Outlook

Outlook

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02s5rx7
Extraordinary first person stories from around the world


The policewoman fighting fake news
Nov 21 • 14 min
Rema Rajeshwari is an Indian police officer. In 2018, rumours of child kidnappers and violent murders spread throughout her district via messaging apps. Locals were scared and started forming mobs and attacking strangers. Rema had an unorthodox solution:…
Our parents’ secret gay porn empire
Nov 20 • 23 min
Growing up in California, Rachel Mason and her brother Josh didn’t know exactly what was sold in their unassuming and straight-laced parents’ bookstore. They had no idea the bookshop was actually one of the biggest distributors of adult material,…
Pulling a plane doesn’t make me strong
Nov 19 • 23 min
Police officer Grant Edwards was once Australia’s strongest man. He was known for incredible feats of physical strength—like pulling trains, planes and trucks. Meanwhile, at work, he fought online child exploitation and human trafficking for years. It was…
The Treasure Hunters
Nov 18 • 28 min
A golden ring which once belonged to Irish playwright Oscar Wilde has been recovered by Arthur Bland, a Dutch ‘art detective,’ nearly 20 years after it was stolen. To mark the occasion, Outlook is re-running our 2017 interview with Arthur. He told…
The secret world of our dying son
Nov 16 • 26 min
Mats Steen was ill for years, but he found friendship and escape in an online fantasy land. A version of this story by Vicky Schaubert was first published in Norwegian by broadcaster NRK. Presenter: Maryam Maruf Producer: Harry Graham Image: Mats Steen’s…
Confronting my grandma and my nation over FGM
Nov 14 • 15 min
Ifrah Ahmed campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM). It’s a harrowing procedure she herself endured as an 8-year-old in Somalia. This interview contains upsetting descriptions. Ifrah now lives in Ireland, where she helped ban FGM in 2012. She…
Why my mother lied about her race
Nov 13 • 22 min
When Gail Lukasik was growing up in the US, she’d always wondered about her mother’s quirky habits. For instance, she always wore a light foundation before she went to bed. Years later Gail would discover that this had been one of her mother’s attempts to…
The street kid and the plastic camera
Nov 12 • 16 min
Photographer Vicky Roy spent his childhood on the streets of Delhi. A charity took him in and introduced him to photography. Vicky started taking photos with a plastic camera, and eventually began charging his friends for portraits. He went on to become a…
Remembrance 2019: in love and under siege
Nov 11 • 18 min
For today’s Remembrance edition of the programme, Outlook is re-visiting this remarkable story of love and family in a war-zone. Hamza and Waad al-Khateab lived in Aleppo through some of the most intense moments of the Syrian war. Hamza was a doctor and…
A mother’s battle for her son’s education
Nov 9 • 26 min
Education has always been important to Virginia Walden Ford. As a child she was part of the process of desegregating schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. Years later, as a parent, she watched as her son’s grades dropped and his behaviour changed. She…
Life as the UK’s first black TV reporter
Nov 7 • 39 min
Sir Trevor McDonald grew up in Trinidad, but when he got a job with the BBC World Service, he moved to the UK. He went on to become the first black television reporter and one of the country’s most prominent presenters. Over the course of his career, he’s…
Finding the whale that nearly killed me
Nov 6 • 20 min
Filmmaker Tom Mustill and his friend Charlotte Kinloch were on holiday in California when they were nearly killed by a whale out at sea. Tom couldn’t stop thinking about the incident, and decided to embark on an epic odyssey to find that same whale again.…
The inside story of a Muslim drag queen
Nov 5 • 32 min
Amrou Al-Kadhi—who goes by the pronoun ‘they’—was raised Muslim, but even as a kid Amrou was different. They wanted nothing to do with other boys and loved dressing up with their mother. Amrou grappled with issues of gender identity and sexuality for…
Why I love the woman who killed my son
Nov 4 • 23 min
Tiki Finlayson’s 25-year-old son Kevin was killed by a drunk driver in 2011. Tiki made the painful decision to forgive Latisha Stephens, the woman who killed him. Tiki and Latisha ended up becoming friends, and they now work together speaking out about…
The ‘deepest man on earth’
Nov 2 • 26 min
Herbert Nitsch is a free diver, he dives without breathing equipment. In 2012 he broke a new world record, diving to a depth of 253 metres but on the way back up things went wrong. Presenter: Asya Fouks Producer: Tom Harding Assinder Picture: Herbert…
The rebel lawyer transforming Malaysia
Nov 1 • 22 min
Cecil Rajendra has won a lifetime achievement award in Malaysia for his achievement in making the justice system available to everyone, even if they can’t afford to pay lawyers. Somehow in his spare moments he’s written Nobel-nominated poetry. He spoke to…
The diver trapped inside an iceberg
Oct 30 • 20 min
Jill Heinerth explored the submerged caves and crevasses of an enormous iceberg. There was an incredible array of wildlife to document, but the dive was extremely risky. Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Mariana Des Forges Picture: Diver Jill Heinerth…
Joining the racist gang that tormented me
Oct 29 • 22 min
British-Nigerian actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was raised by a white family in an area where racism was a huge problem. As a teenager, he joined a skinhead gang that had tormented him for protection. Adewale has directed a film about his experiences…
The priest who came out at 91
Oct 28 • 16 min
Stanley Underhill is a British priest who—at 91— has come out as gay. He spent his whole life facing prejudice because of his sexuality but says that for the first time ever, he’s comfortable in himself. He spoke to Outlook’s Emily Webb. He’s written a…
The making of the ‘Wish Man’
Oct 26 • 26 min
Frank Shankwitz is the co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organisation that since 1980 has granted hundreds of thousands of wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Frank’s inspiration came from his own difficult childhood,…
The struggle of Soweto’s ‘Lion King’
Oct 24 • 23 min
Born under apartheid and in poverty, South African composer Lebo M grew up loving music and became a performer at a young age. His talent took him on a tumultuous journey from Soweto to Hollywood. As he worked on the music for Disney’s hit animation ‘The…
The rescue dog that rescued me
Oct 23 • 17 min
Sean Laidlaw rescued Barrie from Syria in 2018 where he was working as a bomb disposal expert. He fought a long and difficult battle to get her home to the UK to be with him and since, the two have become inseparable. He tells Outlook’s Saskia Edwards how…
I stole a plane to escape the military
Oct 22 • 19 min
In 1964 Theo Van Eijck was a cadet in the Dutch navy. He was unhappy with life in the military and wanted to get out to start over. But with 6 years still left on his service contract, he decided to steal military plane and make a run for it. He took off…
My child and spouse came out as trans
Oct 21 • 38 min
When Amanda Jette Knox and Zoe Knox met as teenagers in Canada, they fell in love almost instantly. They got married and had three children. But Zoe was hiding a huge secret - she was a trans woman presenting as a man. A seismic revelation came when their…
The painful secret I hid from my twin
Oct 19 • 26 min
When Alex Lewis was 18 he had an accident that caused him to lose his memory. The only person he could remember was Marcus, his identical twin brother. He became the person Alex most relied upon to rebuild his life and memories. But as it turned out not…
How cooking landed me in a Syrian prison
Oct 17 • 16 min
Majeda Khoury loved to cook for her family back home in Damascus, so when conflict broke out in Syria she used her skills to help the displaced people fleeing the bombs. She smuggled food across checkpoints, but she was arrested and detained. Once she was…
