The Royal Wedding: The Story of the DayThe Documentary Podcast add
Nuala McGovern brings you highlights from Windsor on the day that saw Prince Harry marry Meghan Markel. From the royal wedding build-up and anticipation to the ceremony and the celebrations beyond.
The World’s Marriage StoryThe Documentary Podcast add
As Britain hosts the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markel, The World's Marriage Story asks why so many people across the world continue to place their faith in this old-age institution. While rates are falling across Europe, in south Asia and China, marriage is near-universal. Mary-Ann Ochota asks, are today’s weddings are a one-to-one expression of romantic love? An explicit message to offspring already born? A sign that cultural and religious orthodoxy is being adopted by today’s young? Or are marriages a desire to please parents and wider family?
Shades of Jewish in IsraelThe Documentary Podcast add
Israel gives all Jews the right to citizenship – but has it become less welcoming to African Jews?
Since its founding in 1948, after the horrors of the Holocaust, Israel has seen itself as a safe haven for Jews from anywhere in the world to come to escape persecution. But now that policy is under threat. As Jewish communities in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya are finding, a debate has arisen about who is “Jewish enough” to qualify. David Baker investigates claims that decisions are being made not on the basis of ancestry or religious observance but on the colour of people’s skin.
Producer: Simon Maybin
Presenter: David Baker
The Macron EffectThe Documentary Podcast add
When Emmanuel Macron followed up his victory in France’s presidential election with another win in the parliamentary elections, he looked set to carry out his promise to change France. Journalists wrote articles on how the Macron 'effect' was going to make France one of the world’s major powers and end Germany’s economic dominance of Europe. But the reality of enacting painful economic reforms has led to protests on the streets and a plummeting popularity rating. Lucy Williamson, looks at Macron’s first 12 months in office.
My Mixed Up WorldThe Documentary Podcast add
Meghan Markle, the Royal bride to be, has spoken of her confusion as a child when asked to describe her race and the impact that has endured as she entered acting - not white enough for the white roles and never black enough for the black ones. Broadcaster Nora Fakim, of Moroccan and Mauritius descent, explores her own experiences and meets others struggling to fit into a particular community.
China’s World Cup DreamsThe Documentary Podcast add
China’s football-loving President Xi Jinping says he wants his country to qualify for, to host and to win the football World Cup by 2050. The men’s national team has recently been defeated 6-0 by Wales, so there’s some way to go yet. But they’re spending billions trying to boost football in the country. Chinese entrepreneurs are also spending vast sums investing in local and foreign clubs, partly to help create a passion for playing football in the Chinese and to bring the latest training techniques back home.
For Assignment, Celia Hatton visits a special primary school in Gansu, in China’s far west, which is setting out to turn those World Cup dreams into reality. Made up of “left-behind children,” whose parents have migrated to the cities for work, the school drills the children in football skills each day, to give them direction and purpose, but also in the hope that some of them will use football as route out of poverty and to garner Chinese success on the pitch.
Producer: John Murphy
(Image Credit: John Murphy BBC)
The Voices of the AmazonThe Documentary Podcast add
Many anthropologists and researchers have visited the indigenous peoples of the Amazon to analyse their ways of life and culture. But what would these people want to say to us? Tribal leader Takuma Kuikuro guides us through a day in the life of his village, from dawn to dusk. He shares his vision of the future for the Kuikuro people who live in the upper reaches of the Xingu River.
The Invisible Man of Britain’s Far RightThe Documentary Podcast add
Simon Cox investigates the anti-immigration, anti-Muslim organisation Knights Templar International – not to be confused with the medieval Knights Templar organisation. In a recent interview its front man Jim,Dowson described KTI as a "militant Christian organisation". KTI posts regular ads on social media to recruit new members and seek donations to fight what Dowson calls the "war between militant Islam and Christianity". In a recent interview he warned "we are going towards a war in the West. We want to make sure when people hit the streets, militias will form. The Templar way is to train men up in everything - we have training course in video journalism, military stuff". With the money raised KTI buys paramilitary equipment which is sent to places like Northern Kosovo where British troops are still stationed to keep the peace between the Muslim Kosovo Albanian community and Orthodox Christian Serbians. Last year Dowson was banned from Hungary for being a threat to national security. The British anti-racism NGO Hope not Hate warns “he (Dowson) and his organisation tread a very fine line between antagonising people’s fears, stirring up and stoking people’s fears. He is the ‘Mr Slippery’ of the far-right world in Europe”. Within the far right community Dowson is a familiar figure but more generally he has kept a fairly low profile and has been dubbed in media reports "the invisible man of Britain's far right". Concern about the activities of Dowson and Knights Templar International is growing across Europe as the organisation recruits more members to its cause and threatens the peace in some of the most volatile regions.
