The Call

Dominic Arkwright talks to people who have taken or made life-changing phone calls.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0101The Siege2009072720100111

In 1980, police negotiator Max Vernon spent five days taking brief telephone calls from the leader of the terrorists who had taken 26 people hostage inside the Iranian Embassy in London.

The siege ended when the SAS stormed the building, as Max listened on the other end of the line.

Police negotiator Max Vernon, who was involved in the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege.

0103The Abduction *2009081020100113

In March 1999, Martin Friend was on a gorilla trek in Uganda when he was taken hostage and killed by Hutu rebels on the run from neighbouring Rwanda.

His parents, Ron and Pauline Friend, have built a school in the region in memory of him.

Dominic Arkwright talks to people who have taken or made life-changing phone calls.

Ron and Pauline Friend built a school in Uganda in memory of their murdered son, Martin.

0104The Transplant *2009081720100114

Tony Roth suffered his first heart attack when he was in his early 30s.

Within six months he had a triple bypass operation, but two more heart attacks and more bypass surgery followed.

In failing heath, he was forced to give up work, and waited for the call to tell him that a donor heart was available.

Dominic Arkwright talks to people who have taken or made life-changing phone calls.

Tony Roth had to wait for a call telling him that he could have a heart transplant.

0105 LASTThe Win2009082420100115

Some people cry, some feel sick, some throw a 24-hour party, and some are millionaires already.

Winning the lottery can be a traumatic event, but what is it like for the operators on the other end of the line?

Dominic Arkwright talks to people who have taken or made life-changing phone calls.

What is it like for the telephone operators who break the good news to lottery winners?

0205 LASTForensics2011030120111007

Dominic Arkwright talks to Professor Peter French of York University about the art and science of forensic acoustics, including speaker profiling, voice line-ups, and sound enhancement.

Developments in new technology mean that sound recordings can be examined and prepared for use in extortion, blackmail and murder trials.

Also, the proliferation of digital recordings in all walks of life mean that copies of recordings for evidential purposes can now be taken from mobile telephones, voicemail services, digital dictaphones, digital answer phones and other devices.

So just how much information can be extracted from a phone call, and how much of ourselves do we reveal in conversation?

Dominic Arkwright talks to Professor Peter French about the science of forensic acoustics.