‘Dad please don’t sell my sister, sell me’
Oct 16 • 22 min
When Shari Ho from Taiwan was just seven years old, she was sold by her father to a woman. She spent the rest of her childhood as a domestic slave, was never allowed to go to school and was only given scraps of rotten food to eat. Shari finally escaped…
How we pulled off ‘the rescue of the century’
Oct 15 • 22 min
Caver Vernon Unsworth helped coordinate what became known as ‘the rescue of the century’ when 12 Thai schoolboys and their coach became trapped in the Tham Luang caves in Northern Thailand last year. It took 17 days to get them all out but they did it -…
The Afghan physio who survived a landmine
Oct 14 • 19 min
Shukrullah Zeerak was only 17 years old when he lost part of his right leg in a landmine explosion in Afghanistan. He was inspired by the physiotherapists who helped him to train as a physio himself. He now works at the Red Cross Orthopaedic Centre in…
How Superman saved my life
Oct 12 • 26 min
Joe Michael Straczynski is an award-winning writer responsible for creating TV shows like Babylon 5, Sense8 and the movie ‘Changeling’, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angeline Jolie. But Joe had an abusive, loveless and deprived childhood and…
Mental Health Day: Dancing and delusions
Oct 10 • 23 min
When British dancer Kevin Turner was in his early 30s, he began to suffer extreme delusions. At one point he believed he was a millionaire, but he also became paranoid and believed everyone, including his mum Avis, was out to get him. Kevin had bipolar…
Curing my own deadly disease
Oct 9 • 22 min
When he was a medical student in the US, David Fajgenbaum was nicknamed “The Beast” – he trained hard and dreamed of playing college football. But then he became critically ill after he developed a very rare disorder called Castleman disease. Very few…
Pirates stole my son
Oct 8 • 22 min
Howie Truong was fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s with his wife and baby son Kai, when pirates intercepted their boat and threw Howie into the sea. Not only did Howie have to swim for his life, but he had no idea if he would ever see his wife and son again.…
The accident that taught me how to die
Oct 7 • 23 min
BJ Miller almost died when he was struck by 11,000 volts during a freak accident - as a result, he lost an arm and both legs below the knee. He went on to become a doctor and now devotes his life to helping people during their last days. BJ has co-written…
Why I didn’t make a sound for 12 years
Oct 5 • 26 min
Marie McCreadie moved to Australia from the UK as a young girl in the 1970s. It was the start of a new adventure for the whole family, but then one day when Marie was 13 she lost her voice, leaving her unable to make a sound for over a decade. Marie was…
London bus driver fighting crime with music
Oct 3 • 23 min
Justin Finlayson is on a mission to save young lives. He has used his double-decker bus to create a musical sanctuary for young people in London…and he’s done it not once, but twice! He’s now managed to raise funds for a second bus, after the first one…
Exposing the scandal that’s cost me my life
Oct 2 • 24 min
In 2011, Vicky Phelan, a mother of two children from Annacrotty, Co. Limerick, went for a smear test. Initially, it showed no abnormalities but in 2014, after noticing some unusual bleeding, she went to her GP and was told she had cervical cancer.…
Learning to sing by copying divas on DVDs
Oct 1 • 17 min
When South African Vuvu Mpufo was a teenager in Port Elizabeth, she saw La Traviata on DVD for the first time and it made her fall in love with opera. She stayed up late into the night, watching it over and over again. Vuvu even mimicked the way the…
Scammed by my friend, the fake heiress
Sep 30 • 24 min
Rachel DeLoache Williams ended up in the midst of a high profile court case in the United States. It all centred on Anna Sorokin - someone she had considered to be a close friend but who had conned her out of tens of thousands of dollars. Anna had tricked…
The false confessions of a serial killer
Sep 28 • 26 min
In the 1990s the name ‘Thomas Quick’ struck fear into the hearts of Swedes across the country. He had confessed to more than 30 murders, and was convicted of eight. He became known as Sweden’s most notorious serial killer and the ‘Swedish Hannibal Lecter’…
Derren Brown: the magician’s secrets
Sep 26 • 22 min
British illusionist and writer Derren Brown talks to Emily Webb about some of his famous stunts and how he used magic to overcome his social awkwardness. You can find more about his current show Secret here: www.DerrenBrownSecret.com. Presenter: Emily…
My partner killed our baby
Sep 25 • 32 min
In 2010 Hera McLeod had a baby with a man called Joaquin Rams. Joaquin came across as a charming person, but things between them turned sour really quickly. After they separated, Hera got legal custody of their son, Prince. Despite that, Rams was granted…
I defaced a picture of Assad and knew I had to flee
Sep 24 • 22 min
Hiba is a feminist revolutionary from Syria. When the conflict started in 2011, she would encourage women to take a stand against the Assad regime and hid a camera under her veil to film atrocities. Hiba told Jo Fidgen that her defiance is inspired by her…
‘Honey, I brought home a crocodile’
Sep 23 • 17 min
Gilberto ‘Chito’ Shedden is a fisherman from Siquirres, in Costa Rica. Years ago he befriended a wild crocodile called Pocho. Presenter: Clayton Conn Producers: Saskia Edwards and Andrea Kennedy Picture: Gilberto ‘Chito’ Shedden playing with Pocho the…
Modern birth: The man who had a baby
Sep 20 • 27 min
A few years ago, Freddy McConnell decided to have a baby. A decision that is a big deal for most, but that is even more complicated for Freddy, because he is a transgender man. Freddy started his transition in 2012. Back then having a baby wasn’t on his…
Modern birth: Having a dead man’s baby
Sep 19 • 23 min
Before Baruch Pozniansky died at 25 years old from cancer, he said that he wanted to have a child. So he created something called a ‘biological will’ and gave a sperm sample. But Baruch didn’t have a wife or girlfriend. After he passed away, his mother…
Modern birth: The fertility doctor who impregnated his patients
Sep 19 • 39 min
Matthew White and Heather Woock discovered they were the children of their mothers’ fertility doctor. The doctor had actually used his own semen to inseminate some 50 women without their knowledge. Through their campaigning it has become illegal for…
Modern birth: Why I gave my sister my womb
Sep 18 • 37 min
Lolita Wästerlund had always wanted to be a mother but was born without a womb (also known as uterus). Her sister Linda, on the other hand, never imagined that she would become a parent. So when Linda fell pregnant she was afraid of telling Lolita. Lolita…
The TV action hero fighting bullies
Sep 17 • 14 min
Carsten Stahl is a German TV action hero known for his tough detective character who defends the weak. But when his own son was bullied at school, Carsten felt helpless. So he decided to use his fame to take on a culture of bullying. Presenter: Jo Fidgen…
How I fixed my own brain
Sep 16 • 20 min
In 1995, Sarah Vallance was an incredibly bright PhD student in Sydney, Australia. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, she began to struggle with the simplest tasks - like shopping, counting money, even reading her own thesis. But she managed to put…
Discovering my ‘mum’ stole me at birth
Sep 14 • 26 min
In April 1997 a woman dressed as a nurse walked into a Cape Town hospital and left with a new born baby. The baby’s name was Zephany Nurse but she was raised by the woman who kidnapped her as Miche Solomon. It would be 17 years before she discovered her…
The acid attack meant for someone else
Sep 12 • 22 min
Andreas Christopheros experienced life-changing injuries after surviving an acid attack on his doorstep. He had never seen his attacker before and had no idea why he had been targeted. A police investigation revealed that this was an act of vengeance, but…
