It's My Story

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20041230

Commander Luc Pellerier and his fellow submariners tell of events on the fire damaged Canadian submarine HMCS Chicoutimi and their fight for survival trapped in darkness beneath the waves.

These are the first interviews given since the crew were towed to safety in Faslane, Scotland after an ordeal which few can imagine.

20050120

In 1952 Albert Speer's fifteen year old daughter Hilde won an exchange scholarship to a school near New York.

While she was there, she was fostered by a Quaker family, the Days.

Seven years earlier, the same family had fostered three Jewish girls, who had been in Belsen shortly before.

Hilde Speer now meets, for the first time, one of the Jewish sisters, Mirjam Wiener (now Finkelstein), and they compare their experiences.

20051229

The last traditional speaker of Manx Gaelic, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974.

But now more than 40 children are receiving their education entirely in the language.

Phil Gawne is the Isle of Man's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

But once he served 16 months in prison for arson, committed during the campaign for Manx.

He tells the intertwined stories of his life and the struggle for his language, culture and identity.

20080222

White Girl Running: Melanie Verwoerd

The story of the extraordinary political journey of a white Afrikaner woman.

Raised in the leafy suburb of Stellenbosch, Melanie Fourie married the grandson of Henrik Verwoerd, the assassinated South African Prime Minister credited as being the architect of apartheid.

Their studies abroad convinced them that change was necessary, and a meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1991 prompted Melanie to take the leap and actually join the ANC.

She went on to be elected as an ANC member of parliament.

20080825

School for Communists

Jim Riordan recalls his education at Moscow's elite Higher Party School for Communists during the height of the Cold War.

As he wanders through a vastly changed Moscow, he finds the past ever more elusive and puzzling.

20110710

Boxing is supposed to be about winning, about glory, about beating your man but for the journeyman losing is the only option.

John McDonald, Boxing M.C.

and fight fan has announced countless fights but remains fascinated by those for whom losing is often the only option.

The journeyman is the glue that holds boxing together yet he is a figure we rarely hear from or focus on.

Without him no fighter can begin his career, no promoter can assemble a good night of boxing.

The journeyman is one phone call away from a fight that might even take place the same day as the call.

Always ready to pull on his gloves, give a good fight and inevitably lose.

Boxing is usually all about winning but in the case of the journeyman it is the opposite.

You are there as part of another boxer's rite of passage, the statistic on the under card, the man who is going to be either out punched or out scored.

Which doesn't mean you throw the fight, take a dive or hit the canvas as if it is Oscar night.

And should any cocky young boxer take the mickey or make it too painful then there is always the chance of an upset, a boxing lesson from a seasoned pro who has seen them come and go.

John McDonald follows the losers tales and in the process meets the matchmakers, managers and fighters who reveal just how crucial this utterly unglamorous non-champion of the ring is to the world of boxing.

Boxing is supposed to be about winning but for the journeyman losing is the game.

20110919

Tom Robinson was the first rock star to be out-and-proud from the off and in early 1978, at the height of his fame and barely ten years after homosexuality was decriminalised in Britain, he released the song 'Glad To Be Gay'.

He put it in the Top 20 and it made him an overnight gay icon - becoming the anthem of the Gay Liberation Front and sung with gusto at Pride festivals all over the country.

But then in the mid 80s something happened which changed Tom's life overnight - he fell in love with a woman! The tabloid press had a field day and he was booed when he appeared on stage at the 1987 London Gay Pride Festival.

In this programme, Tom assesses his own changing attitudes to bisexuality and asks if it's still a bit of a taboo in Britain today?

He hears from men and women struggling to be accepted by both their straight and gay friends and relatives before dropping in on a support group for bisexual people in Birmingham.

Does the extension of LGBT rights really extend to the B in the acronym? The programme hears from Stonewall, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, from Peter Tatchell and from researchers examining how LGBT Equalities initiatives deal with bisexuality in local government.

Tom finds an often invisible community struggling to be accepted and nervous about being more open.

There's few statistics about the prevalence of bisexuality so Tom's trip to Bristol to hear about some new research into male bisexuality is rather enlightening.

And what of the media? And what do bisexual women think of how they're portrayed?

Tom finishes the programme with his own assessment of society's tendency to put people into neat little boxes as well as the updated version of 'Glad to Be Gay' which references his struggle to be accepted as bisexual.

Producer: Ashley Byrne

A Made in Manchester production for BBC Radio 4.

Musician and presenter Tom Robinson examines what it means to be bisexual in Britain today

* Bravo November20080508

John McDonald presents the history of the Boeing Chinook Bravo November helicopter, which has served the RAF with distinction for many years.

He recalls stories of heroism spanning over a quarter of a century, from the Falklands War to today's conflict in Afghanistan.

* Living With Birdie20071223

Birdie McDonald tells the extraordinary story of her life as a foster mother of more than 850 children over the last 35 years.

Foster children from different generations reflect on her influence.

1820090216

Following a group of Bristol teenagers who are about to turn 18, hearing how they plan to mark the transition to adulthood at a time when 'youth' is the subject of more discussion, legislation, fear and opprobrium than ever.

These young people offer a snapshot of a generation at a point of change, as some prepare for University, some for vocational training, others face unemployment or even parenthood.

Following a group of Bristol teenagers who are about to turn 18.

A Better Place To End My Days20060112

Ted Marcer, 87, is worried about the future and where he will live if he can no longer look after himself.

He's sure that a standard care home for the elderly is not for him.

So he and his wife Vera travel to Germany to sample some alternatives - and to hear from residents who have chosen different places to end their days.

A Human Guinea Pig2003082120041024

The extraordinary story of a Dundee woman's attempts to win compensation from the German pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, for their role in medical experiments carried out on her while in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Zoe Polanska Palmer never imagined she would survive the experiments carried out on her in Auschwitz.

During her three years at the camp, the thirteen-year-old was forced to take tablets and pills as part of a series of pharmacological experiments.

But Zoe didn't die.

She was saved by another inmate of the camp - a Russian doctor - she recovered and eventually settled in Scotland.

Now in her early seventies and in poor health, she is searching for answers.

Zoe wants to know what exactly she was given.

She wants compensation.

And, most of all, she wants an apology from the German drug manufacturer she believes was behind the medical experiments.

Now in her mid-70s, Zoe Polanska-Palmer is seriously ill with cancer, and is confined to her home in Dundee.

But that hasn't stopped her search for an explanation and apology for what happened to her in Auschwitz, as a human guinea pig for the Nazis.

Accepting Jack20030210

Three families describe their struggles in coming to terms with the birth of a child with a severe learning disability.

Accepting Jack - Six Years On...20090824

In 2003, Kim Normanton spoke to a set of parents coming to terms with having a child with special needs.

She revisits them to see how their stories have developed.

In the original programme Kevin, father to Jack who has Down's Syndrome, felt unable to celebrate his son's birth.

Now Kevin is a secondary school teacher and talks regularly to his students about his son.

Jack, now eight, has two siblings and several good friends in his mainstream school.

In the original programme Jo, mother to Briony who was born with learning difficulties and is partially deaf, couldn't bring herself to even hold her daughter, fearing that she wouldn't be able to bear the pain of losing her.

Brionny is now a healthy 15-year-old and a day pupil at a school for deaf children.

She has a close relationship with her mother, who works for Mencap and champions the cause of families with children with special needs.

Kim Normanton revisits parents coming to terms with having children with special needs.

After Woolworths *2009020920090315

Following the fortunes of Steve, a former Woolworths employee, as he struggles to find a new job to feed his growing family after the company went into administration in late 2008, with the loss of over 27,000 staff.

Following the fortunes of Steve, a former Woolworths employee, as he struggles to find a new job to feed his growing family after the company went into administration in late 2008 and its stores closed, with the loss of over 27,000 staff.

Following the fortunes of former Woolworths employee Steve as he tries to find a new job.

Antarctic Odyssey2003122520040314

The story of 78-year-old Nancy Kershaw's voyage to the grave of her son Giles, a pioneering Antarctic pilot who was killed in a flying accident there in 1990.

Giles died when trying out a gyrocopter, ironically in the area he loved best where he had said he would like to be buried.

A dream that was to become tragically true.

After two failed attempts to reach her son's grave by land and plane, this is Nancy's final chance - to try and get there by sea on a 54ft yacht, ""The Pelagic"" designed and owned by the legendary sailor and climber, Skip Novak.

Blakelock Island is further South than most boats would ever venture, and certainly out of bounds to the large cruise ships which now frequent Antarctic waters.

Skip Novak, hearing about Nancy and her quest, made it his personal business to try and fulfil her dream and accompanied her on her journey.

Baby On A Doorstep2001040220020120

The story of a baby abandoned on a doorstep earlier this year, in bitterly cold weather, by a woman who kissed his forehead then disappeared into the night.

