
01/09/22·10m 21s

Princess Diana dances with John Travolta

It's the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in an underground tunnel in central Paris on the 31st August 1997. She was one of the most famous and glamorous women in the world - a mega star. In 1985, Princess Diana and Prince Charles made their first joint visit to the US. The highlight of the tour was a gala dinner at the White House where the young princess danced with the star of Saturday Night Fever John Travolta. Speaking in 2011, the Daily Mirror’s royal correspondent James Whitaker told Kirsty Reid about the glamorous night. Image: John Travolta dances with Princess Diana at a White House dinner, November 9th 1985 (Credit: Reuters/File photo)
31/08/22·9m 1s

The 'Last Indian'

In 1911, a mysterious Native American man called Ishi emerged from the North Californian forest after more than three decades in hiding. He is thought to be the last survivor from the Yahi tribe. Ishi became a tourist attraction in San Francisco and many recordings were made of his stories and music. In 2012, Louise Hidalgo retraced his story. She spoke to the author Ursula Le Guin and filmmaker Jed Riffe. (Photo: Ishi. Credit: Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California)
30/08/22·9m 2s

Marikana Massacre

On 16 August 2012, police shot dead 34 striking miners at a platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa. It was one of the bloodiest police operations since apartheid. Rachel Naylor speaks to one of the survivors, Mzoxolo Magidiwana, who was shot nine times. (Photo: Miners on strike in Marikana, demanding a pay rise, on 16 August 2012. Credit: AFP/GettyImages)
29/08/22·8m 59s

India's onion election

In January 1980, Indira Gandhi's Congress (I) party was voted into power in India. Before the election, inflation meant that onions were unaffordable for many Indians and became a big election issue. Indira Gandhi used the issue to appeal to voters during her campaign which would help to secure her victory that year. Reena Stanton-Sharma speaks to Suda Pai, a former professor of political science at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Image: Vendor Pushing Cart With Onions On Road. Credit: Venkataramana Allam / EyeEm
26/08/22·10m 16s

The 'Nixon Shock' and the end of the Gold Standard

In 1971, inflation was a huge problem in the USA so the President, Richard Nixon, made one of the most drastic moves in economic history: abandoning the Gold Standard. It became known as the 'Nixon Shock' and nearly caused a trade war between America and its allies. But, it also saved the US' economy from a crisis. Ben Henderson spoke to Bob Hormats, an economic adviser in the Nixon administration, who was at the heart of decision-making. (Picture from Bettmann via Getty Images: President Nixon with his economic advisers in 1971)
25/08/22·10m 16s

The Gay Games

It has been 40 years since the first ever Gay Games were held in San Francisco. Attracting a large crowd and featuring more than 1,000 athletes from more than 100 countries, the event was organised by a group of LGBT activists, including former Olympians, to raise awareness about homophobia in sport. The Gay Games are now held every four years at venues around the world. In 2019, Ashley Byrne spoke to organiser Sara Waddell Lewinstein and athlete Rick Tomin. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. Photo: An athlete at the first Gay Games. Credit: Getty Images.
24/08/22·10m 15s

Hundreds die in Darayya

Ten years ago, Syrian government soldiers surrounded Darayya, a suburb of Damascus, bombing buildings and searching for people opposed to President Assad. Hundreds of people died over four days. Mohamad Zarda was there and has been speaking to Laura Jones. This episode contains descriptions of violence. (Image shows a Syrian government tank in Darayya in 2016 during the four year siege. Credit: Getty Images)
23/08/22·9m 3s

Bulgaria's cash crisis

In 1997, Bulgaria was in financial meltdown with hyperinflation making money in the country worth a lot less. Bulgaria had emerged out of communism following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. Like other post-Soviet regimes in eastern Europe, the country found the transition from communism to capitalism harder than expected. The President of Bulgaria, Petar Stoyanov, knew he had to do something and a recovery plan from one of Ronald Reagan’s former economic advisers was on the table. But would it work? Matt Pintus has been speaking to the economist, Steve Hanke. Photo: Steve Hanke and Liliane Hanke meet Petar Stoyanov. Credit: Steve Hanke
22/08/22·10m 16s

The Bard of Bengal

In August 1941, one of the greatest poets India has ever produced died. Known as the "Bard of Bengal", Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. Farhana Haider spoke to Professor Bashabi Fraser, Director of the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies, in 2017. Photo: June 1921, Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore in London. Credit: Getty Images
19/08/22·9m 0s