I raised 1,000 children but gave my own away
Sep 11 • 17 min
Indian activist Sindhutai Sapkal has never experienced maternal love. Her life, however, has been defined by it. She is known as ‘mother of orphans’ and is believed to have adopted more than 1,400 children. But that work became so important to her that…
Dr Palipana, the quadriplegic ER medic
Sep 10 • 19 min
In 2010, 25-year-old Dinesh Palipana was a medical student in Australia. One night, while he was driving back from visiting his parents, he got involved in a car crash that would change his life. The accident left him quadriplegic: he lost the use of his…
How not to be a rock star
Sep 9 • 18 min
Scottish teenager Cora Bissett got a five album deal when she was just 17, but then her rock star dreams came crashing down. She went from partying with Blur and Radiohead to being submerged in debt. Cora is now a respected actor and she has a stage show…
The boy, the wish and the nuclear weapons
Sep 7 • 26 min
In 1986 American teenager, Jeff Henigson was diagnosed with brain cancer and given two years left to live. He had just one wish: to travel to the Soviet Union, meet the country’s leader Mikhail Gorbachev and attempt to broker a nuclear peace deal. Jeff…
The love story behind a lost Leonardo
Sep 5 • 23 min
When internationally-renowned art restorer Dianne Modestini was asked to work on an old, damaged painting in 2005, she had no idea it would go on to become the world’s most expensive. The painting of Christ was believed to be inspired by the Italian…
From homeless kid to hero of Africa’s biggest slum
Sep 4 • 22 min
Kennedy Odede had a tough start in life. He grew up in Kibera in Kenya, Africa’s biggest slum. Poverty drove him to stealing and drugs. He believed his future prospects were either death or prison. He didn’t go to school but Kennedy taught himself to read…
Keeping my country’s burned past alive
Sep 3 • 21 min
It’s been a year since Brazil’s National Museum was devastated in a huge fire. The Museum’s collection was extraordinary – it had 20 million objects – including dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, frescos of sea dragons, Inca weaponry. But the Museum wasn’t just…
‘If you want to live, squeeze my hand’
Sep 2 • 21 min
When Tom Patterson caught a superbug infection in 2015, he thought his life was over. The antibiotics had stopped working, he was in a coma and doctors had given up hope. But his wife - scientist Steffanie Strathdee - went on an international medical…
Spain’s fearless barnacle-hunting sisters
Aug 30 • 26 min
Isabel and Susana González hunt percebes, also known as gooseneck barnacles. They’re rather ugly crustaceans that can fetch thousands of dollars per kilogram at auction. To collect them, the González sisters must traverse slippery rocks along the Spanish…
The underground network saving gay Iraqis
Aug 29 • 19 min
Majid went from kebab delivery boy to running clandestine missions rescuing women and children facing violence in Iraq. He teamed up with Ahlam, a widow and survivor of domestic abuse. Together they built an underground network, smuggling some of Iraq’s…
How Springsteen became my lifeline
Aug 29 • 32 min
As a British-Pakistani teenager growing up in 1980s Luton, Sarfraz Manzoor didn’t think his future held huge promise – that is until he discovered the music of Bruce Springsteen. Sarfraz could relate to The Boss – they both came from working class…
Why I thanked the man who shot me
Aug 28 • 23 min
When Wesley Hamilton was in his early 20s he was unhappy, overweight, and dealing drugs. Then, just after he turned 24 and got custody of his daughter, he was shot by a stranger. Wesley survived but his injuries left him paralysed. As the years went on,…
Forgiving myself after killing a classmate
Aug 27 • 23 min
When Lis Cashin was 13, she took part in a javelin competition in her school sports day. But in a freak accident, the javelin veered off course, and a friend of hers was killed. Lis has spent decades trying to deal with the tragedy, and learning how to…
Building a hospital on a rubbish dump
Aug 26 • 13 min
Edna Adan Ismail is a healthcare pioneer in Somaliland. She was married to the former Prime Minister, but her first love was nursing and midwifery and she refused to give it up. For many years Edna fought to build a hospital in her home city of Hargeisa,…
An unlikely friendship in Guantanamo Bay
Aug 24 • 47 min
In 2002, Mauritanian engineer Mohamedou Salahi was detained by American intelligence services. They believed he was a senior figure in al-Qaeda and took him to Guantanamo Bay, the notorious US prison camp. Mohamedou was held there for 14 years without…
The male countertenor who replaced a leading lady
Aug 22 • 17 min
Polish singer Jakub Jozef Orlinski is something of a rarity in the operatic world. Not only is he a countertenor – meaning his range is high compared to other male singers – but he’s also a breakdancer. He’s brought his dancing skills to the stage, and…
‘Please… need rescue… SOS!’
Aug 21 • 21 min
In May 2019, British pilot Sam Rutherford took off from an airport in Canada with his co-pilot Alan Simpson. Alan was a pioneering farmer, businessman and grandfather who was also passionate about aviation and had bought a small plane. However, part-way…
My baby was swapped at birth
Aug 20 • 14 min
When South African mother Meta Diphoko took her ex-husband to court for child support payments, DNA tests were carried out on their five children. They would reveal a shocking fact - that one of Meta’s sons, Kamogelo, was not her biological child. This is…
Bassem Youssef: Egypt’s revolutionary comedian
Aug 19 • 35 min
The rise and fall of Egypt’s star satirist. Bassem Youssef was a heart surgeon in Cairo during the Arab Spring when he started poking fun at the politicians in power. His style of subversive comedy was ground-breaking, and Bassem soon became one of the…
Our wedding made LGBT history in Costa Rica
Aug 16 • 16 min
Jazmin Elizondo and Laura Flores Estrada are a lesbian couple in Costa Rica. They realised they could get married because of a clerical error on one of their birth certificates - Jazmin was mistakenly listed as male. It was at a time when same-sex…
The Blind Boys of Alabama: a life in music
Aug 15 • 20 min
Jimmy Carter is a titan in the world of gospel music. He’s the last surviving original member of The Blind Boys of Alabama – America’s ultimate octogenarian boyband. The group has won several Grammy Awards and even had an audience at the White House,…
The secret missionary who lost her faith
Aug 14 • 23 min
Amber Scorah grew up in Canada in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was passionate about her belief and moved to Shanghai to become an undercover missionary – undercover because of the restrictions on religious preaching in China. She was determined to…
Exposing Nigeria’s cough syrup crisis, for my brother
Aug 13 • 29 min
Nigerian Ruona Meyer was inspired by her famous journalist father - Godwin Agbroko - to become an investigative reporter like him. When he was killed, her grieving brother became addicted to codeine cough syrup. Ruona - clad in bullet proof vest and blue…
Secret SMS texts saved my family from IS
Aug 12 • 19 min
Idriss is a Yazidi farmer whose home in northern Iraq was overrun by fighters from so-called Islamic State. He and the other men from the villages were rounded up, most were shot, and buried in a mass grave. Idriss was one of the few to escape – but his…
My escape, thanks to a Russian mail-order bride
Aug 10 • 26 min
As a film-obsessed gay teen, Wes Hurley was thrilled to move to the US from Russia. But his mother’s new husband was moody and homophobic. How they ended up bonding, after a surprise revelation. Wes made a film about his life, co-directed by Nathan…
Yacht race disaster: alone in a vicious sea
Aug 8 • 23 min
In 1979, English sailor Nick Ward found himself in the middle of the biggest disaster in ocean racing. He was in the crew of the Grimalkin, one of 303 yachts taking part in the Fastnet Challenge Cup – a demanding 608-mile race around the south-west coast…
Why would beggars steal my little brother?