Nottingham City Hospital care for him, while the police search for the mother.

Beating The Burglars20020422

Retired police superintendent Brian Steele is in the forefront of an all-out war against burglars in Leeds.

Can he succeed in an area with the country's highest break-in rate?

Beyond The Beagle20050616

170 years after Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos islands on the Beagle, a visit that would eventually rewrite our notions of life on Earth, his great, great grandson retraces the voyage round the archipelago that did so much to shape Darwin's understanding of evolution.

Chris Darwin's contemporary impressions of how the islands have evolved over the last 170 years, are interspersed with Charles Darwin's own observations, as recorded in his journals.

Chris reflects on how this famous ancestry has shaped his own life, despite the fact that he failed his A-level in biology.

Beyond The Rubble20061008

Days after Pakistan was hit by an earthquake, Bradford-born Zafar Shah travelled with his mother, Parvenn, to search for surviving family relatives in the rubble.

One year on, they re-visit the damaged country to see what's happened.

With so many lives and homes wrecked, he finds his cousins living in a camp and preparing to spend their second winter in tents donated by aid agencies.

Boothie Goes Buddhist20050526

The story of Susan Marling's friend's journey from being a 1970s psychology student, Steve Booth, to becoming the revered Buddhist monk and teacher Kelsang Khyenrab

Bravo November20081212
Breakdown2001102220020818

The story of what happens when healers themselves need healing.

Jake is a psychiatric nurse recovering from psychotic depression and trying to rebuild his life and nursing career.

Children Of War20060105

John Waite follows the progress of children like Hannan Shihab and Ali Ismail Abbas, who were injured in the Iraqi conflict and are brought to Britain for specialist medical attention.

Some get help from recognized charities, others are aided by individuals moved by their plight.

Classroom Babies And Beyond2006072720070425

As Britain's media focus on the country's oldest mother at the age of 62, the programme follows the lives of three teenagers who gave birth whilst still at school and had to cope with the demands of balancing homework with parenthood.

What happened in the three different cases and how have their lives worked out?

Britain has the highest number of teenage pregnancies in Europe.

Three schoolgirls who have juggled nappy-changing with sitting their GCSEs talk about the struggles and challenges of the first two years of parenthood.

One girl managed to conceal the pregnancy until just two weeks before giving birth, one was forced to leave her private school and the third, herself the daughter of a teenage mum, proudly declared that she was ready to become a mother and was looking forward to the role.

Computer Games, Courtrooms And Controversy20041223

Allan Urry examines a fathers' campaign to have violent video games banned following the murder of his son.

Daddy Dewick2006121420070509

When Nana Anto-Awuakye was just three, she and nine other small children of West African origin went to live with a white foster family, in a cottage in rural Wiltshire - the only black children for miles around.

On the day 'Daddy Dewick', her much loved foster father, turns 90, she goes back to the village to hear his own story of those extraordinary years.

When Nana Anto-Awuakye was just three, she and nine other small children of West African origin went to live with a white foster family in a cottage in rural Wiltshire.

They were the only black children for miles around.

On her much loved foster father's 90th birthday, she goes back to the village to hear his own story of those extraordinary years.

Damilola's Family And The Pc20040101

The moving relationship that has developed between the parents of Damilola Taylor and the police officer appointed to help them through their ordeal.

Death Row Rookies2000091120010902

Every summer, a group of British law students travel to the United States to defend convicted murderers on death row.

They have six weeks to investigate last-minute appeals in an attempt to save condemned men from the death sentence.

Defying Rwanda's Killers2001043020020120

The story of the Rwandan who turned his hotel into a sanctuary against genocide, first sheltering Westerners, then allowing in hundreds of Tutsis and moderate Hutus to take refuge / The story of the Rwandan who saved thousands of lives by turning his hotel into a sanctuary against genocide, first sheltering Western journalists, aid workers and UN soldiers, then allowing in hundreds of Tutsis and moderate Hutus to take refuge.

Different For A Reason2001042320020714
Different For A Reason2001042320020210

The story of an 11-year-old boy with a particular form of autism called Asperger's syndrome, which Einstein is also believed to have had.

While he acts like a toddler, he thinks like an adult, having passed GCSE Maths with an A grade and written his autobiography.

The story of an 11-year-old boy with a particular form of autism called Asperger's syndrome.

While he acts like a toddler, he thinks like an adult.

Drug Mules: The Hard Road Home20060119

A few years ago, a large number of Jamaicans were swallowing sealed packets of drugs before boarding flights to Britain.

At one point 60 a week were being arrested at Heathrow airport.

Many of them were single mothers, so desperate for cash that they risked their lives and five to eight years in jail to act as mules for drug barons.

Now thanks to hi-tech equipment and education campaigns, the numbers have dropped.

But what happens to these women when they are deported back home at the end of their prison sentences? Can they re-integrate into society? Can they find work? And what has happened to their children while they were away?

Lucy Ash travels back to Jamaica with one of these women to investigate.

Dumbstruck2003010620030629

Two years ago, the Cornish playwright Nick Darke suffered a serious stroke that deprived him of the ability to read, write or speak.

Now, he is working on his first play since falling ill.

In a remarkable audio diary, Nick charts his painful, painstaking and at times hilarious path to the full recovery of his dramatic voice.

Dumbstruck2003042720030629
20150610 (BBC7)
20150611 (BBC7)

Virtually struck dumb from a stroke, playwright Nick Darke's battle to recover.

Virtually struck dumb from a serious stroke, Cornish playwright Nick Darke's battle to recover his dramatic voice. From January 2003.

An audio diary by Cornish playwright Nick Darke charting his road to recovery after a stroke which left him unable to communicate

Two years ago, the Cornish playwright Nick Darke suffered a serious stroke that deprived him of the ability to read, write or speak.

Now, he is working on his first play since falling ill.

In a remarkable audio diary, Nick charts his painful, painstaking and at times hilarious path to the full recovery of his dramatic voice.

Earfull - From Silence Into Sound *2008112720090506

Tim has made his living as an actor for more than 40 years.

All this time he has been deaf.

This programme follows him over more than a year as he has tests, consultations and finally a cochlea implant operation, and can hear again.

Tim tells his story of emerging from silence into sound, and interwoven with this is a performance of Earfull, his one-man play which chronicles his move from soldier to actor, and, as he loses his hearing, from sound to silence.

Tim, who is in his 70s, grew up in Blackpool, joined the army and just before he was posted overseas his girlfriend called to say she loved him.

He could not make out what she said because his new rifle had damaged his hearing.

Later he did marry, had two children and with only six years to go to qualify for a pension, came back to London on leave.

He went to a matinee of The Mousetrap.

There cannot be many whose lives were changed by this pot-boiler, but Barlow's was.

He realised that what he really wanted to be was not an army officer but an actor.

Despite his deafness (Olivier wrote that he too had hearing problems and Barlow should go for it anyway) he trained at the Old Vic in Bristol.

It cost him - his wife left, taking the children, and he didn't get the army pension.

But for 40 years now he has been an actor: working with Complicité, the RSC, Manchester Royal Exchange; he has made a living, so has been fairly successful.

But Tim's life is changing again.

Over the past year or so he has been advised, assessed, tested and finally has had a cochlea implant, the insertion of an electro-magnet that directly stimulates his nerves to produce sound images.

Throughout the process, from the initial tests at St Thomas's Hospital to the final tuning up, recordings were made.

As the drill goes through his skull to place the device the microphone is only inches away.

And the moment when it was switched on is captured too, and for the first time after four decades Tim hears someone speaking to him.

At every stage Tim reflects on what is happening to him.

He has been deaf for so long the prospect of hearing is daunting.

Will it work? How will it affect his acting, and his life? Woven into this narrative is that of his play Earfull, a recorded live performance.

The story is of falling into silence, but at the same time into acting, and the emergence from silence back into sound.

But the programme does not simply tell Tim Barlow's story.

At first a cochlea implant gives the aural equivalent of a pixilated visual image.

Voices sound, Tim says, like Darth Vader's, and this is worked on to make it clearer and more subtle.

Radio recreates this process so, rather than having it described, the listener experiences what Tim hears.

The story of deaf actor Tim Barlow as he goes through treatment to restore his hearing.

Following the journey of deaf actor Tim Barlow as, over the space of a year, he has tests, consultations and finally a cochlear implant - an electro-magnet inserted into his skull - to restore his hearing.

Interwoven with his story is a performance of his one-man play Earfull, which chronicles his move from WWII soldier to actor and his loss of hearing some four decades ago.

Earfull - From Silence into Sound

Ethicists On Call2006072020070502

As medical science progresses, doctors and families are often faced with complex ethical issues.

