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Outlook

Extraordinary first person stories from around the world

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  • 25.02.2021
    8 MB
    17:31
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    Egypt's only woman rally driver who "dances with the dunes"

    Yara Shalaby is Egypt's first female rally driver. She's mastered the sport in some of the country's toughest desert terrain, while also putting up with a lot of detractors - people telling her that women can't drive. In spite of that, she's risen up in the sport and has beaten many of her male competitors in the process.Get in touch: [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Catrin ManelPicture and credit: Yara Shalaby

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  • 24.02.2021
    9 MB
    20:31
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    Jail Time Records - songs from a Cameroon prison

    Vidou H was a music producer and DJ with an enviable life in Cameroon, but everything changed when he and his brothers were falsely accused of murder. He was sent to a tough overcrowded prison to await trial, a process that took two years. For much of that time he had no access to music, until a recording studio was set up inside, the idea of an Italian artist called Dione Roach. Dione hoped music could help with rehabilitation and Vidou H was quickly put in charge of the production side. He started making an album with the talent he found in prison. The result is the soon to be released Jail Time Records Vol.1. Get in touch: [email protected]: Music producer Vidou H Credit: Dione Roach

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  • 22.02.2021
    18 MB
    39:12
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    We discovered we were stolen as babies

    In 1975, when Maria Diemar was two months old, she was flown more than 8000 miles from Chile to Sweden to meet her adoptive parents. They couldn't have children of their own, and thought they could offer a home to a child from a poorer country. Two years later, they brought over another baby from Chile, just a few weeks old, and called him Daniel. The adoption agency didn't have much information about the children's biological parents, but were clear that - to their knowledge - their birth mothers had given them up willingly. Growing up, it wasn't easy for Maria or Daniel to live with the knowledge that they'd been given away. Both experienced discrimination in Sweden as a result of their skin colour. Daniel struggled with depression. Desperate to know more about where they came from, Maria set out to find the truth about their backgrounds, only to discover that they were part of a national scandal in Chile.Get in touch: [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Laura ThomasPicture: Maria Diemar and Daniel Olsson Credit: Maria Diemar

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  • 19.02.2021
    18 MB
    38:50
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    Swimming with polar bears – a photographer’s 'crazy' dream

    The list of underwater predators that Amos Nachoum has photographed is long - it includes the Nile crocodile, the great white shark, orcas, anacondas and many other creatures that most of us would hope never to encounter. But for Amos that list was incomplete, his dream, his white whale, was to swim with a polar bear and photograph it. His first attempt went badly wrong, but it did not deter him and in 2015 he made his second attempt. He shares his account of that adventure with Outlook's Saskia Edwards.The documentary about Amos’ expedition to swim with the polar bear is Picture of His Life by Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir.Get in touch: [email protected]: Saskia Edwards Producer: Fiona WoodsPicture: Swimming polar bears Credit: Amos Nachoum

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  • 17.02.2021
    8 MB
    17:28
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    Mary Wilson: her life as a Supreme

    Last week the singer Mary Wilson died at the age of 76. She was born to a poor family in Mississippi, the daughter of an itinerant worker and a mother who couldn't read or write, but she grew up to be a legend of Motown, co-founder of one of the most successful groups of all time: The Supremes. In an interview from the Outlook archives, Mary describes her childhood, why she hated some of their early hits and what really happened with Diana Ross. Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam MarufPicture: The Supremes, circa 1960 (L-R) Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross Credit: Getty Images

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  • 16.02.2021
    18 MB
    38:32
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    Setting up a fake mafia to catch El Chapo

    Infiltrating mobs, taking down contract killers and busting drug rings; this was the job of Special Agent Mike McGowan during his 30 year career in the FBI. He was already the expert in undercover operations at the bureau when he was handed the "superbowl" of cases - to bring down the Mexican drug lord El Chapo. In a sting that lasted four years, Mike and his team of agents convinced the notorious Sinaloa cartel that they too were an established crime organisation. He tells Outlook's Saskia Edwards about using dog psychology and a purple velour bathrobe to fool some of the world's most dangerous criminals.His book is called Ghost: My Thirty Years as an FBI Undercover AgentGet in touch: [email protected]: Saskia Edwards Producers: Saskia Edwards and Mariana Des ForgesPicture: SA Mike McGowan on the job Credit: Courtesy of Mike McGowan

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  • 15.02.2021
    18 MB
    38:39
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    The scavenger who found a brass symphony