Aug 7 • 23 min
Samuel Abdulraheem was just seven years old when he was snatched while playing outside his home in northern Nigeria. His older sister Firdausi was distraught. The police were called, a search was conducted – but it yielded nothing. Samuel had disappeared.…
The ingredients for a happier life
Aug 6 • 16 min
Olivia Potts was in her early 20s and had just got her dream job - as a criminal lawyer in London. Then her mum died, and Olivia needed distracting from her grief. For the first time in her life she baked a cake – and life was never the same again. She…
The sad tale of the laughing cab driver
Aug 5 • 20 min
Moustafa Chamseddine was one of thousands of people who were disappeared during Lebanon’s civil war in the 1980s. For many years his family didn’t know where he was. Moustafa had ended up in Syria’s notorious Tadmur jail. But there, even torture couldn’t…
Pollen detective: Forensics’ secret weapon
Aug 3 • 26 min
Professor Patricia Wiltshire is a leading forensic ecologist and botanist. For the last 25 years she has helped solve some of the UK’s most serious crimes including a number of the country’s most high-profile murder cases. To do this she uses her vast…
James Rhodes: I’m alive because of music
Aug 1 • 40 min
British concert pianist James Rhodes is a star in the world of classical music. He’s won awards, had several hit albums, performed in top venues all over the world and Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield is about to play him in a biopic. His career is a…
I came out during a lie detector test
Jul 31 • 23 min
Todd Ross came out as a gay man after being forced to take a lie detector test. He was in the Canadian military, and the confession - which cost him his career - was during the country’s ‘LGBT purge.’ He tells his story to Emily Webb. (Image: Todd Ross on…
The selfie that changed my life twice
Jul 30 • 15 min
Anas Modamani is a Syrian refugee obsessed with selfies. In 2015 he fled his hometown for Europe, and all along the difficult route he would send photographs of himself to his family back home in Syria. When he finally reached Germany he had a chance…
Why I started a Holocaust survivors’ band
Jul 29 • 13 min
Saul Dreier is a Holocaust survivor and musician. He’s always tried to find the joy in life – even in Nazi concentration camps where he taught himself to play the spoons. After World War Two, he moved to the US and stopped playing music. That is until he…
Exposing my twin – the paedophile priest
Jul 27 • 26 min
Margaret Harrod was a nun and her twin brother was a priest. They were inseparable, but one day while visiting a parish family Margaret witnessed her brother doing something that would shock her to the core. It brought up memories that she had tried to…
I had a baby and thought I was Cameron Diaz
Jul 25 • 19 min
When Jen Wight was sitting in a doctor’s surgery in Sydney, Australia, she had a lightbulb moment. She suddenly believed she was the American actor Cameron Diaz. The truth was very different of course. She was a new mum, and this was just the beginning of…
The dating scam that made a friendship
Jul 24 • 24 min
Maria Grette ignored most of the messages she received from men on her online dating profile. But there was one that she felt a connection to. He was a Danish-American businessman, handsome and living in South Carolina in the USA. They spoke daily, and as…
Was this father wrong to help convict his son?
Jul 23 • 40 min
Roger Stringer and his son Zac are from Mississippi, in the deep south of the USA. They’re from a community where guns and hunting are part of the culture. And growing up, Zac and his brother Justin loved to hunt deer with their dad in the forests around…
Andy McNab: soldier, writer, psychopath
Jul 22 • 23 min
Andy McNab’s books have sold millions of copies around the world. And while his name will be recognisable to many, his true identity is known to very few. After years working in the British special forces, he uses a pseudonym and conceals his face in…
Chasing El Chapo
Jul 20 • 27 min
This week a US judge sentenced Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to life in prison plus 30 years. The trial is significant because El Chapo achieved notoriety for twice escaping custody in Mexico as well as avoiding arrest on numerous other…
Wrestling stardom nearly tore us apart
Jul 18 • 40 min
The Knight family are from Norwich in the UK and they are wrestlers. They spent years striving for stardom. The parents, Ricky and Saraya Knight, met through the sport and when they started their own wrestling business, their children also caught the…
Voyage from the Pacific Islands to Hollywood
Jul 17 • 21 min
Opetaia Foa’i grew up in Samoa surrounded by the island’s rhythms, sounds and songs. But, surviving wasn’t easy and his family moved to the city of Auckland in New Zealand. As he grew up in this new environment he began to look into his roots and started…
The heart of a heart surgeon
Jul 16 • 23 min
Heart surgeon Stephen Westaby has saved thousands of patients throughout his 40 year career but it’s the deaths that stick with him. As a teenager he was smart but felt he wasn’t bold enough to make the split-second life and death decisions required of a…
Why music on a bus gave me a panic attack
Jul 15 • 23 min
Maryam Zaree’s birth inside a notorious Iranian prison was a family secret. That was until a bus journey unearthed traumatic memories. She tells Jo Fidgen her story. (Photo courtesy of Maryam Zaree.)