Graham Easton follows two ethicists who are 'on call' - Ainsley Newson in London and Paul Ford in Cleveland, Ohio.

How does the UK and the USA compare?

Graham Easton follows two ethicists on different sides of the Atlantic who assist in the making of life and death decisions.

Face To Face With Demons2000092520010916

Mark Smalley talks to Keiko Holmes, a Japanese woman resident in the UK, who tries to build bridges between modern Japan and the British men held as prisoners during World War II / Mark Smalley talks to Keiko Holmes, a Japanese woman resident in the UK, who tries to build bridges between modern Japan and the elderly British men held as prisoners during World War II.

It seems that while some survivors of the notorious Burma-Thai railway are able to lay to rest the ghosts of their past, others are incensed by Keiko's work.

Father Farewell *20090818

Since the age of 16, Tinu Adeniji Adele has shared her life with the Radio 4 audience, including her quest to meet the Nigerian father she never knew.

Finally reunited in 2002, she confronted him with many questions and began to come to terms with her Nigerian legacy.

She faces the realisation that she is both a London girl and a true Princess of Lagos.

Returning to the bustle of Lagos, she now marks his passing and closes a chapter of her life.

Finding Adam20031016

Two years ago a torso was retrieved from the River Thames close to Southwark Bridge.

The police were quickly able to establish that the torso was a boy, aged between four and seven and of African descent, whose limbs had been deliberately and skilfully separated from his body.

They named him Adam, but what they did not know was who this child was and how he had come to be in the Thames.

With almost no clues to work with, the police have carried out one of their most complex investigations - an investigation that has taken them around the world and one that has used the latest scientific techniques available.

As new clues have come to light, so a horrifying picture has emerged.

The BBC's Crime correspondent Neil Bennett, who has followed the investigation closely, reports on an extraordinary detective story against the odds.

Five Turn Detective20040708

In 1982, Cicily and Ken Wilson were among many who lost their life savings when the Isle of Man based Savings and Investment Bank collapsed.

This real-life detective story follows them on the financial trail of a businessman whose multi-million pound borrowing helped cause the crash - in a search for assets he says he doesn't have.

For The Love Of A Daughter20040610

Ten years ago, Bangladeshi Morshed Ali Khan was working as a translator with the United Nations in Rwanda.

When the genocide started, Morshed helped set up a first aid station for refugees.

During those hellish days, an amazing thing happened to him - Morshed found a newborn baby girl who was still alive.

In It's My Story, he travels back to Kigali to meet the ten year old whose life he saved.

From Britain To Bangladesh20020415

The story of British-trained doctor Quam Zahman who returned to Bangladesh to set up a community-based health scheme.

From Telford To The Stream Of Dragons2001101520020721
From Telford To The Stream Of Dragons2001101520020210

Writer Hsiao-ying Tseng travels from Shropshire to South China to visit the sisters she has never met.

Her moving story reveals the human legacy of the Communist victory in 1949.

Future Imperfect2005060220051031

Candida Harris revisits the dilemmas she faced when deciding to have a family.

With a disability that affects her mobility, and a 50/50 chance of passing the condition on to her children, could she justify bringing a baby into the world with the disadvantages of impairment? Yet, if she terminated an affected foetus, wouldn't she be denying the value of her own life?

Candida talks to the professionals who helped shape her own decisions, and meets other parents who have faced tough choices.

Along the way, she explores the complex ethics involved in our brave new world of reproductive technology.

Getting The Trip20040129

Winning one of Britain's six flat racing classics is part of every owner and trainer's dreams.

Last September a three year old filly, Summitville, carried just such dreams when she attempted to win the St Leger.

Pam Cockerill looks back on that day in the company of four people whose hopes and ambitions focussed on Summitville getting the one mile, six furlongs and 32 yards 'trip' at the Doncaster racecourse.

Glad To Be Grey?2010071920101015

A generation of gay people have seen the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the lowering of the age of consent, and the introduction of civil partnerships but now many are having to hide their sexuality as they work out their living arrangements as they get older.

Jane Hill asks - are elderly residential homes an option right now if you're gay?

Age UK has reported that older gay men and lesbians are five times less likely to access services for older people than the general population.

In "Glad to be Grey?" we hear older gay men and lesbians talk about their experiences and concerns about the future particularly if they have to go into a residential retirement home.

Some have experienced outright hostility from staff or fellow residents in residential care or sheltered housing.

Others simply don't expect the straight people they're living with to understand the culture that has formed such an important part of their lives.

Having fought the battles for equality do they face the prospect of being marginalised in old age? BBC News presenter Jane Hill examines a subject which has been largely unexplored up until now.

Jane Hill talks to older gay people facing life in residential care.

Why are they afraid?

Green Line, Green Lanes2001032620020113

Nigel Wrench presents a portrait of life among the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities of North London, which in Cyprus would be divided by the UN-patrolled `green line' but who live and work together along Green Lanes, a road running from Enfield to Islington.

He finds that, beneath a harmonious exterior, tensions do exist.

Harvest Of Hope20030911

John Ogonowski was the pilot of American Airlines flight 11, the first plane to be comandeered on September th 2001, and flown into the world Trade Cenre.

But John was much more than a pilot.

In 'It's My Story: Harvest Of Hope', his widow, Peggy, talks movingly of her husband's legacy.

He was a farmer, conservationist, and sponsor of a scheme to encourage new immigrants into agriculture in New England.

Hilde Speer, The Sins Of The Fathers20050403
Hilde Speer, The Sins Of The Fathers20050410
In The Past Darkly2002040120030420

Margaret Metcalfe grew up believing her father to be a war hero.

But a painful journey into history reveals that he was a traitor, betraying both his family and his country

But a journey into history reveals that he was a traitor, betraying both his family and his country.

Injecting Life20050217

It's estimated that more than a million people die every year because of infection caused by unsafe medical injections.

Marc Koska, a British inventor, has dedicated his life to preventing deaths through dirty needles.

Twenty years ago he came up with a solution, a syringe which can only be used once.

Emily Buchanan tells the story of his uphill battle to persuade governments and health workers around the world of the importance injecting safely.

It's All Down To Ben2004071520041121

Nicky and Dave Potts love their son, Ben, a heroin addict who has been taking drugs since the age of 14.

Sometimes their love means excluding Ben from the family home and refusing to stand bail.

Ben, Nicky and Dave talk frankly about the roller coaster of their recent lives.

Another chance to hear this documentary which was the winner of the 2004 Premios Ondas International Radio Award.

Jim Riordan20050609

In 1963, Jim Riordan became the first and only Westerner to play for a Soviet football team.

Last year he found himself looking after Alexei Smertin, the current captain of Russia.

Two men, one game - but how different are their lives?

Knowing Me, Knowing Autism20130506

This programme follows Robyn through her personal and professional life; juggling the demands of her own condition with her obligations to others; giving insight into autism through the people who experience it first hand. Her professional life is highly organised (courtesy of her iphone); her personal life extremely messy. But she paints with her fingers, writes lyrics, listens to music and goes to the gym; often using the routine and the ritual of these activities to manage her condition

As Robyn says: "Autism is a spectrum of conditions, everyone is different. I don't know what it would be like not to be Autistic. I suppose if I had to create a short explanation I'd say Autism is like an all-encompassing wall. People like Rain man (who had classic autism) are enclosed by a brick wall, people with Asperger's are behind a frosted glass wall often able to see out but not reach the rest of the world, you can have a wall of any thickness in between and it's not always obvious what they are made of. But others can remove bricks by finding shared interests like IT, Thomas the tank engine and football".

Robyn is a professional one to one mentor to young people with Autism. She helps them with the difficulties of daily life, talking to them about money and public transport, discussing their coping strategies, and dealing with the people they come into contact with who may not understand their needs. People with autism can sometimes have problems with executive functioning tasks (planning, creating new ideas, ordering tasks) focus on detail rather than the bigger picture (known as weak central coherence), have problems with anxiety. So Robyn's job also involves helping groups like the police, social workers and paediatricians to understand these behaviours.

Her Aspergers is just one of ten disabilities she possesses. She lists the other nine (pointing out that lists are something she's good at):

1 left sided hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy)

2 hemnipoia ( no peripheral vision)

3 prosapragnosia ( I don't recognize faces i recognize people by their shoes

4 dyspraxia

5 dyslexia

6 dyscullia (math dyslexia)

7 lax ligaments

8 poor muscle tone

9 scared lung tissue

Produced by Sue Mitchell.

Ladies On The Door20100525

Karole Seaby is 55 years old, a grandmother and a female bouncer.

She's spent the last two decades working the doors of some of London's toughest venues, meeting the good, the bad, and the punchy along the way.

In Ladies On The Door, Karole tells us what it's like for women who work in the world of pub and club security.