    Ronald Kabuye grew up in the Katwe slums of Kampala, Uganda, scavenging for food and trying to sell scrap metal for cash. One day in the street he saw a performance by the M-Lisada marching band, a group made up of children from a local orphanage. Ronald was enthralled. He joined the band, took up the trombone, and learned to read music. Performing gave him an escape and ultimately the opportunity to travel the world and play with some of the world's most influential musicians.Ronald is now a music teacher for the charity Brass for Africa. One of his pupils is Sumayya Nabakooza, who has overcome tough opposition to become one of very few female tuba players in Africa. They both share their story with Outlook's Anu Anand.Get in touch: [email protected]: Anu Anand Producer: Katy TakatsukiPicture: Ronald Kabuye Credit: Brass For Africa

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  • 14.02.2021
    12 MB
    26:26
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    The making of the 'Wish Man'

    Frank Shankwitz was the co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organisation that since 1980 has granted hundreds of thousands of wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Frank’s inspiration came from his own difficult childhood, a near-death experience and an encounter with a 7-year-old boy named Chris Greicius. Frank passed away recently; he spoke to Outlook's Andrea Kennedy about his extraordinary life in October 2019.Presenter: Andrea Kennedy Producer: Tom Harding AssinderPicture: Frank Shankwitz and Chris Greicius Credit: Frank ShankwitzGet in touch: [email protected]

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  • 10.02.2021
    15 MB
    33:09
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    The voyage of The Fisherman's Friends

    As the craze for sea shanties (started by Scottish postman Nathan Evans) continues to grow on social media worldwide, Outlook returns to Port Isaac, a tiny English village, where in 2019 Emily Webb met the sea shanty band The Fisherman’s Friends.The group got together 25 years ago and started singing sea shanties, which are a type of maritime song. After a chance encounter with a BBC radio DJ, Johnnie Walker, they ended up landing a £1 million record contract. Much to the group’s surprise, their album rose up the charts and they went on to play the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury Festival. Things were going well until 2013, when an accident backstage at one of their gigs killed singer Trevor Grills and the band’s tour manager Paul McMullen. The band didn’t perform for a year and in fact had no intention of singing again. However, they returned to the stage and have had a feature film made about them, Fisherman’s Friends.Presenter: Emily WebbImage Credit: Chris Hewitt

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  • 09.02.2021
    10 MB
    22:52
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    The broken computer that unlocked my fortune

    Freddie Figgers was abandoned as a baby by some rubbish bins. An elderly couple took him in and taught him right from wrong. He taught himself how to build a computer. When his beloved adoptive father got severe dementia, Freddie invented a special shoe with a GPS and two-way comms inside so he could always find him again. This was the beginning of his journey to becoming the youngest person in the US and the only African American to get a licence as a telecoms operator. Now worth millions of dollars, he has helped thousands of others through his Foundation and healthcare platform.Image: Courtesy of Freddie FiggersPresenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Sophie Eastaugh

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  • 08.02.2021
    10 MB
    22:53
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    The record-breaking runner who hated her legs

    Mimi Anderson started running at the age of 36. She wanted more shapely legs and so hit the gym. Mimi had a history of eating disorders, but her newfound love of running forced a change in her relationship with food and her body image. She went on to become a record-breaking endurance athlete completing feats such as the Marathon des Sables and becoming the fastest woman to run the length of Great Britain. The training and competitions did lead to those thinner legs. But when she got them, she realised she didn't want or need them anymore. Her latest book is called Limitless.Picture credit Mikkel Beisner

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  • 04.02.2021
    18 MB
    39:26
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    My life by Whitney Houston's side

    Robyn Crawford and Whitney Houston met as teenagers on a summer's day in 1980 and become inseparable for two decades. Robyn was Whitney Houston's personal assistant, for a while her lover, and always her closest friend. They toured the world together as Whitney became an international superstar. But Robyn also remembers witnessing Whitney's struggle with a drug addiction that would ultimately end her life. After years of silence Robyn finally opened up about their relationship in 2019 with her memoir A Song for You.Archive from this programme is courtesy of CBS, ABC, Sky and OWN.Get in touch: [email protected] by Emily Webb Produced by Mariana Des ForgesPicture: (L-R) Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford in the 1980s Credit: Robyn Crawford

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  • 03.02.2021
    11 MB
    23:32
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    Inside the hospitals of lockdown Wuhan

    When Chinese-American film director Hao Wu was approached to make a film about the 76 days of lockdown in Wuhan, he was eager to do it. Based in New York and unable to get back into China as the coronavirus outbreak continued to spread, Hao worked with two co-directors on the ground in Wuhan who got unprecedented access to four hospitals across the city. The resulting film 76 Days tells the moving stories of patients struggling to survive and the kindness of the frontline medical staff trying to save them. The film, co-directed by Weixi Chen and a third anonymous filmmaker, is out now.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: June ChristiePicture: Nurse at a hospital in Wuhan holding a grandmother's hand Credit: DogWoof