The IS orphans rescued by their grandpa
Jul 13 • 26 min
Patricio Galvez is a Chilean musician who has lived in Sweden for the last 30 years. In 2014 his daughter Amanda travelled to Syria with her children and joined the Islamic State group. When she was killed earlier this year he battled governments, crossed…
A kid in Australia’s doomsday cult
Jul 11 • 24 min
Ben Shenton’s mum handed him over to a notorious Australian cult when he was a baby. The group was called ‘The Family.’ His hair was bleached, he was forced to take drugs and was told that the glamorous cult leader was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.…
Using boxing to help DRC’s ‘outcasts’
Jul 10 • 12 min
Balezi Bagunda is known as Kibomango and his first love is boxing, but a lack of career options in the Democratic Republic of Congo meant that he became a soldier at 17. But when the government was overthrown in a coup, Balezi found himself destitute and…
Reclaiming Pepe, my cartoon frog
Jul 9 • 19 min
How does a frog cartoon become a hate symbol? Matt Furie is a comic book illustrator who created Pepe the Frog, a chilled-out character that ended up becoming a hugely popular internet meme. But this frog took on a sinister life of its own as it was…
Solving international crime from our sofas
Jul 8 • 17 min
Eliot Higgins has been described as “a real life, modern-day Sherlock Holmes”. Outlook’s Neal Razzell finds out how Eliot went from being an unemployed admin worker to a world-class digital sleuth. He set up Bellingcat, an investigative website that seeks…
What I found in the minds of serial killers
Jul 6 • 44 min
In the 1970s John E. Douglas was a relatively young FBI agent who would travel around the US teaching police officers the bureau’s tactics. John knew he was inexperienced compared to the seasoned detectives he was instructing. But he had an idea to…
My fugitive dad made me get a nose job
Jul 4 • 22 min
As a child Margo Perin remembers strangers in the living room and having a new surname and address every few years. Unsure of what her father really did for a living, her childhood was shrouded in mystery. It wouldn’t be until she was much older that she…
Uncovering my family’s showbiz past
Jul 3 • 17 min
Claire Belhassine’s Tunisian grandfather died when she was young. She remembers him from childhood summer holidays in Tunisia, sitting quietly in his chair, never the centre of attention. But years later, sitting in a taxi in Paris, Claire came upon her…
The unmasking of China’s secret cartoonist
Jul 2 • 23 min
Badiucao is one of China’s most famous dissident cartoonists. His art is political and provocative, and pokes fun at powerful Chinese figures, even President Xi Jinping. For years, Badiucao operated in secrecy: he moved into exile in Australia, and wore a…
Thrown overboard: a stowaway’s survival
Jul 1 • 23 min
A boy is stolen off the street on his way to school and forced to fight in the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. After years of fighting, he escapes and stows away on a ship. But to his horror, he finds it’s not much safer than the battlefield. The…
Overcoming IS terror with books
Jun 27 • 18 min
Dr Alaa Hamdon is a geologist from the Iraqi city of Mosul who always loved books. One of the most magical places for him in the city was the university library - with over a million books, it was the biggest of its kind in the Middle East. That was until…
My Mormon mum, my gay rights hero
Jun 26 • 36 min
Growing up, Dustin Lance Black didn’t think he’d be able to open up about his sexuality to his loved ones. His family was conservative – and Mormon. But when he was a teenager, a speech by the openly gay politician Harvey Milk allowed him to imagine a…
The child who saved my life – and vanished
Jun 25 • 20 min
When so-called Islamic State attacked northern Iraq, Hogir Hirori - a documentary maker and refugee from the region - went back there to record what was going on. He came across a young girl who was seriously ill, and decided to drop everything to help…
Becoming a star: the busker with albinism
Jun 24 • 19 min
Singer Lazarus Chigwandali has albinism which meant his life in Malawi wasn’t easy, but that all changed when a video of him was seen by Swedish music producer Johan Hugo. Jo Fidgen takes up the story. For information on Lazarus’ documentary and touring…
The man who stole the president’s secrets
Jun 22 • 26 min
For many years, Uzbekistan was a particularly dangerous place to be a journalist. Speaking out against the government of former president Islam Karimov could lead to torture and a lengthy spell in prison. So it was a surprise for many when in 2004 secret…
My dad the unlikely meth dealer
Jun 20 • 23 min
Growing up, James Lubbock knew his dad Richard as a clean-living family man. He was ‘solid, principled’, James says, and sold antique coins for a living. He loved jazz and opera. Then in his 50s Richard announced to the family that he was gay and things…
My brother’s sickle cell disease made me a doctor
Jun 19 • 16 min
Tartania Brown is from New York City and she has sickle cell anaemia, a genetic disorder that affects red blood cells and can be fatal. At one stage, Tartania didn’t know if she would reach her 20s. Her brother Christopher also has the condition, and when…
The failed escape and the ‘stolen’ son
Jun 19 • 20 min
In 1984, Andreas Laake fled communist East Germany in a dinghy with his pregnant wife, but this attempt to leave ended disastrously. They were intercepted and Andreas was thrown in jail. When his son was born he was ‘stolen’, or forcibly given up for…
The online post designed to ruin my life
Jun 18 • 34 min
Monika Glennon is a Polish-born estate agent living in the US. One morning she got a frantic call from a colleague: an explicit post had been written about Monika, claiming she had an affair with a client and that she was a ‘homewrecker’. The story was…
The war in Iraq and the war inside my head
Jun 17 • 19 min
As a teenager Zach Skiles joined the US military, hoping to save money for college. But then 9/11 happened and America invaded Iraq. Zach tried to avoid it, but as a marine he ended up in the invading force. His deployment was bloody and shocking, and he…
Raising my baby in a Thai prison
Jun 13 • 17 min
Vanessa Goosen’s life and career seemed to be going from strength to strength; she reached the semi-finals of the Miss South Africa modelling competition and had started her own fashion shop. That was all about to change after she agreed to bring four…
Born the wrong colour - so I had to die
Jun 12 • 37 min
A sneaky teenager and an envelope of apartheid secrets. Sara-Jayne King tells Andile Masuku that she was born in Johannesburg, but adopted in the UK. When she was a teenager Sara-Jayne discovered what her birth mum was willing to do to cover the shame of…
From bedridden granny to dancing queen
Jun 11 • 12 min
A few years ago Cathrine Mathebe was overweight, unwell and unable to walk without assistance. Today she is the founder of Bophelong Fitness Club in the township of Tembisa, South Africa, where she leads hundreds of women in a dancing-aerobics class.…
The secrets of a Soweto chef’s success
Jun 10 • 23 min
Celebrity chef Lesego Semenya is one of South Africa’s most recognisable black faces in a fine dining industry still dominated by white personalities. Growing up in Soweto at the end of apartheid Lesego was one of the first wave of black children who got…
The Cuban aristocrat with a revolutionary secret
Jun 8 • 24 min
In the 1950s, Cuba was run by a military dictator called Fulgencio Batista, and a wealthy elite controlled the country’s resources. On the surface, Natalia Bolivar was a member of this elite. She was a rich socialite from an aristocratic family. She spent…
My dream of ballooning over Iraq
Jun 6 • 18 min
In 2014 Murtada al-Hachimi was organising Iraq’s first hot air balloon festival - to project an image of peace to the world. But his plan coincided with the rise of the so-called Islamic State group in the country. Photo: Hot air balloons fill the sky…
My children were injected with HIV
Jun 5 • 22 min
Jennifer Merry’s sons – Matthew and Simon – were born with haemophilia, a genetic condition that means a person’s blood doesn’t clot properly. Matthew and Simon had to get a treatment to survive: for years, they were injected with a blood-clotting protein…
Why I wrote an apology to myself
Jun 4 • 14 min
American playwright Eve Ensler is best known for writing the international sensation The Vagina Monologues, a ground-breaking celebration of women’s bodies. The play, which has been performed in more than 140 countries, has broken taboos and brought…
The amateur sleuth and the lost babies
Jun 3 • 17 min
Catherine Corless has always been interested in history. She’s from Tuam in the west of Ireland, and after her children had grown up, she enrolled in history classes. As a little girl, she had always been aware of the local Mother and Baby Home – a…
In bed with an assassin
Jun 1 • 26 min