The death of Jawaharlal Nehru

In May 1964 India's first prime minister and the man who led India to independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, died. On the 50th anniversary of his death in 2014, Nehru's niece, the writer Nayantara Sahgal, shared memories of her famous uncle with Louise Hidalgo. Photo: Indira Gandhi paying her respects at the body of her father, Jawaharlal Nehru.(AFP/Getty Images)
18/08/22·10m 45s

The last Viceroy of India

The daughter of the last British Viceroy in India, Lord Mountbatten, remembers the transfer of power in 1947. Lady Pamela Hicks accompanied her father as he attended celebrations in both Karachi and Delhi. She remembers encounters both with Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, and Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India. Lady Hicks spoke to Louise Hidalgo in 2012. Photo shows Lord and Lady Mountbatten travelling by carriage and shaking hands with crowds in the streets of New Delhi on the 15th August 1947. Credit: Getty Images.
17/08/22·10m 40s

India's Partition - Part Two

The partition of India led to millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs fleeing their homes during horrific religious violence. This is the second of two programmes remembering that time. Lucy Williams spoke to Chandra Joashi, was only 12-years-old when his family was caught on the wrong side of the dividing line. This episode was first broadcast in 2010. Photo: Millions of families became refugees after the partition of India in 1947 Credit: Keystone-France / Contributor
16/08/22·10m 37s

India's Partition - Part One

The partition of India led to millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs fleeing their homes amid horrific violence. This is the first of two programmes remembering that time. Listen to the story of Saleem, who was only five-years-old when his family tried to escape to the new Muslim country of Pakistan. This programme was first broadcast in 2010. Photo: Wrecked buildings after communal riots in Amritsar, Punjab, during the Partition of British India, March 1947 Credit: Keystone Features / Stringer
15/08/22·10m 43s

The nightclub that changed Ibiza

In June 1973, the nightclub Pacha opened in Ibiza. Other clubs with the capacity to fit thousands of people on the dancefloor opened in the years after, turning Ibiza into a destination for music and party lovers from around the world. Vicky Carter speaks to Carlos Martorell who organised Pacha’s opening party and Francis Van Orden, a Dutch hippy who danced all night on the opening night. (Photo: Sunset over the sea with boats in the distance. Credit: BBC and Minnow Films)
12/08/22·10m 9s

Discovering Hale Bopp

Hale Bopp is one of the most widely observed comets of the 20th century. Its discovery in 1995 resulted in huge advances in science. Russell Crewe spoke to astronomer Dr Alan Hale who discovered the comet alongside Tom Bopp. This is a Made in Manchester production for the BBC World Service. (Photo: Hale Bopp Comet in the night sky. Credit: Getty Images)
11/08/22·9m 1s

Indonesia's forest fires

Twenty five years ago in Indonesia, some of the worst forest fires in history devastated the environment and resulted in a smog which engulfed South East Asia for months. The fires, which were set deliberately, burned out of control for months. Mesdiono Matali Samad, known as Memes, worked on the Indonesian Red Cross relief effort helping people in East Kalimantan, Borneo. He's been speaking to Laura Jones.
10/08/22·10m 31s

Sweden’s pronoun battle

Sweden has a long history of championing LGBTQ+ rights. But campaigners spent years battling to get the gender-neutral personal pronoun ‘hen’ included in Swedish dictionaries. The word was finally added in 2015. Maddy Savage spoke to Nasim Aghili from the "queer" art collective Ful, which rallied to get the word recognised. This is a Bespoken Media production for the BBC World Service. (Photo: Nasim Aghili. Credit: Thomas Straub)
09/08/22·9m 0s

The resignation of President Nixon

On 8 August 1974 Richard Nixon became the first US president in history to resign from office, following the Watergate scandal. In 2014, Farhana Haider spoke to journalist Tom DeFrank, who watched the drama unfold minute by minute. (Photo: Nixon announces his resignation on national television. Credit: Getty Images)
08/08/22·8m 56s

The return of Asians to Uganda

When President Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986, he encouraged exiled Asians to return to Uganda and reclaim their homes and businesses to help rebuild the country. The economy had collapsed under the dictator Idi Amin after he expelled the Asian population in 1972. Dr Mumtaz Kassam went back to Uganda years after arriving in the UK as a refugee. She talks to Reena Stanton-Sharma about returning to her birthplace. Caption: Dr. Mumtaz Kassam receiving a Golden Jubilee Presidential medal at the 56th independence celebrations. Credit: Dr Mumtaz Kassam The following programme has been updated since its original broadcast.
05/08/22·8m 57s