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  • 02.02.2021
    19 MB
    40:08
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    That time I DJed from space

    Four extraordinary stories that explore the thrills and chills of live music performances.PJ Powers, the South African singer who became the first white pop star to perform live to a black audience in Soweto during the height of apartheid. (This interview was first broadcast in 2016)Marjorie Eliot, the Harlem jazz pianist who for almost 30 years has been holding free concerts in her living room every Sunday – she does so to honour the memory of her son who died on a Sunday. (This interview was first broadcast in 2015)Luca Parmitano, the Italian astronaut who became the first DJ in orbit, after playing a live set from the International Space Station to a cruise ship of clubbers in Ibiza.The rapso band 3Canal on the origins of J'Ouvert Morning, the pre-dawn dance through the streets of Port of Spain that opens one of the biggest festivals in the Caribbean – the legendary Trinidad Carnival. (This interview was first broadcast in 2016)Presented by Emily WebbGet in touch: [email protected]: Luca Parmitano Credit: World Club Dome/ESA

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  • 01.02.2021
    10 MB
    21:53
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    The gourmet chef who used to beg for food

    Food has always been crucial in Sash Simpson’s life. Growing up alone on the streets of Chennai in India, it was the lack of food that he remembers. But after a chance encounter at a bus station his life was set on a different path which brought him a new family of over 30 adoptive siblings and the opportunity to prove himself in some of the finest kitchens in Toronto. He now has his own restaurant called Sash.Get in touch: [email protected]: Emily Webb Producers: Troy Holmes and Harry GrahamPicture: Sash Simpson with his adoptive mother in India Credit: Courtesy of Sash Simpson

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  • 31.01.2021
    12 MB
    26:29
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    Escaping lockdown in the Coral City

    Colin Foord and Jared McKay are childhood best friends with a passion for aquatic life. As a kid Colin developed a strong love of sea life and would construct his own aquariums. Later, when Jay was suffering from depression, Colin would send him the equipment needed to build his own reef aquarium in his living room. Eventually they installed the Coral City Camera, a webcam streaming live from an urban coral reef in Miami which since lockdown has attracted thousands of dedicated daily viewers like Hollie Withers, searching for connection and a community.Presenter: Clayton Conn. Producers: Clayton Conn, Maryam Maruf and Mariana Des ForgesPicture: marine life in coral city Credit: Coral City Camera

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  • 28.01.2021
    16 MB
    34:10
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    Who says I can't go to school?

    Homeira Qaderi lived for reading and writing. In the mid-1990s, when she was 13 years old, the Taliban banned girls from going to school in Afghanistan, so she set up a secret classroom in her kitchen. She also taught young refugee children in a tent, risking death if she was caught, and sought out a teacher who could secretly instruct her in the art of writing stories. She later went to university in Iran and became a successful writer, academic and women's rights advocate. Homeira has written a memoir as a ‘mother’s letter to her son’, in which she tries to explain to him what growing up as a girl in Afghanistan was like, and the sacrifices she made along the way. She tells Jo Fidgen just how much she has had to battle to pursue her dream.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Rebecca VincentPicture: Homeira Qaderi Credit: Tim Schoon

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  • 26.01.2021
    18 MB
    38:49
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    My abuser used an alien plot to brainwash me

    Warning: This programme contains descriptions of mental and sexual abuse which you may find distressing.In the 1970s child sexual abuse was rarely talked about and for some people, barely understood. So when a trusted member of the community called Bob Berchtold inveigled himself into the Broberg family's lives, becoming like a second father to their three girls, nothing seemed out of place. Berchtold went on to kidnap 12-year-old Jan Broberg, twice, brainwashing her with an elaborate conspiracy that aliens were in charge and the world would end unless she had a baby with him. Decades on, Jan and her mother Mary Ann talk frankly to Jo Fidgen about how the abuser fooled the whole family - and how they eventually rebuilt their lives.This interview contains themes of child sexual abuse which may be difficult and triggering to hear.Details of organisations offering information and support for victims of child sexual abuse are available at bbc.co.uk/actionlineAny comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Sophie EastaughPicture: Jan Broberg as a child with her abuser Bob Berchtold Credit: Courtesy Jan Broberg

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  • 25.01.2021
    11 MB
    23:02
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    The rap star saved by a nursing home