Jason P. Howe was a British conflict photographer covering the war in Colombia, when he met a young woman at a bus stop. Her name was Marilyn, and they started a relationship that would last several years. Over time, it became clear to Jason that Marilyn…
The scientist in the treetops
May 30 • 13 min
Nalini Nadkarni is a tree canopy scientist, which means she spends her time dangling off branches secured by mountain climbing equipment. One place she works is the Monteverde cloud forest in Costa Rica, which is swathed in mist and low hanging clouds.…
The song that helped me grieve
May 29 • 22 min
New Yorkers Jayson and Stacy Greene were enchanted with their little girl, Greta. But when Greta was two, she was killed in a freak accident. She and her grandmother were sitting on a bench in Manhattan when a lump of masonry fell on Greta’s head. Surgery…
Why an ex-jihadist embraced an Islamophobe
May 28 • 38 min
Ivan Humble once looked on Manwar Ali as his enemy. Ivan was a regional organiser for the English Defence League (EDL), whereas Manwar was once a militant jihadist. But rumours about a so-called ‘super-mosque’ brought them together. Image: (L) Ivan Humble…
Looking for the Liberian sister I left behind
May 27 • 22 min
Helen Cooper grew up in Liberia, fled during a bloody military coup and arrived in the US as a child refugee. Her background inspired her to become a journalist but there was one question that still needed to be answered: what had happened to the adopted…
The Welsh miner who made wrestling glamorous
May 25 • 26 min
Adrian Street grew up in a mining town in South Wales, but he always loved dressing up. When he was a teenager he started working down the mines but his dream was to become a wrestler. He was ridiculed by the other miners he worked with but in the 1950s…
Why I want combat armour made for women
May 23 • 20 min
In 2011, military lawyer Rebecca Lipe was deployed to Iraq with the US Air Force. Her combat body armour didn’t fit because it was designed for men. She had to adapt it, and ended up with debilitating pain, fertility problems and severe depression. She…
I’m more than my husband’s shameful crime
May 22 • 22 min
American actress Maddie Corman thought she and her television director husband, Jace Alexander, had a normal, happy life together. They’d been married for more than a decade and had three children. But in 2015, everything came crashing down when Jace was…
Aleppo: In love and under siege with a newborn
May 21 • 19 min
Hamza and Waad al-Khateab lived in Aleppo through some of the most intense moments of the Syrian war. Hamza was a doctor and Waad a citizen journalist. Through the siege and bombardments they fell in love. So, how do you start a family in a warzone? Jo…
How to give up
May 20 • 23 min
British swimmer Beth French has chronic fatigue syndrome, and when she was a teenager, she even spent a year in a wheelchair. So years later, when she swam all the way from England to France – and was still home in time to put her son to bed – she knew…
Interviewing Mumbai’s Mafia Don
May 17 • 26 min
When Hussain Zaidi started his journalistic career, his home city of Mumbai was caught up in a vicious mafia war. The men who ran the gangs wielded huge power over business, smuggling and the entertainment industry. As they fought for dominance the body…
I trained to be a surgeon when I couldn’t read or write
May 16 • 16 min
Mamitu Gashe is a world-renowned Ethiopian surgeon who specialises in repairing obstetric fistula. She decided to become a surgeon after she almost died in childbirth at the age of 16. But at the time she was a child bride who couldn’t read or write.…
‘Honour’ made my father a murderer
May 15 • 41 min
At the age of 16 Amina was happy and in love with a local boy in Jordan. She dreamt of their wedding and future together. But then she discovered a secret about her sister, which brought ‘shame’ on her family and her father went to violent extremes to…
I can’t make long-term memories
May 14 • 16 min
When British woman Hum Fleming was 13 she had her first epileptic seizure. It took a while to work out that she has temporal lobe epilepsy, and that the seizures had left a scar on her hippocampus - part of the brain that’s involved in forming new…
The designer who won’t wear yellow
May 13 • 17 min
Growing up during the Cultural Revolution, Guo Pei didn’t know what fashion was. As a kid, she wasn’t allowed to wear anything but a blue or green uniform. These days, she’s China’s most famous fashion designer, and some of her embroidered couture…
Elza Soares: invincible queen of samba
May 11 • 26 min
Born in a Rio de Janeiro favela, Elza Soares overcame poverty, child marriage and public scandal to become one of her country’s most beloved singers. She started out in the smokey nightclubs of Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s. With her unique raspy voice and…
The heiress giving away her Disney fortune
May 9 • 22 min
Abigail Disney is a documentary filmmaker and granddaughter of Roy Oliver Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company. As an heiress to the Disney fortune, her estimated worth could be as much as $500 million. However Abigail has never been comfortable…
What really happened on the ‘Sex Raft’
May 8 • 21 min
In 1973 Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés decided to create an experiment to find out what drives people to commit acts of violence. He put a group of men and women from different parts of the world on a raft and cast them out to sea. What happened…
The perfect stranger and the ice lake rescue
May 7 • 16 min
While husband and wife Timofey Yuriev and Melissa Kho were walking their dog, Kira, in New York state, they came across two dogs that had fallen through the ice into a freezing lake. Timofey immediately stripped off and jumped in. Why did he think he…
The secrets uncovered by a body detective
May 6 • 23 min
Professor Dame Sue Black is one of Britain’s leading forensic anthropologists. She’s often called to crime scenes to help establish who the victim was and she can find traces of someone’s identity in places you wouldn’t imagine possible. Sue tells Jo…
How I turn prisoners into violin virtuosos
May 4 • 26 min
Tito Quiroz used to wave up at the inmates of the prison next door to his university in Ensenada, Mexico, and they’d wave back from their cell windows. Then, one day, he got the opportunity to go inside to teach them his passion, the violin. Tito endured…
Opioid crisis: the doctor who got addicted
May 2 • 20 min
Lou Ortenzio worked as a doctor at the epicentre of an opioid crisis in America. But as he was prescribing painkillers to his patients, Lou was also taking the medication himself. His consumption spiralled and turned into a full blown addiction, which…
The friendship born of murder
May 1 • 20 min
Friends Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix share a fondness for spicy food and wine, but their relationship has a deeper and more profound resonance. They volunteer to talk to young people about ways to stop gun violence. Because more than 20 years ago, Ples’s…
Survivor 195: Taking down Larry Nassar
Apr 30 • 39 min
For years, former US doctor Larry Nassar abused hundreds of young girls and women. As the official doctor attached to elite gymnastics teams, he used his position to conduct sexually exploitative and medically unwarranted examinations, using physical…
The massacre that made me a mortician
Apr 29 • 17 min
The Colombian city of Medellin was a dangerous place in the 1990s as Camilo Andres Jaramillo knows all too well. He was shot nine times during an attack by gunmen but miraculously survived … and what he did next is even more extraordinary – he now works…
The words that saved John Dwayne Bunn
Apr 27 • 26 min
He’d grown up in Brooklyn in the early 1990s, where his world had revolved around back flipping onto broken mattresses with his friends. He lived in the Kingsborough Projects, an area seething with crime, gun violence and racial tension, and amidst this…
Sarajevo Siege - the band that drowned out the bombs
Apr 26 • 46 min
By 1994, the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo had been under siege for two years. Sniper fire and shelling were a daily threat to the residents stuck in the city. Though life was tough, artistic creativity flourished. The heavy metal community was one…
From homeless child to top firefighter
Apr 25 • 15 min
Sabrina Cohen Hatton is one of the UK’s most senior firefighters. But really what’s remarkable about Sabrina’s story is not the position she is in now but what she overcame to get there. After a tragic loss in the family Sabrina left home and ended up…
Keeping wrestling alive in Afghanistan
Apr 24 • 11 min
The wrestlers of the Maiwand club in Kabul and their head coach are back to training after a terror attack on their gym in September 2018. When a suicide bomber approached the gym, coach Ghulam Abbas slammed the door in his face, stopping him from…
How did this diver cheat death?