With the help of Dr Kate O'Brien, a lecturer in Criminology who's worked as a door supervisor for her research, the programme follows Karole as she searches and manages hundreds of drunk and noisy teenagers during an average night on the job.

From scuffles at the door to finding hidden drugs and alcohol, Karole and security staff like her across the UK rarely get a quiet night.

The programme hears how they handle the increasing menace of drunken girls who 'kick off', and reflects on why there has been such an increase in drunkenness and violence among some young women.

Away from the singing, shouting, pushing and shoving, Karole looks back at on over twenty years in door security, how the rules have changed for the people managing the public and how that same public has changed too.

Producer: Russell Crewe

A Made in Manchester production for BBC Radio 4.

Bouncer and granny Karole Seaby on working the doors of some of London's toughest clubs.

Let Me In2014020320140209

Seymour is a serial offender in his late 40s. A few months after he was last released, he was seen on a bench outside a prison gate, head in hands, desperate to return. Within weeks he was back inside.

In prison he thrives. He fills his time with purposeful activity, gaining respect among fellow inmates and staff. Outside, without the protective regime, he falls into old habits.

Seymour has been locked up every year for the past decade, for sentences related to his crack cocaine habit. In prison, he gets clean and commits to change; out of prison, usually after a period of success, his addiction gets the better of him.

Once back on crack, it's only a matter of time. Although "gutted" when he ends up back inside, he usually acknowledges a sense of relief.

As his current sentence ends, Seymour shares his thoughts and experiences - through his final days in prison, then out on to the streets. Will he leave crime behind? What support will be available? Can he convince his family to trust him?

BBC Radio 4 has been recording Seymour's progress since Summer 2012 and Let Me In provides rare, first-hand testimony from a man full of hope, but also fear, as he struggles to define his place in the world.

Produced and narrated by Steve Urquhart

A Prison Radio Association production for BBC Radio 4.

Letting Go Of James2011070320110824

"I've driven home from work in tears many times recently, because I just don't want to let go", says Jane, James mother at the start of Letting Go of James.

But the truth is that the family isn't coping with him living at home.

He is 16, severely autistic, does not speak and can attack other members of the family.

He has been offered a place in full time residential care, and the family is now going through the process of transition.

James three brothers take part in several visits to the school and Charles, James' father, comments on the irony that the family is spending more times with James just as they are about to say goodbye.

Before the final goodbye they have a last family holiday, which despite some magical moments, underlies the fact that James needs to go.

On the final evening tensions are running higher than normal as his parents prepare James for bed, but there is a real moment of revelation when they all do finally say goodbye, as the youngest sibling touches James for the first time, and with time the boys begin to experience a new side of James.

The process of adjusting continues for the family who do not say that they are 'happier'.

They all miss James more than expected, although they can enjoy doing more together, relax a bit more and are relieved it has happened.

James has a number of successful visits home - although just where home is becomes a heartbreaking issue in the programme.

At Christmas he pulls his first ever cracker, but New Year leads Jane to reflect on her ongoing fears for her son.

The initial honeymoon period does pass and Jane and Charles admit there are no fairytale endings.

Letting Go of James ends with the recognition - from the whole family - that life will never be easy for James and that there will always be difficult choices.

Producers: Anna Scott-Brown and Adam Fowler

A Ladbroke Production for BBC Radio 4.

How one family copes as their 16-year-old, autistic son starts full time residential care.

"I've driven home from work in tears many times recently, because I just don't want to let go", says Jane, James mother at the start of Goodbye James.

But the truth is that the family isn't copying with him living at home.

Goodbye James ends with the recognition - from the whole family - that life will never be easy for James and that there will always be difficult choices.

Life In The Balance20060126

Winifred Robinson follows the parents of baby Charlotte Wyatt as they prepare for the day when she can swap her hospital bed for a life at home with her sister and brothers.

As Debbie and Darren discuss their daughter's condition, it becomes apparent just how many hurdles they face.

There are run-ins with neighbours who claim they can't control their dog, the prospect of further court battles over Charlotte's care and the problems of raising four children under the age of four - without any support from family or friends.

Life Sentence20020826

Sophiwa Sobuwa was 17 when he was sentenced to 48 years imprisonment on Robben Island.

The island is now a museum, and Sophiwa, released in 1991, works there as a guide.

Living In The Memory Room2013070220130818

There are 800,000 dementia sufferers in the UK. Kim Normanton presents a personal programme about memory and dementia, inspired by her mother's illness. She explores a new approach to treatment - recreating the past.

As her mother's memory of recent events was destroyed, Kim discovered that she could only reach her by entering the past. She began sharing memories of her mother's childhood with theatrical props: "She can't reach where I'm living anymore, so it's up to me to go back to happier days in the past and reach her."

This approach to dementia is tried on a much larger scale in Hogewey Dementia Village in Holland. The village recreates the surroundings of the residents' youth, with old-fashioned furnishings and even a supermarket selling old-fashioned sweets. Kim talks to the director about ethical issues: is it right to deceive people with this theatrical illusion?

In Britain, she finds care homes increasingly using 'reminiscence objects' to stimulate dementia sufferers. Kim visits a Cornwall home where Janet Brown, known locally as 'the Memory Lady', organizes group memory sessions using old toys and kitchen utensils plucked from a memory box. She says, "It's a horrible disease and there's no cure, but there are moments which we can make more pleasurable for those living with it, and their carers."

Kim explores the latest memory science with Dr Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster: "The biggest problem with dementia is a lack of narrative - being suspended in space without the context of memories to support you. But I've seen people with dementia who are very happy. When you're reminiscing, you really are in that world and enjoying that moment."

Producers: Kim Normanton and Elizabeth Burke.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

Living With Birdie20070823
Looted Art2006080320061015

For over 50 years, legendary reporter Charles Wheeler has carried a tiny portrait across continents and decades - but who was she, where did she come from and did she have a guilty past? She has remained an unprompted gift and a mystery for Wheeler until now.

His search for her rightful home is a tale of power, politics and theft.

Loving Men Living Lies2000091820010909

Sheila Keegan investigates why clever women can fall for conmen who are also conning themselves - such as Rosie, who became engaged to a man she later discovered was simultaneously involved with at least 12 other women.

Mafia, Masons And Murder20050106

As the Italian courts prepare to rule on whether four people should face trial for conspiracy to murder Vatican banker Roberto Calvi, the private investigator who discovered crucial new evidence tells the inside story of how he helped unravel one of London's most high profile mysteries.

Meetings At The Edge2001100820020203

The story of Celeste Dixon, whose mother was murdered at her home in Texas.

When the killer was sentenced to death, Celeste began a journey towards forgiveness / The story of Celeste Dixon, whose mother was murdered by Michael Richard at her home in Texas, and who chose to correspond with Michael on death row.

Michael And George2003081420041003

Twenty-seven-year-old Michael Fowkes trained as a theatre designer but most of his working life had been spent in temporary jobs and waiting tables; applying to be a teaching assistant at Kender Primary School in New Cross, London, was a radical departure for him.

The challenge was even greater when he learned that he'd be in charge of George, a five-year-old boy with severe learning difficulties.

Initially apprehensive, Michael decided to see what he could do.

It turned out to be the most profitable and fulfilling job of his life.

George Edwards has been profoundly deaf since birth, and had only been treated for his deafness for a few months before he met Michael.

Michael's approach - fresh, challenging and direct - proved hugely successful and George flourished under his tutelage.

Michael and George tells the story of this remarkable relationship, and how it affected both teacher and pupil.

Mother's Mountain20060810

Twenty years ago this month, Julie Tullis became the first British woman to reach the summit of K2.

Caught in bad weather during the descent, she never made it down.

Then, last year, one of her diary tapes was found on a Himalayan glacier, an audio document of a previous expedition that brings to life the hardship, the dangers and the fascination of the high peaks.

This is Julie's story told through the lost-and-found voice on her expedition cassettes and interviews with her climbing partner Kurt Diemberger, her husband Terry and children Chris and Lindsay.

Mother's Mountain20061020

Extracts from the audio diary of Julie Tullis, who became the first British woman to reach the summit of K2 20 years ago.

Caught in bad weather during the descent, she never made it down.

Last year, one of her diary tapes was found on a Himalayan glacier.

The programme also includes interviews with her climbing partner Kurt Diemberger, her husband and her children.

Mr Fan, From Boatperson To Horseman2012042320130129

Mr Fan fled Vietnam on a boat and landed in Greenwich. He grows vegetables like a Chinese peasant, and rides horses like an English gentleman. In his barber shop, he tells his tale.

When radio producer Julian May or his sons need a haircut they pop round to Mr Fan. Over the years, the blond baby and the grey curls falling, his story of escape, exile, settlement and identity, has emerged.