    T La Rock grew up in New York's Bronx and is seen by many as a pioneer of the Hip Hop music genre. He became the first artist to be recorded by Def Jam records and performed around the world, but that all came to a halt when he was attacked and left with 70% memory loss. Struggling to recover, he ended up in a Jewish nursing home where he found an unlikely group of supporters who helped him to perform again. Jo Fidgen spoke to him in 2018.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Katy TakatsukiImage: 'T La Rock' Credit: Stijn Coppens

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  • 24.01.2021
    12 MB
    26:27
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    The Iranian avocado quest that led to prison

    Jason Rezaian was the Washington Post's bureau chief in Tehran. But a tongue-in-cheek campaign to bring avocados to the country caught the attention of the authorities and landed him in Iran's most notorious prison. Jason wrote a book about his experience called Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison. This episode was first released on 4th April 2019.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam MarufImage: Jason Rezaian Credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

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  • 21.01.2021
    18 MB
    38:30
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    'Document everything. Trust no one'

    When the Islamic State group seized control of Mosul in 2014, the local historian Omar Mohammed made a promise to himself and his city: document everything, trust no one. He created the anonymous blog Mosul Eye and risked his life to secretly report the daily atrocities committed by the militants. He lived next door to a senior IS commander and sometimes even went incognito as a baker, grocer or taxi driver just to get more information. It was work that could get him killed and no one knew he was Mosul Eye – not even his mother. But soon, the double life that Omar was leading began taking its toll. Would his cover get blown?Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf and Andrea KennedyPicture: Omar Mohammed Credit: International Festival of JournalismAny comments please email us on [email protected]

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  • 21.01.2021
    11 MB
    22:56
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    ‘I am sinking. This is not a joke. MAYDAY’

    When skipper Kevin Escoffier’s boat broke in half during a storm during the famous Vendée Globe sailing race, he found himself drifting in a life raft, alone at sea. He sent out one text message before his phone died, it said: I am sinking. This is not a joke. MAYDAY. His competitor Jean Le Cam received his distress signal and changed course find him. But when he arrived it was getting dark and there was no sign of Kevin...Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Laura Thomas Picture: Kevin Escoffier's rescue Credit: Marine Nationale / Défense

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  • 19.01.2021
    11 MB
    22:58
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    The Beninese singer hustling for success in New York

    Shirazee is a Beninese musician who's had to hustle hard for success. Born Paolo Prudencio, he experienced a violent robbery, a freak casino win, and a stint of homelessness, before establishing himself as a musician in New York. Now he's got a music deal, and he's even collaborating with the British musician Sting. Shirazee spoke to Outlook's Emily Webb.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Emily Webb Producer: Harry Graham and Deiniol BuxtonPhoto: Shirazee Credit: Emmanuel Agbeble

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  • 18.01.2021
    19 MB
    40:13
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    The match-making tree and other tales of unexpected romance

    Nick and Diane Marson's flight was diverted after the 9/11 attacks. In the wake of one of the darkest periods in modern history, they met each other and found love on a remote island. Their story inspired the musical Come From Away. This interview was first broadcast in 2019.Karl-Heinz Martens is a retired German postman who had a very unusual beat - he delivered thousands of letters to a 600-year-old tree known as Bridegroom's Oak. They were love letters, written by people in the hope that a potential partner might read them and reply. This interview was first broadcast in 2018.Meg and Elena were living oceans apart in Canada and Russia when they met in an online chatroom. Elena's family in Russia couldn't accept that she was in love with a woman so the couple came up with a daring escape plan. They decided to sail tens of thousands of kilometres across the open seas even though they didn't have the skills or experience for such a challenge. This interview was first broadcast in 2018.How love blossomed in a recording studio between two Italian dub artists who provide the voices for George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer. Francesco Pannofino and Emanuela Rossi reveal the secrets of their success in front of and behind the microphone. This interview was first broadcast in 2019.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Emily Webb Producers: Saskia Edwards, Harry Graham, Katy Davis, Maryam MarufPicture: A wedding party underneath the Bridegroom's Oak, circa 1900 Credit: Archiv TI Eutin

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  • 16.01.2021
    11 MB
    23:40
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    Moana: the Polynesian family behind the smash hit songs

    Opetaia Foa'i grew up in Samoa surrounded by the island's rhythms, sounds and songs. But surviving wasn't easy and his family moved to the city of Auckland in New Zealand. As he grew up in this new environment he began to look into his roots and started to make music about his voyager ancestors. It caught the eye of producers at Walt Disney Animation Studios who wanted him to co-write the music for their upcoming movie Moana, about a Pacific Island teenager trying to save her community. Opetaia Foa'i made sure the smash hit movie stayed true to Pacific culture - writing the soundtrack's lyrics in Samoan and Tokelauan and turning to his daughter Olivia Foa'i to sing.Although we couldn't include the music from the movie in this podcast, if you'd like to hear this interview in its full musical glory, you can listen to the original episode on BBC Sounds, just search for Moana: the Polynesian family behind the smash hit songs.Olivia has a new solo album out called Candid.Presenter: Emily Webb Producers: June Christie & Mariana Des ForgesPicture: Opetaia and Olivia Foa'i at the Disney premiere of Moana Credit: Supplied by Julie Foa'i