Apr 23 • 35 min
British diver Chris Lemons was working on an oil well underwater in the North Sea in Scotland. He was connected to a boat with something called an ‘umbilical cord’, which also provided him with air and heat. But he ended up getting tangled in the line and…
The voyage of The Fisherman’s Friends
Apr 22 • 34 min
Around 25 years ago a group of middle-aged friends in the small English village of Port Isaac got together and started singing sea shanties, which are a type of maritime song. After a chance encounter with a BBC radio DJ Johnnie Walker, they ended up…
Life as a Nepalese ‘living goddess’
Apr 20 • 15 min
Rashmila Shakya is one of Nepal’s former Royal Kumaris who were once considered ‘living goddesses’, the living incarnations of a Hindu deity. According to tradition, the girl, who is selected as a child must be prepubescent, which means the role is…
Using comedy to unpick my past on air
Apr 18 • 16 min
Comedian Rosie Waterland is a big name in her native Australia but it’s by confronting the dark moments in her past that she’s been able to reach the spotlight. She wrote a memoir called ‘The Anti Cool Girl’ about her life but when her mum read the book,…
Losing my dad in the Challenger space disaster
Apr 17 • 21 min
On the 28th January 1986 Richard Scobee and millions others watched as his father Commander Dick Scobee led a team of people on the Space Shuttle Challenger that was bound for space . It was an exciting and proud moment for Richard but just 73 seconds…
The backflip that shocked the Olympics
Apr 16 • 22 min
Surya Bonaly is one of the best known figure skaters in history. In her prime, her technical skill was unmatched. But despite her great talent, an Olympic gold medal always eluded her. At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, Surya sustained an injury…
The family murder that began our campaign
Apr 15 • 22 min
Brothers Luke and Ryan Hart spent years trying to help their mum leave their abusive father. However, just two days after they succeeded, their father killed her and their sister. They told Outlook why those murders started a campaign for change. Ryan and…
Can my robot save my country?
Apr 12 • 14 min
Growing up in Cambodia, Richard Yim’s childhood was overshadowed by a fear of landmines. It’s a place where a war that ended decades ago is still killing people today - the land is laced with millions of mines. Like countless other children, Richard was…
My revenge against ‘revenge porn’
Apr 11 • 13 min
As a teenager, Ana Baquedano sent a naked selfie to her boyfriend in exchange for a promise to delete it. Instead, he shared it. Ana panicked, but then she got to work making Mexican history. She led a campaign to make ‘revenge porn’ a crime in her state…
The sailor and the secret
Apr 10 • 16 min
Guy Oliver had a secret that he couldn’t reveal while he was in the Royal Navy, but it didn’t stop him from realising his lifelong dream of becoming a top interior designer. Neal Razzell takes up the story. (Image: Guy Oliver onboard one of the yachts he…
Leaving America’s ‘most hated family’
Apr 9 • 23 min
Libby Phelps grew up in the notorious anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. Her grandfather, the late Fred Phelps founded the church which is largely made up of Libby’s family members. For nearly two decades Libby’s daily routine consisted of brandishing…
The wrestling star helping a grieving mum
Apr 8 • 23 min
When British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by extremists on the streets of London, the impact on his mum, Lyn, was devastating. But in her darkest hour help came from an unusual source, a 1970s wrestling star known as Kendo Nagasaki. They tell Outlook’s…
The African girl raised by Kim Il-sung
Apr 6 • 26 min
In the early 1970s Monica Macias was born in the tiny country of Equatorial Guinea, the daughter of the President, Francisco Macias Nguema. Her father was a notorious figure, described as one of the most brutal dictators the African continent has ever…
The Iranian Avocado Quest that led to prison
Apr 4 • 31 min
Jason Rezaian was the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran. But a tongue-in-cheek campaign to bring avocados to the country caught the attention of the authorities and landed him in Iran’s most notorious prison. Jason wrote a book about his experience…
We found love in the wake of 9/11
Apr 3 • 18 min
Nick and Diane Marson’s flight was diverted after the 9/11 attacks. In the wake of one of the darkest periods in modern history, they met each other and found love. Their story inspired the musical Come From Away Image: Nick and Diane Marson Credit: Vince…
Risking my life to see mum
Apr 2 • 11 min
Somali reporter Hassan is not only a target because of his profession, but also risks his life every time he wants to travel the six miles it takes to visit his mother in Mogadishu. Image: damaged buildings in the Somali capital Mogadishu Credit: Sadak…
The masterplan that got me out of prison
Apr 1 • 21 min
Chris Wilson grew up in a violent neighbourhood in Washington, USA. By the age of 13 he was already carrying a gun to protect himself from drug dealers. At 16, he had already buried five of his friends. On a summer night in 1996 Chris got involved in a…
The ‘Lion Mama’ who fought off three rapists
Mar 31 • 26 min
When Nokubonga Qampi was told that her daughter was being raped by three men, she took action. One attacker would end up dead, the others seriously injured. Nokubonga was faced with the prospect of prison, but then her story made her famous and she became…
Inside the minds and chat rooms of IS
Mar 28 • 22 min
Rukmini Callimachi is an American journalist who has to get into the minds of members of so-called IS and win their trust. She tells Emily Webb about her career and how it all started when she covered Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in small-town…
Having a baby with a man who died years ago
Mar 27 • 23 min
Before Baruch died at 25 years old from cancer he said that he wanted to have a child. So he created something called a ‘biological will’ and gave a sperm sample. But Baruch didn’t have a wife or girlfriend. So after he passed away, his mother began a…
The world champ who didn’t want to box
Mar 26 • 22 min
Boxer Michael Bentt never wanted to fight, but he managed to climb to the top of his profession. He became the heavyweight champion of the world in 1993. And that was just the beginning of his remarkable journey. (Photo credit: Mark Morrison/Getty Images.)
Sketching celebrities in the courtroom
Mar 25 • 14 min
When celebrities are in legal trouble, the media swarms. But cameras are banned in many American courtrooms. That’s where Jane Rosenberg steps in. She’s sketched the likes of Woody Allen, ‘El Chapo’ and Harvey Weinstein while they’ve been part of…
The secret world of our dying son
Mar 24 • 26 min
When Mats Steen was a young child growing up in Oslo, he was diagnosed with a degenerative disease. His parents Robert and Trude were told it was unlikely Mats would survive long into his 20s, and that he’d become less mobile as time went on. The physical…
Fighting Ebola in a war zone
Mar 21 • 13 min
Dr Jean-Christophe Shako is an epidemiologist who specialises in disease control. He is based in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a province that is currently facing a deadly outbreak of Ebola. It’s a relentless job: it’s the first Ebola…
Taking on America’s rich and famous
Mar 20 • 23 min
Gloria Allred is a lawyer who has represented the female accusers of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R Kelly. She reveals how her own experience of sexual assault made her determined to give other women a voice. Photo: Profile picture of women’s rights…
An epic walk home from school
Mar 19 • 18 min
Tsering Deki is 20-years-old and Nima Gurung is 18. They’ve endured gruelling physical and emotional journeys, born in different villages in Nepal, they attended the same school in the far away capital, Kathmandu. The school’s called Snowland Ranag Light…
My daughter’s killer feels like ‘family’
Mar 18 • 21 min
In April 2011 in a small village in the Netherlands, Eddy Hekman got the worst news of his life. His daughter Renske had been killed by her boyfriend Alasam Samarie. But this didn’t square with how Eddy knew Samarie - as a kind and gentle person. Eddy…
Soweto Uprising: what happened to my dad?