Producer: Anna Meisel
What Men Think: IndiaThe Documentary Podcast add
In Delhi, Tim Samuels finds an Indian city where masculinity plays out against a backdrop of class, caste and a rapidly changing economy. It is also a country that is searching its soul after a serious of notorious sexual assaults against women. Swati Maliwal from the Delhi Commission for Women reveals how she does not feel safe in her city - where there are six rapes in the capital every day. Meanwhile, a group of men tell Tim how they have faced hardships due to false dowry accusations and a divorce lawyer discloses that the courts are saddled with 50 cases of divorce every day.
Image: Sanju (with friends), is one of the men featured in the programme. He was a child worker making electric switches and has had "100 odd jobs since then". He now drives a battery operated free wheeler. Credit: Reduced Listening
Western Sahara’s Champion AthleteThe Documentary Podcast add
In the wind-swept desert of south-west Algeria, thousands of athletes prepare to run a marathon through the forgotten land of Western Sahara.
The runners will pass through six refugee camps; home to over 200,000 indigenous Saharawi people living under Moroccan occupation.
Nicola Kelly travels to the remote outpost of Tindouf to meet champion runner Salah Ameidan.
Identified at a young age as a talented cross-country athlete, Salah was forced to run under the Moroccan flag. At the end of a crucial race, victorious, he waved the Saharawi flag – illegal in Morocco – and was immediately exiled from the country.
Nicola follows Salah as he returns home to be reunited with his family and friends, many of whom he hasn’t seen since he left several years ago.
Through him, she explores the complexities of living under occupation and in exile. She meets landmine victims, youth leaders and members of the Saharawi independence movement, the POLISARIO and asks how running can help its people gain a sense of freedom.
Reporter: Nicola Kelly
**Podcast has been updated**
Imperial EchoThe Documentary Podcast add
With the closing ceremonial of the 2018 London Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting barely over, BBC radio’s Royal Correspondent Jonny Dymond excavates the Commonwealth of Nation’s 19th Century origins in the British Empire and its formal institution in 1949 as a post-colonial worldwide network of states ‘free and equal’ within the organisation.
Some have joked that the long shadow of its colonial origins has made it the ‘after-care service of Empire’. And with Her Majesty the Queen as its Head, the Commonwealth in the 1980s and 1990s became a powerful tool in the pursuit of majority rule in Zimbabwe and South Africa. But since then it has struggled to clearly define itself for the closely interconnected 21st Century.
Jonny Dymond samples the colour and the conversation of the London summit, visits the institution’s palatial London home, Marlborough House, and talks to Secretary General Patricia Scotland about the Commonwealth’s value in the modern world.
(Photo: Prime Minister Theresa May chairs a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) in London, 2018. Credit: Getty Images)
The Response: ChinaThe Documentary Podcast add
No reporters, no studios. The Response China hears directly from the citizens of the most populous county on the planet - using the recording power of smartphones. The contributors are normal working people, students, telling stories about the world of work in China, about their relationships, and the influence of family members on their lives. Hear how an online gamer nearly derailed his education, how a young worker in a big company struggled with full time employment, about coping with bipolar disorder and how one woman’s love for a Northern Irish actor has opened up new horizons. The programme was compiled using an initial prompt on social media and all stories were submitted directly from smartphones.
Presented by Howard Zhan
Photo: The Phoenix Tower which is the highest building inside Shenyang Imperial Palace, China. Credit: Feng Li/Getty Images
What Men Think: USAThe Documentary Podcast add
In North Carolina presenter Tim Samuel finds the contradictions and cultural clashes that are playing out across the US – with men often in the middle of the fallout. Heading through the Appalachian mountains – where traditional blue-collar jobs have collapsed - he sees the social ravages of opioid addiction. Indeed, a doctor reveals that for the first time in generations male mortality is starting to move in the wrong direction; we are in the midst of a man crisis, he says.