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  • 14.01.2021
    7 MB
    15:39
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    Tasting the desert with Chile's leading forager

    As a child Patricia Pérez would accompany her grandmother on incredible adventures in Chile's Atacama Desert. There they would search for unique herbs and plants by day and sleep in caves at night. Her grandmother would sell the herbs they found in markets and Patricia is now taking that tradition one step further. She started a company called La Atacameña and the herbs she forages are being used by five star hotels, a chocolate company and a restaurant that has been named one of the best in the world.With music from Inti-Illimani.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Patricia Pérez foraging Credit: Isidora Pérez

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  • 13.01.2021
    19 MB
    40:45
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    I ran with the men, and changed history

    Kathrine Switzer is a US runner whose dream - back in 1967 - was to be allowed to run a marathon. Back then there was a belief that women were physically incapable of doing such long distances, and it could even be dangerous for their health. Kathrine was 20 when she signed up for the world famous Boston Marathon using only her initials, but when she was spotted by race official Jock Semple he attacked her, outraged that a woman was running in the men-only event. Photos of that moment went across the world, and changed Kathrine’s life and the future of the sport. She went on to campaign for women’s official inclusion in the Boston Marathon in 1972, helped create the first women’s road race, and was instrumental in making the women’s marathon an official Olympic event in 1984.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Rebecca VincentPicture: Kathrine Switzer is accosted by race official Jock Semple at the 1967 Boston Marathon Credit: Bettmann via Getty Images

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  • 12.01.2021
    11 MB
    23:58
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    Defending my dream cost my mother her life

    Former US poet laureate Natasha Trethewey began writing to express her feelings about her violent stepfather. She told Oulook's Jo Fidgen how it became her comfort and career, after her worst fears came true. Her memoir is called Memorial Drive.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Thomas Harding Assinder and Sophie EastaughPicture: Natasha Trethewey receives an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree at Emerson College in 2015 Credit: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

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  • 12.01.2021
    10 MB
    22:49
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    The video that turned our lives upside down

    Aboriginal Australian mum Yarraka Bayles was so exhausted by her young son's distress at being bullied, she did the only thing she could think of and streamed a video of him crying to show her community the devastating effect it was having. She was trying to help him, but had no idea it would land them at the centre of international news coverage, fierce debate, and online conspiracies. She spoke to Outlook’s Saskia Edwards.If you are looking for support for any of the issues discussed in this programme, you can find links to useful organisations here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/actionlinePresenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Mariana Des Forges and Katy TakatsukiPhoto: Yarraka and Quaden Bayles Credit: Courtesy of Yarraka Bayles

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  • 07.01.2021
    10 MB
    21:13
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    The rebel musicians fighting India’s caste system

    Tenma and Arivu are members of The Casteless Collective - an ensemble protest band from the city of Chennai in southern India. They channel their outrage towards caste oppression into song. Arivu has seen that oppression first hand growing up in a Dalit - sometimes called ‘untouchable’ - community, and rapping became his outlet. As The Casteless Collective they blend traditional Gaana music with hip hop and rock, to challenge the caste system through their music. Music courtesy of The Casteless Collective and Gana Palani. Picture: Tenma (left) and Arivu (front right) performing as The Casteless Collective in Chennai, 2020 Credit: Palanikumar ManishaPresenter: Emily Webb Producer: June Christie and Troy Holmes

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  • 06.01.2021
    15 MB
    31:21
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    Seven songs to mourn seven black men

    In the aftermath of a highly-publicised killing of an African American man by police in 2014, composer Joel Thompson started channelling his anger and sadness into music. He began setting the last words of seven black men, killed by police and authority figures in America, to music in a complex choral arrangement. The result was a composition called Seven Last Words of the Unarmed. He spoke to Outlook's Emily Webb.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Harry GrahamPhoto: Memorial for Eric Garner Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Lichtenstein

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  • 05.01.2021
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    22:56
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    My husband came back from the dead

    Back in 2015, Santoshi Tamang was told that her husband Subash had died in a car accident in Saudi Arabia. He'd left their home in Nepal to work there to pay off the family's debts. His body was flown back to Nepal and cremated. But, months later, Santoshi received a telephone call from a relative who told her that her husband was still alive...Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Laura Thomas and Emily Webb Interpreter: Bhrikuti RaiPicture: Subash and Santoshi Tamang Credit: Subash and Santoshi Tamang