Mr Fan is from Vietnam but is Chinese. In 1979, when the Chinese crossed the border and fought a short war with her neighbour, he had to leave. His family left everything and clambered aboard an over-laden sailing boat. No one knew how to sail or navigate. Months later they reached Hong Kong and were interned. Eventually, while his father languished dying in prison, he landed in England, and settled in Greenwich.

That's the past. What is interesting is the life Mr Fan leads now: very Chinese; very English. His tiny garden full of pak choi; dawn exercises in the park; table tennis. As he snips he sips green tea.

But the pictures on the walls are of horses. Three times a week at a suburban riding school, among the pigtailed 'gels', this Chinese man in his sixties, trots, canters - and now gallops and jumps - in his black velvet riding hat.

This is what he loves, what England has given him, and he'll never go back. He did go to Mongolia - on a riding holiday.

While he cuts hair, exercises early in Greenwich Park (where he enjoyed watching the Olympic equestrian events last summer), tends his peasant patch and rides the horses he loves, Mr Fan tells his story to Julian May who, sparingly, presents a tale that reveals important aspects of identity and belonging.

Producer: Julian May.

While he cuts hair, exercises early in Greenwich Park (where he'll soon watch the Olympic equestrian events), tends his peasant patch and rides the horses he loves, Mr Fan tells his story to Julian May who, sparingly, presents a tale that reveals important aspects of identity and belonging.

Mr Fan, Vietnamese boatperson, barber, Chinese gardener, English horseman, tells his story

Music And Silence20121204

Michael Berkeley has been composing music since he was six years old. His father was a composer and, as a child, he sang for his godfather Benjamin Britten. His whole life has revolved around music. But two years ago an ordinary cold virus triggered a catastrophic loss of hearing.

This programme is the story of the last year as he comes to terms with partial deafness and talks to other musicians who have suffered a similar disaster - opera singer Janine Roebuck and rock critic Nick Coleman. We begin in the Royal Albert Hall with rehearsals for the London premiere of Michael Berkeley's organ concerto at last year's Proms. As the composer, Michael is expected to give final notes on the music balance - but how can he do that when he can't be sure he is hearing it accurately?

At the piano, Michael shows us powerfully how sounds are distorted and what he hears inside his head. We follow him on medical appointments as he experiments with different hearing aids. Walking in the countryside in Wales, he thinks about Beethoven and the tragic letter he writes about his deafness but, as time passes, something strange happens: Michael begins to enjoy listening to music again. His brain seems to be filling in the gaps. He goes to meet an expert in the University College London Ear Institute who reveals new research about the extraordinary connection between the ears and the brain. So he ends with a surprising message of hope.

Michael is brave to speak out; some of his colleagues did not want him to make this programme. Deafness is still a taboo, the invisible disability, and yet ten million people in Britain (1 in 6) struggle to hear.

Producer: Elizabeth Burke

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

My Lover, My Carer20130205

What happens to long-term relationships when a lover becomes a carer? Julie Fernandez talks to four couples where one partner has a severe disability about the challenges of being the carer - and the cared-for.

Natalie Burr was a world-class trampolinist, training for the Olympics. In a split second her life was turned upside-down: she misjudged a triple summersault and crashed onto the mat. She lay there, unable to feel her legs, knowing she had broken her neck. Being handed her phone, she rang her husband Shane and asked "Will you leave me?".

Many couples don't survive sudden disability - the pressures are just too great. But Shane didn't leave, and he is still together with Natalie and they have gone on to have a baby. How have they made it work? For those who do manage to stay together, how do they negotiate the sudden shift of roles?

The four couples whose lives have been transformed by disability, talk frankly and movingly about how their relationship has changed and how power has shifted between them. They talk about adjusting to a different life: all the daily stuff - making tea, mowing the grass, cuddles in a wheelchair, what to do about sex. When a lover becomes a carer it can distort intimacy in ways which can be difficult to discuss.

Julie has brittle bone disease from birth, while her husband Andrew is not disabled. She brings her own experience of disability to those for whom this is a new and sometimes devastating experience. She's both challenging and sensitive in probing taboo areas - from attitudes towards sex to feelings of guilt and exhaustion.

Producers Elizabeth Burke and Hilary Dunn

A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

Neta Golan's Story20031002

From being a staunch supporter of the Israeli state she has gone on to found an international protest movement against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Never Too Late To Separate20070405

Kim Normanton reports on the increasing divorce rate amongst the over-50s.

She explores how to disentangle decades of married life and how to start again.

Not So Grim In Grimsby20030203

The Lincolnshire port has produced more lottery millionaires than anywhere else in the country.

John Waite meets one of them.

Now I Can Say No20060622

In the past ten years the number of women in prison has increased by 140%, mostly for non-violent crimes like shoplifting.

Many re-offend.

To break the cycle the West Midlands Probation Service are sending women on a pioneering course to help them deal with their problems.

'I've been a shoplifter for 16 years I didn't think it would work.

We're better people now.

We don't want to get into trouble again, do we ladies?'.

On The Edge2001041620020203

Head teacher Moyra Healy talks about her work with disruptive pupils, the success of which is astonishing other education professionals.

One Man's Meat2001102920020825

Dylan Winter chronicles what happened when John Chadwick, a third-generation slaughterman and butcher from Lancashire, took on the EU over its rules on how to slaughter cattle.

Our Word Lives On!2001040920020127

Dovid Katz tracks down the last Yiddish speakers of Eastern Europe / Dovid Katz tracks down the last Yiddish speakers of Eastern Europe.

Overturning The Tide20051219

One year on from the devastating Asian tsunami, Lucy Ash tells the extraordinary story of one father's journey from despair to finding hope.

Last Boxing Day Karibeeran Paramesvaran turned 40.

But his birthday was marked by tragedy.

He, his son and two daughters were playing frisbee on the beach near their home in Nagapattinam, on the southern tip of India, when they were overwhelmed by the deadly wave.

Karibeeran survived by clinging to a palm tree and when the waters retreated, he searched for the children, discovering their bodies one by one.

He carried them home, washed and dressed them, and then dug a grave with his own hands before burying them.

Paddington Stories2001100120020127

Two years after the Paddington train crash, Sheena Mcdonald charts the progress of two survivors whose common experience has led to a firm transatlantic friendship.

Physician, Heal Thyself20040226

In 1995, Professor Julia Polak, an expert in lung pathology, developed the very disease she was researching, primary pulmonary hypertension, and it became rapidly obvious that a heart and lung transplant was her only chance of survival.

She was operated on by her friend and colleague, the internationally renowned surgeon, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, and was told she had two years to live.

Now almost nine years later, Julia's experience has led her to found the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Centre at Imperial College, London, which is conducting pioneering research into alternatives to transplants.

This is Julia's story.

Produced by Liz Leonard.

Political Interference20060817

Roger Bolton recalls an invisible Cold War battle between Soviet bloc radio engineers, who tried to jam radio signals from the West, and their counterparts in the West.

Political Interference20070418

Roger Bolton recalls a fierce but invisible battle waged in the skies above Eastern Europe for almost forty years.

Soviet bloc radio engineers tried to jam radio signals coming from the West while their Western counterparts did their utmost to get the signals through.

Roger talks to engineers from both sides and hears what happened when the jamming finally stopped.

Pugilist Turned Probation Officer20040115

Christopher Okoh struck boxing gold in 1995 winning the Commonwealth cruiserweight title.

When his time in the ring was over, he took on his next challenge - training to be a probation officer.

""I think the most common excuse for someone on probabtion not turning up for their appointment with me is the grandmother dying - I had to point out to one person that this was the third time this year his grandmother had died"".

Jo Morris follows Chris' new career.

Race2003012020030713

"I just wanted to get my carcass off that field alive!" - Tommie Smith had preoccupations beyond his future in athletics when he raised his black gloved fist on the Olympic podium in Mexico in 1968.

In a rare interview, Smith talks about the "silent gesture heard around the world", when he and team-mate John Carlos made their black power salute to the watching millions.

Smith was a young man at the time of his protest and had just set a new world record for his distance, but life after the black power salute was hard and he never ran again.

Smith was supported in his protest by Professor Harry Edwards who speaks about American and Olympic racism and his part in co-ordinating Smith's action.

The raised fists also had a deep impact on other members of that Olympic event.

Jim Hines became a sprint legend by winning the 100 metres.

It was the first time the distance had been run in under 10 seconds.

However, within days of his historic achievement, Hines became sport's forgotten man.

As soon as Smith and Carlos raised their fists on the medal podium after their 200 metres race, Hines realised no-one would remember him for simply being a winner.

Hines recalls the highs of his Olympic achievement and lows of the life that followed, as he and his African American team mates went home in disgrace rather than glory.

Guardian and BBC Athletics commentator, John Rawling, travels to California to speak with Tommie Smith, Harry Edwards and Jim Hines about how 1968 and the Black Power Salute changed their lives.