Corruption Incorporated: The Odebrecht StoryThe Documentary Podcast add
Odebrecht was one of Brazil’s premier companies – the largest construction firm in Latin America. But some of its success in securing multi-million dollar contracts across the region was built on a policy of colossal bribery. The testimony of Odebrecht executives in plea-bargain agreements with prosecutors continues to have fall-out, especially with former President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva now in jail on charges related to Brazil’s wider corruption scandal. Across the region, heads have rolled in the wake of the revelations. Peru’s president was recently forced to resign and Ecuador’s vice-president is in prison. Linda Pressly visits Panama, where Odebrecht remains in the headlines, and where there are demands to terminate the company’s on-going contracts.
The Mystery of Russia’s Lost Jihadi BridesThe Documentary Podcast add
Thousands of young Russian Muslim men were lured to join so-called Islamic State - taking their wives and children with them. But since the "caliphate" fell last year, those families have vanished - and grandmothers back in Russia are desperate for news. The Kremlin wants to bring the children home. It says they've committed no crimes. But finding them and their mothers is hugely difficult. Iraqi authorities say they're holding many IS families - but they won't name them. Gradually though, dramatic scraps of information are emerging - a scribbled note from a prison, whispered phone messages, photos and videos on social media. For months, Tim Whewell has been talking to the grandmothers as they've gathered such clues - and now he travels to Iraq in search of more information, tracing the route the fighters and their families took when they were defeated - and trying to solve the mystery of what happened to them. What was the fate of the men after they surrendered at a remote village school? And what of the reports that many of the women and children were subsequently abducted by a militia? As the story unfolds, Tim confronts a powerful Shia warlord. Will the jihadis' children be released? What kind of justice will their mothers face? And what will the grandmothers - convinced of their daughters' innocence - do to try to get them back?
Presenter Tim Whewell
Producers Nick Sturdee & Mike Gallagher
Bermuda's Change of HeartThe Documentary Podcast add
In a radical turn of events – Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. In May 2017, Bermudian lawyer Mark Pettingill and his client Winston Godwin won a case in the Bermuda Supreme Court for marriage equality for all people in the LGBTQ+ community. However, less than a year later – a new government introduced the Domestic Partnership Act - taking away the rights of gay couples to marry, and given them instead the option of civil partnerships.
Islands on the Front LineThe Documentary Podcast add
Regina Lepping travels around her homeland – the Solomon Islands – to discover how this remote Commonwealth country in the Pacific is on the front line of climate change. Sea levels here are rising three times faster than the global average, some islands have already been lost and people have had to relocate their homes.
The King and Kennedy AssassinationsThe Documentary Podcast add
On the 50th anniversary of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, presenter Michael Goldfarb tells the story of how they came to be murdered. He speaks with their children and close associates about how the pair’s lives and deaths affected their own pathway. And he looks at how their words and deeds continue to shape America.
The Child Saver of MosulThe Documentary Podcast add
A one-woman whirlwind of passion and energy, Sukayna Muhammad Younes is a unique phenomenon in Iraq. A council official in the half-destroyed city of Mosul, former stronghold of so-called Islamic State, she's on a mission to find and identify the thousands of children who went missing during the conflict – and reunite them with their families. It’s a massive task – and deeply controversial because Sukayna makes no distinction between children who are victims of IS – and those who belonged to IS families. “They're all just children - all innocent,” she says.Tim Whewell follows Sukayna through the rubble of the city, visiting her orphanage, trying to find missing parents, meeting families who want to reclaim children. Can she solve the mystery of Jannat – an abandoned fair-haired girl who may be the daughter of a foreign IS family? Can she help Amal, sister of a dead IS fighter, to adopt her baby niece? How can families afford the expensive DNA tests the authorities require before families can be reunited? As she tries to solve these problems Sukayna also has to look after her own family of six children - and cope with personal tragedy. Two of her brothers were killed by jihadis; her family home, used as an IS base, is now in ruins. Highly charismatic - Sukayna now wants to go into politics. "I am a mini-Iraq,” she says – her family includes members of many communities - and she believes the country desperately needs more dynamic, tolerant people like her, to bring real change and overcome divisions. But it’s hard to be a high-profile, energetic woman in patriarchal Iraq – and she’s faced death threats both from remaining IS supporters - and those who think she’s too ready to help “terrorist” families.Presenter Tim WhewellProducers Nick Sturdee & Mike Gallagher