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  • 04.01.2021
    18 MB
    39:19
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    Why I made a film in which I kill my dad

    American filmmaker Kirsten Johnson’s most recent film is called ‘Dick Johnson is Dead’, it’s about her dad, a man she has adored her whole life. A few years ago Dick was diagnosed with dementia. Scared that she was losing the man she loved, she decided she had to try and capture his spirit on screen. But this is no ordinary movie, it follows Kirsten as she stages her father’s death in a number of grisly ways. It may sound bizarre but it appealed to their shared sense of humour, and by seeing him come back to life over and over again it allowed Kirsten to feel like she was making her dad live forever.Kirsten’s documentary film Dick Johnson Is Dead is now available to watch on Netflix.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Fiona WoodsPicture: Dick Johnson Credit: Dick Johnson Is Dead

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  • 03.01.2021
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    26:26
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    Elza Soares: invincible queen of samba

    Born in a Rio de Janeiro favela, Elza Soares overcame poverty, child marriage and public scandal to become one of her country's most beloved singers. She started out in the smokey nightclubs of Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s. With her unique raspy voice and the intensity of her dancing, she quickly became a hit on the club scene. In the 1960s a highly publicised relationship with a footballing legend briefly made her a national hate figure, but she came back and now into the seventh decade of her career she continues to be a Brazilian icon. This episode was first broadcast on 11th May 2019.Presented and Produced by Harry GrahamPicture: Elza Soares Credit: Getty Images/ Pedro Gomes

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  • 31.12.2020
    17 MB
    36:09
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    The tale of the little Countess's little cello

    When Christine Walevska was given a rare, one-eighth-size Bernardel cello at the age of eight and a half, she fell in love with the instrument immediately and it set her on a path to becoming an internationally renowned concert cellist. The tiny cello, given to her by her father, had an intriguing label on the inside...it said "Pour la petite Comtesse Marie 1834". This label would prove crucial after the cello was stolen from Christine's father's shop in 1978. It led - 36 years later - to Christine receiving an email from the Breshears family in California. They had been searching for a rare child-size cello for their gifted six-year-old daughter Starla and had finally found one. Could it be Christine's beloved Bernardel? Today, the story of a rare cello, its theft and how it shaped the dreams of two highly talented young girls.Recordings of Starla Breshears came courtesy of Dustin Breshears Recordings of Christine Walevska came from her album Goddess of the CelloPresenter & co-Producer: Saskia Edwards Producer: June ChristiePicture: Cellist Christine Walevska aged eight and a half, with her rare Bernardel cello Credit: Christine Walevska

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  • 30.12.2020
    12 MB
    26:08
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    How I became ‘Mr Vaquita’

    Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho is a Mexican biologist who’s braved poachers and cartels in a quest to save the world’s most endangered marine mammal - a tiny porpoise known as vaquita. There’s only a handful left in the world and their survival is in large part due to Lorenzo's efforts. His work with the animal has earned him the nickname ‘Mr Vaquita’.Jo Fidgen caught up with Lorenzo to name him one of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020. For full details of the awards and Covid-19 related changes, please check the revised terms on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.With music from Jorge Castillo and the Fandango Fusión Fronteriza.Producers: Clayton Conn, Saskia Edwards, Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes, Andrea Kennedy Editor: Munazza KhanPicture: Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho Credit: Clayton Conn

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  • 30.12.2020
    13 MB
    28:00
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    The student who fought to pass Mexico’s historic ‘revenge porn’ law

    As a teenager, Ana Baquedano sent a nude selfie to her boyfriend in exchange for a promise to delete it. Instead, he shared it. Ana was bullied, harassed and suffered from depression. But then she got to work making Mexican history. While Ana was still a student, she led a campaign to make 'revenge porn' a crime in her state of Yucatan - and in 2018 the historic legislation was passed.Jo Fidgen caught up with Ana to name her one of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020. For full details of the awards and Covid-19 related changes, please check the revised terms on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.With music from Jorge Castillo and the Fandango Fusión Fronteriza.Producers: Asya Fouks, Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes, Andrea Kennedy Editor: Munazza KhanPicture: Ana Baquedano Credit: Courtesy of Ana Baquedano

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  • 29.12.2020
    18 MB
    39:31
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    The family murder that launched our campaign