Remembering Millie20120430

Millie died when she was 22 months, but the impact of her life and death is still emerging. "Remembering Millie," celebrates her life through the stories of her family, friends, neighbours, a teacher at her brother's school, a hairdresser who cut her hair once, and even people who never met her.

At 20 weeks into their 3rd pregnancy, Martin and Frances discovered that their unborn daughter had a rare neurological genetic condition. Her head and brain were not developing properly. Professionals said she might not have a face and strongly advised a termination. But they went ahead with the pregnancy, and not only did Millie unexpectedly survive the birth, but she lived longer than anyone had predicted. She remained the size of a newborn, had a flat nose and cleft palate, never sat up and was fed by a tube her whole life; yet she touched the lives of everyone who met her.

When Martin and Frances move away from Oxford where Millie was born and is buried, they negotiate feeling that they've left her behind. In the new place with new people they continue to keep her memory alive. Millie's grandmother says, "she goes on being, because she's remembered so much, and a friend observes, "the family's moving on, and thriving, loving and enjoying life, and this isn't because Millie isn't there any more, it's because Millie WAS there."

In the programme her parents speak openly about how Millie has affected them and in tears describe her death. Music and readings from the funeral underpin the programme, and capture the sorrow, but also the joy of Millie's life. There's so much that's positive in the family's testimony, and in those of people who knew and loved Millie, or whose lives have been changed by Millie's story, that the programme both challenges and comforts in equal measure.

Producer: Anna Scott-Brown

A Ladbroke Production for BBC Radio 4.

Millie died at 22 months. Her 'little life' is celebrated, its ongoing impact considered.

Ridley's Return To Kabul20020311

Reporter Yvonne Ridley returns, this time with passport and visa, to Afghanistan, following her arrest there last autumn for illegally entering the country dressed in a burkha.

Runaway Brides2001050720020728

Every year, young British women find themselves trapped abroad after being forced by their parents into unwanted marriages.

Liz Carney follows their stories / Every year, young British women find themselves trapped abroad, after being forced by their parents into unwanted marriages.

Liz Carney follows the stories of some of these women, who have been victims of forced marriage in Bangladesh.

School For Communists20070920

Jim Riordan recalls his education at Moscow's elite Higher Party School for Communists during the height of the Cold War.

As he wanders through a vastly changed Moscow, he finds the past ever more elusive and puzzling.

Shared Care20020318

A look at a homeshare initiative linking young people needing accommodation with pensioners who need support to stay in their own homes.

Shared Care20030413
Shared Care20030518
Skiing For Ghana20110207

Six years ago, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong strapped on a set of skis for the first time. Fast forward to 2010 and he's the first Ghanaian to take part in the Winter Olympics. This is an incredible achievement, but ultimately Kwame has a greater goal: to bring Skiing to Ghana.

Ghana is famous for cocoa production, Kofi Annan and the extraordinary national football team. Ski resorts are not on the list. However, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong wants to build the first ever artificial ski slope just a few degrees north of the equator.

He's the first ever Ghanaian to compete in the Winter Olympics and he wants others to follow. The lack of snow in his native land won't stop him. He's gained the approval of the tribal chief in Mamfe where the slope is to be situated and initial work will begin next year against the picturesque backdrop of Ghana's Akuapem Hills.

Kwame is taking the task very seriously; "I want to remove the stigma of sport in Africa, where too often it's considered something that dummies do," he says. "Education can go hand-in-hand with leisure and recreation. It doesn't have to be a choice of one or the other. I want people to see that.".

Six years ago, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong strapped on a set of skis for the first time.

Fast forward to 2010 and he's the first Ghanaian to take part in the Winter Olympics.

This is an incredible achievement, but ultimately Kwame has a greater goal: to bring Skiing to Ghana.

Ghana is famous for cocoa production, Kofi Annan and the extraordinary national football team.

Ski resorts are not on the list.

However, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong wants to build the first ever artificial ski slope just a few degrees north of the equator.

He's the first ever Ghanaian to compete in the Winter Olympics and he wants others to follow.

The lack of snow in his native land won't stop him.

He's gained the approval of the tribal chief in Mamfe where the slope is to be situated and initial work will begin next year against the picturesque backdrop of Ghana's Akuapem Hills.

Kwame is taking the task very seriously; "I want to remove the stigma of sport in Africa, where too often it's considered something that dummies do," he says.

"Education can go hand-in-hand with leisure and recreation.

It doesn't have to be a choice of one or the other.

I want people to see that.".

Ghana is famous for cocoa, Kofi Annan and football.

Not skiing.

Until now.

Small Dog On Mars20030522

In a few days time, Britain's first interplanetary probe is due to blast off on a Russian rocket.

This is the story of a man and a dog.

The dog is Beagle 2, the robot probe that will land on Mars and, perhaps, like Darwin's ship The Beagle, discover signs of new life forms.

The man is Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University who, with bushy whiskers, chunky jumpers and a West Country accent, is its unlikely master.

Son Of A Preacher Man2007083020080811

Broadcaster Darcus Howe, the son of an Anglican priest, talks to poets, comedians, actors and writers whose fathers were also in the clergy.

They compare experiences about the influence of their fathers and their calling on their own lives.

Standing Tall20020408

Peter White meets the tallest man in the world.

Sunny Hits The Stage20050113

Sunny Patel-Jones was abused as a baby and diagnosed as having learning difficulties.

As a young man, he has confounded expectations and emerged as a talented actor.

Now, as he makes the transition from performer to professional director, he questions what the 'learning difficulties' label he has carried all his life actually means.

Switzerland For A Franc *2009031620090420

Miles Warde follows what happened when British businessman Bruno Prior responded to an advert in The Times advertising a ski resort for sale for one Swiss franc.

The main lift breaks in Bruno's first season in charge at the resort, the falling pound hampers his ability to invest and two villagers refuse to sell land where he hopes to build a new hotel.

What happened when a British businessman bought a ski resort for one Swiss franc.

Miles Warde follows what happened when British businessman Bruno Prior responded to an advert in The Times advertising a ski resort for sale for one Swiss franc.

Teenage Kicks20070913

Profile of Patience Bush, who helps families combat their children's antisocial behaviour, especially physical abuse inflicted on parents.

One of 77 dedicated experts recruited nationally, she spends her days helping Sheffield parents unable to cope with their teenagers.

Tested On Animals20020325

Prof Clive Page, whose research into asthma involves animal testing, talks about living under the threat of death since being placed on a hit list by animal rights activists.

The 99 *2009070620090828

DJ Bobby Friction tells the story of Dr Naif Al-Mutawa, the psychologist and businessman who has created the first collection of Muslim comic book superheroes - The 99 - that are sweeping the Arab world, and arriving soon in Europe.

Based on the 99 attributes of Allah in the Koran, the cartoons are not without controversy.

Bobby visits Naif in Kuwait on the eve of the opening of The 99's first theme park, and tells the story of his quest to become known as 'the Walt Disney of the Arabic world'.

The story of the man who has created the first collection of Muslim comic book superheroes

The Artful Dodger2000100220010923

John Waite talks to Lee, who hit the headlines as the Sheffield 14-year-old whose 12-year-old partner was pregnant / John Waite talks to Lee, who hit the headlines last year as the Sheffield 14-year-old who had got his 12-year-old partner pregnant.

The media attention, and, Lee says, particularly the bidding war for exclusive rights to the story, has driven the pair apart, and he is now struggling to gain access to his child and live up to his new role as a father.

The Boxing Civil Servant2009022320090518

Journalist Jackie Ashley tells the story of how her fifty-something friend Miranda Carter, a high-flying civil servant at the Department of Transport, astonished friends and family when she announced that she was applying for a licence as a boxing promoter.

By day she continues to work in the corridors of power in Whitehall, but in the evenings and at weekends she mixes with the raucous boxing crowd of York Hall, Bethnal Green, in the East End of London.

The Congenital Heart Mothers20050224

The remarkable story of Lorraine and Briony - two women, born with congenital heart disease.

Until recently, their delicate heart condition has dashed any hopes of having children.

Under the wing of cardiac consultant Fiona Walker whose team is turning past medical practice on its head, we follow an intimate 9 months of emotional upheavals, key events and medical risks as they prepare for motherhood.

The Culture Club20040307

Sunday Best revisits It's My Story with The Culture Club: Ruth Evans talks to Norman Heatley, a member of the Oxford Penicillin Team which developed the drug during World War II.

Dr Heatley, a biochemist with Heath-Robinson tendencies, played a key role in the production of usable amounts of penicillin, used in the pioneering research conducted by the Oxford team led by Florey and Chain.