The city shaped by Ugandan Asians

Thousands of Asians who were expelled from Uganda in 1972, settled in the UK and many made Leicester their home. Their arrival in the East Midlands helped to shape its identity and now Leicester plays host to the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India. Nisha Popat was nine-years-old when she arrived in the city with her family who later opened up a restaurant in the area that became known as the Golden Mile. Reena Stanton-Sharma spoke to her about moving there in the 70s as a child. This programme contains descriptions of racial discrimination. Caption: Nisha Popat at the Bobby's deli counter Credit: Nisha Popat
04/08/22·10m 45s

The exodus of Asians from Uganda

In 1972, the dictator Idi Amin announced that all Asians had just 90 days to leave Uganda. Teacher Nurdin Dawood, who had a young family, didn't at first believe that Amin was serious. But soon he was desperately searching for a new country to call home. Farhana Dawood spoke to her father Nurdin Dawood in 2011. This programme contains descriptions of racial discrimination. Caption: President of Uganda Idi Amin. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images
03/08/22·9m 11s

When Asians were forced to leave Kenya

Many South Asians migrated to Kenya in the early 20th century. They lived in a society divided by race and experienced discrimination from the white rulers, and after Independence, from black Kenyans too. Saleem Sheikh’s parents fled South Asia for Kenya to escape the violence of partition. His family joined a thriving Asian community there. But, they were forced to leave in 1967 after a rise in violence against the Asian population. This programme contains descriptions of racial discrimination. (Photograph of Saleem Sheikh (bottom right) with his brothers and sisters in Nairobi, Kenya in the 1960s)
02/08/22·10m 46s

Why Asians came to Uganda

In the early 20th century, South Asians migrated to Uganda in search of a better life. Jamie Govani’s grandparents married in Gujarat, India, in the 1920s. They were excited by the economic prospects in Uganda so they moved there with their young family. Jamie told Ben Henderson how it was a wonderful place to grow up, but racial segregation lingered in the background, and things began to change after Ugandan independence in 1962. (Picture of Jamie Govani's family in Uganda in the 1950s) The following programme has been updated since its original broadcast.
01/08/22·10m 47s

The Leaflet Bomber

In 1971, young communist Bob Newland left the UK and headed to South Africa to take part in a secret mission to support the African National Congress. Known as one of the London Recruits, he took gunpowder from the UK to make bombs that would scatter leaflets on the streets containing information that a post Apartheid South Africa was possible. Bob has been speaking to Alex Collins.
01/08/22·9m 3s

The Tangshan Earthquake

On 28 July 1976, one of the deadliest earthquakes in modern history hit the city of Tangshan in north-eastern China - killing hundreds of thousands of people. Lucy Burns spoke to eye-witness Yu Suyun in 2016. (Photo: A building in Tangshan after the earthquake. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
28/07/22·9m 58s

Inventing nicotine patches

By the 1990s, nicotine patches became commercially available all over the world but their origins go back to the early 1980s, when Dr Daniel Rose suggested to his brother Professor Jed Rose, to look into creating a nicotine patch. The idea turned into an invention with the help of Murray Jarvik. Professor Rose tells his story to Ashley Byrne. A Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service. (Photo: image of a nicotine patch on a man's chest. Credit: Getty Images)
27/07/22·9m 1s

The Surkov leaks

In 2016, Ukrainian hackers leaked thousands of emails belonging to Russian President Vladimir Putin's right hand man, Vladislav Surkov. They provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Kremlin and fresh insight into the invasion in Ukraine. Rachel Naylor speaks to Alya Shandra, the journalist who read them all. (Photo: Vladislav Surkov in 2008. Credit: DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)
26/07/22·8m 57s

Ukraine's Revolution on Granite

In 1990, Ukrainian students went on a hunger strike that helped bring down the Soviet regime there. It took place in Kyiv’s central square and inspired later protests against Russian influence in Ukraine: the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 Maidan Revolution. The granite floor of the square provided its name: the ‘Revolution on Granite’. Ben Henderson spoke to Oksana Zabuzhko, an award-winning Ukrainian author, who participated in the protest when she was a recent university graduate. (Photo: Oksana Zabuzhko wearing a red jumper at the Revolution on Granite in 1990)
25/07/22·10m 3s
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