    Brothers Luke and Ryan Hart spent years trying to help their mum leave their abusive father. However, just a few days after they succeeded, their father killed her and their sister. Determined that something good would come out of the horror of their situation, they started a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and to change the way it's reported in the media. The brothers now train journalists and have helped to create the UK's first media guidelines for reporting fatal domestic abuse alongside the feminist organisation, Level Up.Emily Webb caught up with Luke and Ryan to name them two of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020. For full details of the awards and Covid-19 related changes, please check the revised terms on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.Producers: Alice Gioia, Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes Editor: Munazza KhanPicture: Luke and Ryan Hart Credit: Priya Dabasia

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  • 28.12.2020
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    My brother’s illness made me a “sickle cell warrior”

    Tartania Brown is from New York City and she has sickle cell anaemia, a genetic disorder that affects red blood cells and can be fatal. At one stage, Tartania didn’t know if she would reach her 20s. Her brother Christopher also had the condition, and when he was just four years old he had multiple strokes that left him unable to speak or move. It was a challenging time for Tartania's whole family, but also transformative for her. After watching the way the doctors and nurses cared for her brother she was inspired to study medicine herself. After much hard work, she is a palliative care physician, looking after patients with a range of conditions including sickle cell anaemia.Featuring a live musical performance from Sherman Irby, lead alto saxophonist at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.Emily Webb caught up with Tartania to name her of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020. For full details of the awards and Covid-19 related changes, please check the revised terms on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.Producers: Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes Editor: Munazza KhanPicture: Tartania Brown Credit: Dr Alexander KumarThis programme was recorded on 3 December, 2020.

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  • 26.12.2020
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    The "five careers" of Bettye Lavette

    Bettye Lavette was a 16-year-old growing up in Detroit when she had her first hit, My Man, in 1962. In 2009 she performed at President Obama's inauguration celebration and called it "the greatest day of my life." But the path from that first hit to the recognition she now enjoys around the world has not been smooth. She talks to Emily Webb about how she spent the intervening years "working, not waiting," and kept her faith that the phone would always ring.Picture: Betty Lavette performs during the Robert Johnson At 100 Centennial celebration at The Apollo Theater on March 6, 2012 in New York City Credit: Getty Images / FilmMagic / D Dipasupil

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  • 24.12.2020
    21 MB
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    After facing death row, the inmate who turned investigator

    Sohail Yafat was in his 20s and working in an IT college in Lahore when he was wrongfully incarcerated for murder and facing death row. Behind bars he continued to fight for justice, while also quietly revolutionising his prison when he organised its first ever Christmas party. After a decade in jail, Sohail was released. He joined the legal charity Justice Project Pakistan as a private investigator. Through their work, the number of executions has dropped in Pakistan. Sohail is now working on building a reintegration centre to support recently released prisoners.Emily Webb caught up with Sohail to name him one of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020. For full details of the awards and Covid-19 related changes, please check the revised terms on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.Producers: Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes Editor: Munazza KhanWith thanks to Ghazanfar Hyder for this voiceover performance in the interview with Sohail first broadcast on 16 December, 2018Picture: Sohail Yafat Credit: Ali Haider, JPP

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  • 23.12.2020
    19 MB
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    The sisterhood vs the man who gave them HIV

    Diane Reeve is a Texan martial arts teacher who discovered that her boyfriend had knowingly infected her and many other women with HIV/Aids. She then tracked down a number of his former partners, rallied the women together to testify against him in a groundbreaking case. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Diane is now an advocate for safer online dating and an Aids awareness activist.Jo Fidgen caught up with Diane to name her of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020. For full details of the awards and Covid-19 related changes, please check the revised terms on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.Producers: Tom Harding-Assinder, Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes Editor: Munazza KhanPicture: Diane Reeve Credit: Alyssa Vincent

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  • 22.12.2020
    19 MB
    39:40
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    Surviving civil war with a tracksuit and tennis racquet

    Sam Jalloh learned to play tennis barefoot, with a racquet fashioned out of plywood. He'd grown up poor in Freetown and his motivation to play was at first driven by the allure of a fresh tracksuit. But when Sam took to the court his talent quickly got him noticed by local coaches. He was training around the clock, with a career at the national level beckoning. But while he honed his skills, a brutal civil war was tearing Sierra Leone apart. Even when Sam found himself in the crosshairs of the conflict, he never stopped playing. He’s now a successful tennis coach based in the UK and has a sports foundation that supports young athletes.Emily Webb caught up with Sam to name him one of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020. For full details of the awards and Covid-19 related changes, please check the revised terms on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.Producers: Tom Harding-Assinder, Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes Editor: Munazza KhanPicture Sam Jalloh Credit: Courtesy of Sam Jalloh

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  • 21.12.2020
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    My music bus healing a gang divide