It was due to Heatley's work in devising new techniques for the culture and extraction of penicillin that clinical evaluation of the antibiotic was completed and penicillin became available in quantity in time for the D-Day landings of June, 1944.

The Fifty-fifty Call20040617

In action, soldiers have to make split second decisions every day.

Each one is a fifty-fifty call - will it be the right or the wrong one? When lives hang in the balance, it's a crucial question.

Three combatants talk about the heart-stopping moment when they made a crucial decision, and how military training prepared them for the crunch.

The Flight Of Tiny Feet2003011320030706

Three septuagenarians recall their childhood experience of 1942, fleeing from Burma to India in the face of the Japanese invaders.

The Girl In The Picture2010051820100613

Kim Phuc, subject of an iconic picture from the Vietnam War, tells her story as she's reunited with the ITN reporter who helped save her life 38 years ago.

The image of a nine year old girl screaming as she ran naked down a road in Trang Bang after suffering extreme burns in a Napalm chemical attack became one of the most famous photographs of the Vietnam War.

But what happened to the 'Girl in the Picture'?

In an emotional meeting, former ITN reporter Christopher Wain - who helped to save her life that day - is reunited with Kim for the first time in 38 years.

They recall the events of June 8th 1972 and Kim hears for the first time the lengths to which Chris went to get her life-saving treatment.

She tells how Nick Ut's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph has helped and haunted her in equal measure.

She explains how she was recruited as a 'symbol of war' before finally escaping Government control by fleeing to Canada.

She managed to live a normal life for a while but was discovered by the press again in the 1990s.

She soon realised she had to take control of the photograph and decided to use her fame to help others by establishing a charity for child victims of war called 'The Kim Phuc Foundation'.

The burns Kim suffered in 1972 left her scarred for life and still take their toll on her body.

She's in constant pain and has to take regular breaks.

But it doesn't stop her living a busy life.

As part of the programme, Kim also meets Ali Abbas, who lost both his arms and sixteen members of his family in the Iraq War.

The pair share their experiences and Kim offers him advice on living a normal life and finding a way to forgive.

The programme is presented by Christopher Wain.

Producer: Ashley Byrne.

A Made in Manchester production for BBC Radio 4.

Kim Phuc, subject of an iconic photograph from the Vietnam War, tells her story.

The Imam Of Peace2011012420110321

Nadene Ghouri profiles John Butt, an Englishman who travelled to South Asia on the hippy trail, converted to Islam and trained as an imam.

For the last few decades his mission has been to spread a message of peace and tolerance across Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He set up a series of radio stations across the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan and established a madrassa in Jalalabad in Afghanistan, preaching his own version of a moderate inclusive Islam.

Now this work is getting tougher.

The Swat operation was hit by last year's flooding while militants attacked his madrassa, burning down a building.

The jihadist threat means it is too dangerous for John Butt to travel to the Swat Valley or to visit his project in Jalalabad.

Nadene Ghouri asks who's winning - John or the extremists?

Producer: Bill Law.

How an English Muslim convert spread a message of tolerance in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Indian Sceptic20030828

Enter the weird and wonderful world of Mr B Premanand, India's leading guru-buster and a fanatical Rationalist.

His mission is to expose any charlatan who pretends his magic tricks are miracles and to rid India of the mumbo jumbo and superstitions blighting the country.

Reporter Tanya Datta joins Mr Premanand as he investigates a faith healer who can diagnose colour hunger, tries out meditation under a pyramid and witnesses a statue growing hair.

A comical and highly entertaining voyage into the weird and wonderful world of Mr B.

Premanand, India's leading guru-buster and a fanatical Rationalist.

The irreverent Mr B Premanand is a man with a mission.

Two missions actually.

The first, to expose any charlatan who pretends his magic tricks are miracles.

The second, to dispel the curse of gullibility blighting his country and replace it instead, with the gospel of rationalism.

To that end, this sprightly septuagenarian has spent the last 25 years touring Indian villages and schools demonstrating the fallacy of so-called "miracles".

His crusade has ensured his own mastery over magic.

And at 73, he is the oldest member of India's International Brotherhood of Magicians, with knowledge of over 1,500 tricks.

He's also convenor of the Federation of Indian Rationalists, head of the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, and editor of a monthly journal.

Tanya Datta, a British-born Indian, catches up with Mr Premanand on a rollercoaster trip around India.

With him, she encounters a cosmic healer who can diagnose colour hunger, tries out meditation under a pyramid, and witnesses the bizarre case of a statue growing hair.

But catching fraudulent godmen is not plain sailing.

As Tanya and Mr Premanand go on the trail of a guru who claims he can heal, they are stalled, spied on and ultimately, given the slip.

At a time when Indian politics has become more and more coloured by religion, Mr Premanand is determined to smash the stranglehold of superstition wherever he sees it.

But is he going too far? Some people think so.

But despite several vicious beatings and even attempts on his life, he remains undeterred, convinced that his vision for India is the only way forward.

The Indian Sceptic2003090420041010
The Last Boat From Whitehills20050210

In the tiny village of Whitehills, on the remote coastline of NE Scotland, the ""Budding Rose"" is the only white fish boat left in port.

Liz Carney puts to sea with her skipper Bertie Milne and finds out more about the desperate fight for survival by fishing families in some of Scotland's most fragile coastal communities.

The Liberation Of Daphne2004070120041107

At the age of 60, a Somerset farmer's daughter is adapting to a new life.

With the death of her father, Daphne Watts has finally achieved independence.

At the age of 60, a Somerset farmer's daughter is adapting to a new life outside her Mendip farmhouse prison.

For nearly fifty years, Daphne Watts was an unpaid farm labourer, working seven days a week for her parents.

No days off, no holidays, no boy-friends, no fun.

With the death of her father, Daphne has now finally achieved independence, with a pension, a bungalow, a sheep-dog and a vintage tractor.

How will she manage?

This documentary follows Daphne's progress through three years of major life adjustments, against the background of a declining Somerset family farming tradition.

The Long Walk20120326

Twice awarded the George Medal for bravery, as well as an MBE for Gallantry, Peter Gurney, the former head of the Metropolitan Police Explosives Squad, was defusing bombs when international terror groups like Black September first began to use IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) as their weapon of choice.

As one of the world's top bomb disposal officers, he was in the front line as the IRA campaign spread to the mainland. He defused hundreds of bombs and saved many lives and he describes "the long walk", the journey, always made alone, by a bomb disposal officer towards the suspect device.

In "It's My Story: The Long Walk", BBC Northern Ireland's Political Editor, Mark Devenport, tracks Peter Gurney's career over forty years, as he and his colleagues played a deadly game of catch up with the bomb makers and their increasingly sophisticated devices.

Police officers, including the former head of the Anti Terrorist Squad, remember the IRA bombing campaigns in England, including the booby-trapped Wimpy Bar bomb in 1981 in London's Oxford Street. This killed instantly Peter Gurney's close friend and colleague, Ken Howarth, but after finding his body, Mr Gurney had to check for secondary devices and then go on to defuse a similar device in another building.

There are never-before-heard tapes, recorded in real time by Mr Gurney into a tiny micro-cassette strapped to his spine (the part of a person's body most likely to protect the recordings should his "luck" run out). These dramatic tapes, reveal Mr Gurney, cautious about booby-traps, discovering an IRA arms cache of guns, explosives and booby-trap devices hidden in a forest.

And 21 years after the IRA's audacious attempt to murder the Prime Minister and his cabinet, Peter Gurney returns to Number 10 Downing Street, where, in one of the last major jobs of his career, he defused one of the mortar bombs fired through the hole in the roof of a transit van, parked in Whitehall.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Peter Gurney, former head of the Met's Explosives Squad, on a lifetime of bomb disposal.

The Look Of Life2005121520070104

Two years ago, Sandra Jones lost the sight in her left eye.

In a year's time, she's likely to be almost totally blind.

But there are five things in the natural world she's determined to see before that happens.

She makes up her mind to walk to the North Pole for starters.

Sandra has a condition called Sorsby Fundus Dystrophy.

Only five families in the UK are known to have the gene, inherited from a common ancestor around 1740.

This is a moving, but often funny programme that charts our relationship with the world around us through the eyes of a remarkable woman.

The Man Who Killed My Daughter20020429

The extraordinary story of a mother's 12-year fight to bring her daughter's murderer to justice.

The killer has confessed to the crime, but a legal loophole needs closing.

The Man Whose Mind Exploded *20080522

Toby Amies meets Drako Oho Zarhazar, an extraordinary resident of a Brighton council estate.

Drako has modelled for Salvador Dali, been filmed by Andy Warhol, spent some wild times with Keith Richards and danced at the London Palladium.

He has also been in two comas, had two nervous breakdowns and made two suicide attempts.

He now has almost no short term memory and has filled his flat with thousands of pieces of paper to remind him of who he is and what is happening in his life.