    Justin Finlayson is a former bus driver on a mission to save young lives. He comes from an area of London which suffers from a long term gang divide. When the violence got particularly bad back in 2017, he drew on his driving background and came up with an idea to try to heal the rivalries. Justin bought a double decker bus, built a recording studio inside, and created a musical sanctuary where young people from warring areas could make music. Justin’s project, which he called United Borders, soon captured the attention of the stars of UK hip hop and grime - Akala, Stormzy and Nines. But the project wasn't easy, and the first bus was burnt down by arsonists. Justin persevered and now he's operating in a new bus, surrounded by young people whose lives he's changed.Jo Fidgen caught up with Justin to name him of the winners of BBC Inspirations 2020.For rights reasons, we were unable to include Akala’s contribution in this podcast, but you can listen to him in the radio version. It’s available - along with full details of the awards, Covid-19 related changes, and our revised terms - on our website: www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations.Producers: Harry Graham, Maryam Maruf, Troy Holmes Editor: Munazza KhanPicture: Justin Finlayson Credit: Brunel Johnson

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  • 19.12.2020
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    The Godfather of Hollywood sound

    Walter Murch is a superstar sound designer, who's worked on some of Hollywood's biggest films like The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now. His work has immersed audiences in everything from the clattering trains of New York to the rhythmic helicopter rotors of the Vietnam war. Walter's avant-garde production techniques have changed the way cinema sounds. His story is featured in the documentary, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound. This episode was first released on 1st January 2020.Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam MarufPicture: Still from The Godfather Credit: Getty Images/Paramount Pictures/Handout

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  • 17.12.2020
    16 MB
    34:52
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    Discovering Stalin's million-dollar wine cellar

    In 1998, Australian wine merchant John Baker was puzzled when he received a cryptic message and a list of wines he, on initial inspection, had never heard of. Once he cracked the code, he realised it was a cellar of around 40,000 bottles - including some of the most expensive wines ever produced. It was being offered for a million dollars, and had apparently been hidden away in the republic of Georgia by former head of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin. Could he secure a deal?Any comments please email us on [email protected]: John Baker in the wine cellar Credit: John Baker

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  • 17.12.2020
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    “The best ending to 2020…

    ...that I can possibly imagine.” It’s time for the BBC Inspirations Awards - a celebration of incredible people and stories. A perfect antidote to a challenging year.Find out about this year’s winners on www.bbcworldservice.com/inspirations and tune into their full stories from 21 December, 2020.

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  • 16.12.2020
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    The epic Arabic poem that was born in a stable

    Iraqi poet Adnan Al-Sayegh was confined to a deserted stable for having banned books in his possession while serving as a conscript in the Iraqi army during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. It was in these squalid conditions that he began writing a poem that would become one of the longest in Arabic history. It's called Uruk's Anthem and is over 500 pages long and took 12 years to write - it not only brought Adnan international recognition, but also put his life in danger, forcing him to flee his homeland in 1993. Now, for the first time, substantial extracts from Uruk's Anthem have been published jointly in English and Arabic - the book is called Let Me Tell You What I Saw and was co-written and translated by Jenny Lewis.Extracts of Uruk's Anthem came courtesy of Adnan Al-SayeghAny comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: June Christie Interpreter: Youssef TahaPicture: Adnan Al-Sayegh holding the book Wait for me under the Statue of Liberty Credit: Adnan Al-Sayegh

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  • 15.12.2020
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    40:09
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    Who do you think you are?

    In 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay went missing in Texas. Several years later, he apparently resurfaced in Spain, and he was reunited with his family. But all was not as it seemed. Private investigator Charlie Parker knew he had an imposter on his hands. He spoke to Outlook's Jo Fidgen in 2018.Rob Weston was abandoned in a cinema toilet in the UK in 1956. Decades later he was reunited with his brother Tommy Chalmers, thanks to the help of DNA detective Julia Bell. He spoke to Jo Fidgen in 2018.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Harry GrahamPicture: Newspaper article about Rob Weston Credit: Photo courtesy of Rob Weston

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  • 14.12.2020
    11 MB
    23:49
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    The 'Supervet': from bullies to bionic limbs

    Growing up on a farm in Ireland as a lonely and unpopular child, Noel Fitzpatrick found solace in an invented superhero, ‘Vetman’, who rescued all the broken animals of the world. He’s now a pioneering veterinary surgeon who has become famous for fitting bionic limbs on injured pets. He tells Jo Fidgen how an operation on a tortoise almost cost him his life's passion.Any comments please email us on [email protected]: Jo Fidgen Producer: Sophie EastaughPicture: Noel Fitzpatrick operating on Oscar the Cat to give him two Bionic back feet in 2010 Credit: Wild Productions Ltd

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