The Outsize Family20030918

The Hudson family were stars of a Picture Post magazine article in the early 1950s: Mother Of 20 Children.

It chronicled a day in the life of what was thought to be one of the largest families in the country - with fifteen surviving brothers and sisters.

Fifty years on, oral historian Alan Dein has tracked down some of the descendants and hears about their experiences of life in what the magazine called 'an outsize family'.

The Prisoner Released20130521

Three years after he was sent to prison, PJ is about to be released. But getting out can be more daunting than going in. In prison there's food, warmth, shelter; there's healthcare, education and work; there's discipline, structure and routine.

This is PJ's first prison sentence. He came in aged 18 with a street robbery conviction related to his gambling addiction. He's been counting down the days but is concerned he has become institutionalised. As the big moment approaches, his emotions turn from excitement to trepidation.

In this first person account, PJ speaks openly and honestly about his fears of what's to come. He's worried about finding somewhere to live and getting in to work. But there are other issues he will have to face - re-establishing his relationship with his family, the temptation to commit crime and walking past the bookmakers he believes resulted in him going to prison in the first place.

With rare access inside prison, we accompany PJ during his last few days inside, the final night in his cell and his walk through the prison gates and into the uncertainty of freedom. We then follow him during the days, weeks and months after prison as he attempts to re-establish himself in society. We hear his first meeting with his probation officer, his struggle to find a place to live and his efforts to find work. We also discover whether he'll return to his gambling habit and find out how he reacts when presented with the opportunity to commit crime.

Produced by Chris Impey

A PRA production for BBC Radio 4.

The Retiring John Mckie20050519

John McKie has been a classics master at Hutcheson's Grammar School in Glasgow for nearly 40 years.

He retired at Christmas.

We follow John's last days at the school in lessons and through an audio diary.

With archive recordings of Sir John Gielgud.

The Tic Lady2006122820070516

For nearly 20 years, 'Tic-Lady' Pat Moore has been providing door-step loans to people on Tyneside's poorer estates.

Fran Abrams follows her on the rounds and finds out why regular clients still choose to borrow from her rather than look for lower interest rates elsewhere.

The Vietnamese Buddhist20051222

Sita Ramamurthy joins a delegation of monks, nuns and lay people as they make an historic trip to Vietnam with their Zen Buddhist Master, Thich Nhat Hanh - as he returns home for the first time since the Vietnam War, 39 years ago.

The Wedding Party20060302

Jordanian couple Nadia al-Alami and Ashraf Da' as al-Akhras were celebrating their wedding at a hotel in Amman when two Iraqi suicide bombers, husband and wife, walked into the reception room.

The explosion killed 24 guests, including the couple's fathers, and the bride's mother.

BBC Correspondent Caroline Hawley, who was staying in the Amman Grand Hyatt hotel which was also bombed on that evening last November, revisits the city to meet the couple who started their new life together under these traumatic circumstances.

The Wedding Party

The Witness20030807

Two years ago, the Damilola Taylor murder trial collapsed after a crucial witness, a twelve year old girl, had her evidence torn to shreds in court.

Now branded a grass by her peers and disowned by the police she lives in hiding, separated from her brothers, father and friends.

She tells her story to John Waite

Tinu2003021720030629

As a 16-year-old, Tinu Adeniji-Adele appeared on Radio 4's Fresh Air, wondering about faith and survival.

Now she is heading for Lagos to search for the father she cannot remember

Once upon a time Tinu-Adeniji-Adele was a sixteen year old teenager wondering out loud on Radio 4's Fresh Air about faith, survival and her absent Nigerian prince of a father.

Now - she's a young woman heading for the chaos of Lagos to find the father she cannot remember and a land she does not know.

Trial By Gm2000100920010930
Twins20040527

Professor Tim Spector is a doctor with a fasciantion with twins.

Dr Trisha Macnair, herself an identical twin, finds out what makes Tim Spector so obsessed with people like her and her sister.

Vietnamese Buddha20070111

Sita Ramamurthy joins a delegation of monks, nuns and lay people accompanying Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh as he returns home to Vietnam for the first time since the Vietnam War.

First broadcast in 2005.

When Tony Met Janet20041216

Tony first met his sister Janet when he was 18 - the meeting only lasted an hour and they were not to meet again for over 20 years.

When they did - in 2001 - they fell in love and consummated the relationship.

Tony and Janet were then arrested for incest.

Tony and Janet were experiencing Genetic Sexual Attraction - a condition which can affect brothers and sisters, parents and children who have been separated from a young age and then been reunited.

They were not aware, however, about the destructive nature of GSA (Genetetic Sexual Attraction).

How it can tear families, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, apart.

Tony tells his story, and we follow his attempts to come to terms with his Genetic Sexual Attraction and set up a help group to assist others who are experiencing similar feelings.

Where Are You Really From?20071216

Black, Irish and Catholic, journalist Tim Brannigan was told he was adopted.

However, he discovered that his mother was his real mother and his father was a doctor from Ghana.

He travels to Accra in search of his father.

Where Do You Really Come From?20070816
White Chief Humphrey20120507

From sitcom to chiefdom - Michael Palin introduces the story of Humphrey Barclay's journey from TV comedy to an African village in Ghana.

Humphrey Barclay is the man behind some of Britain's best loved sitcoms. He started with the Cambridge Footlights and rubbed shoulders with the best of comic talent, soon finding himself working with John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones in television shows such as 'Do Not Adjust Your Set'. Humphrey stayed behind the scenes as a producer, but now he has come centre stage in a very different world. Today Humphrey Barclay's work is a far cry from TV studios and scripts. We find him dressed in the most elaborate robes and taking part in African rituals, as we discover his life as a Chief in the remote Ghanaian village of Kwahu Tafo.

It all came about thanks to an African actor who played a part in 'Desmond's', a sitcom Humphrey made in the late 1980s for Channel Four.

Set in a barbershop in south London, it starred Gyearbour Asante from Ghana, with whom Humphrey soon had a strong personal friendship. When Gyearbour died, it was clear to Humphrey that he needed to attend his funeral in Ghana, and he made plans for the journey. The funeral lasted three days, and at the end of the elaborate ritual, Humphrey received an unusual request: would he like to join the royal family as a chief? The only answer seemed to be 'yes'.

We join Humphrey as he journeys from the capital Accra up into the interior of Ghana to his adopted village on the high Kwahu plateau. Humphrey will be with the villagers to celebrate Ghana's Independence Day, marking the moment that British colonial rule ended in 1957. He'll take us on a tour of his duties as 'Nkosuohene', or development chief, and he'll take us to see the sacred rock Buruku. Most importantly he'll show us some of the achievements of his time as chieftain of this remote Ghanaian outpost, where he has helped build a library, a music academy, as well as set up many medical projects.

From the Finchley Road to the Kwahu plateau - this will be a journey that links Humphrey's two disparate worlds and show what can happen when life takes an unexpected turn.

Michael Palin introduces Humphrey Barclay, who has become an African chief.

White Girl Running: Melanie Verwoerd20070906

The story of the extraordinary political journey of a white Afrikaner woman.

Raised in the leafy suburb of Stellenbosch, Melanie Fourie married the grandson of Henrik Verwoerd, the assassinated South African Prime Minister credited as being the architect of apartheid.

Their studies abroad convinced them that change was necessary, and a meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1991 prompted Melanie to take the leap and actually join the ANC.

She went on to be elected as an ANC member of parliament.

Will He Change His Socks?2004010820041031

Alex is a charming and gregarious 19 year-old who happens to have Downs Syndrome.

Felicity Finch follows his attempts to 'Sort my life out' and live as independently as possible.

Taking his older brother as a role model Alex aims to leave home, set himself up in a student flat, meet girls, find work, party and go to college.

He faces real opposition along the way and has to deal with problems far more challenging than his Mum's initial fear that he would forget to change his socks.

William Thompson Iv's War20061221

Will, a jazz musician and national guardsman, settles into life in a trailer park in New Orleans on his return from service in Iraq.

You Can't Go Home20020804

Preston King, who had to leave America because of his part in the black civil rights movement, returns to Georgia to talk to people there about the legacy of racial segregation.

You Can't Go Home Again2001110520020901

Preston King, who had to leave the US because of his part in the black civil rights movement, returns to Georgia to talk to people there about the legacy of racial segregation.

SBThe Columbia Astronauts2004012220040321

Seven astronauts died when the space shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003.

Leo Enright looks at what made the crew risk everything for life in space.

When the space shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry back in February 2003, seven astronauts were killed.

It was the crew's last mission but not their first.

A few months before they ventured into the mountains of Wyoming with two guides on a mission of self-discovery.

Leo Enright follows in their footsteps to discover for himself what made the crew risk everything for life in space.