Mar 17 • 22 min
In 1976, the Johannesburg township of Soweto erupted into protest. Students were furious with the government decision to make Afrikaans a language of instruction in South African schools. Afrikaans was associated with apartheid and white rule by many…
The Mormon mums of gay sons
Mar 14 • 21 min
Alyson Deussen and Jill Rowe are both members of the Mormon church which opposes gay sex and marriage. But they’re also mothers who’ve ended up fighting for the rights of their gay sons. They tell Emily Webb about the group they’ve formed called “Mama…
Fifteen and alone at sea
Mar 13 • 19 min
Susan Berg was on a family fishing trip in Australia when their boat sank and they started to swim to land. As the sun went down, Susan realised that her family had disappeared. Since then, she has fought to come to terms with that day and has even…
Befriending the woman I’d have to dissect
Mar 12 • 17 min
After an elderly woman decided to donate her body to medicine, she befriended anatomist Dr Vic Spitzer – the man who would go on to dissect her. Vic, a pioneer in the field of digitising anatomy,was working with the Visible Human Project to create…
Confronting my racist past
Mar 11 • 22 min
Mac Otts grew up in Greensboro, Alabama, where his great great grandfather had had slaves and a plantation, but as Mac grew up he began to go against the racism he was used to and he adopted a mixed race child. Mac has written a book about his life called…
The detective and the diamond heist
Mar 10 • 39 min
In the late 1990s, Belgian detective Patrick Peys joined the Diamond Squad. Based in Antwerp’s Diamond District, this was the world’s first police unit dedicated to solving diamond crime. And soon, Patrick would face the most baffling case of his career…
Held captive by a cult for 30 years
Mar 7 • 23 min
Katy Morgan-Davies spent her entire life living as a virtual prisoner. She’d been born into a Maoist cult, ruled over by a domineering leader called Aravindan Balakrishnan, also known as AB or Comrade Bala. They’d lived not in some remote compound, but in…
I went through puberty at two years old
Mar 6 • 25 min
On the male side of Patrick Burleigh’s family is a rare hereditary condition known as precocious puberty. It has been passed down through the generations. It meant Patrick went through puberty when he was two, and by the time he was 12 he was passing as a…
Surviving death row after being tricked into drug trafficking
Mar 5 • 18 min
When Nokwazi Memela’s pastor told her about a job importing carpets from Iran she was excited about earning money to support her children. Little did she know she had been tricked into becoming a drug mule. Image: Nokwazi Memela Credit: BBC/Mpho Lakaje
The Korean athlete exposing sexual abuse
Mar 4 • 15 min
As a child, Eunhee Kim was sexually abused by her coach at a tennis training camp in South Korea. She kept the extent of the abuse a secret for years. But when she was working as a tennis coach herself Eunhee bumped into him at a competition. She decided…
The Danish woman who went to fight IS
Feb 28 • 23 min
Joanna Palani grew up in Denmark but she’s from a long line of Kurdish fighters. When Joanna was a teenager, she carried on this tradition, by packing up her bags and travelling to Syria to join an all-female Kurdish militia. It was in Syria that she…
Cherno Samba: Struggles of a virtual football star
Feb 27 • 17 min
At 15, Cherno Samba was a footballing wonderkid, fought over by the biggest clubs in the world. He played for England’s under-17s but when a deal with Liverpool fell through his career stalled. Cherno continued to play but meanwhile, on a popular football…
The wild world of Germany’s punk princess
Feb 26 • 20 min
Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis is a German aristocrat who became a celebrity when, as a 20-year-old, she married a much older German prince. She soon earned the nickname Princess TNT because of the wild parties she threw, and the wild outfits she…
Justice for my sister Marie Colvin
Feb 25 • 22 min
In 2012, the celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin was killed by Syrian government shelling in the city of Homs. Her sister Cat Colvin believed Marie had been deliberately targeted, in an effort to silence her reporting. Cat would begin a long…
The celestial treasure hunters
Feb 24 • 26 min
Mike Farmer and Robert Ward have spent decades travelling the world in pursuit of meteorites. Their awe-inspiring and insatiable hunt led to fortune – but also unexpected danger. It’s a story of cowboys, cargo pants and some of the most coveted rocks on…
The disability activist who was ‘born red’
Feb 22 • 12 min
Carly Findlay was born with Ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition that covers her body with scaly red skin. She’s faced bullying and discrimination, but has become a vocal campaigner for people with disabilities in Australia. She’s written a book called…
Why I photograph sex workers
Feb 21 • 17 min
Bruce Gilden is an American street photographer from New York but he has done projects all over the world. In his recent series - Only God Can Judge Me - he photographed a group of sex workers living under a bridge in Miami. They are all women who remind…
My pen pal Abu Hamza
Feb 20 • 22 min
Reverend Stephen Coles is a vicar in the London neighbourhood of Finsbury Park. In 2001 he met extremist Abu Hamza al-Masri, who back then was an imam at the local mosque. Abu Hamza is currently serving a life sentence in the US on terrorism-related…
The frontline music therapist
Feb 19 • 18 min
Composer Nigel Osborne teaches children in warzones to play instruments. Nigel was a star composer in the 1970 and 1980s. He was passionate about human rights and ended up traveling to Bosnia-Herzegovina where he set up a music school for children…
‘I still feel the bullets in my head’
Feb 18 • 17 min
James Myers survived being shot in the head five times in 2014 and still has three of the bullets lodged in his skull. Though James has managed to keep his sense of humour and a positive outlook, his life hasn’t been the same since the attack. He suffered…
The brothers who made Mary Poppins sing
Feb 17 • 26 min
Richard M. Sherman and his brother Robert created some of the most beloved songs in cinema history. They were the song-writing duo that convinced jazz star Louis Prima to transform into King Louie, the devious King of the Apes in The Jungle Book. And if…
The truth about my ‘hero’ grandfather
Feb 14 • 22 min
Growing up in the United States, Silvia Foti couldn’t have been more proud of her Lithuanian heritage, in particular her grandfather. She’d been told that he was seen as a war hero and that he’d been executed at the age of 37 for standing up to the Soviet…
My son’s death was ‘absolutely beautiful’
Feb 13 • 20 min
Jessica Hanson is a trauma nurse in the state of Arizona in the US and before the death of her son three years ago, death wasn’t something she thought about that deeply. She is now determined that people should be able to have, what she calls ‘a beautiful…
The story that saved my child’s life
Feb 12 • 23 min
In 2007, when Katy Beech was just seven she was diagnosed with diabetes which meant she needed regular injections of insulin to stay alive - but by the time she was ten, she’d had enough. So her mum, Louise, made a bargain with her - if she could tell her…
Life lessons from Indian sex workers
Feb 11 • 23 min
Ashok Alexander was working for a global management consultancy company when he was headhunted to try to avert India’s looming HIV crisis. He started working with sex workers in an attempt to address the epidemic. Soon, he discovered these women had…
Vietnam’s first family of rock ‘n’ roll
Feb 10 • 28 min
In the 1960s, a bunch of musically gifted, pre-teen siblings from Saigon put together a rock ‘n’ roll group. For a while the CBC Band was the biggest music act in South Vietnam, even headlining the country’s first international rock festival. They had an…
I accidentally discovered that I’m a psychopath
Feb 8 • 18 min
Dr Jim Fallon is a neurobiologist and has had a distinguished career at the University of California, studying Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and psychopathy. Psychopaths are people who lack emotional empathy, who don’t feel love like other people,…
‘My Editor Was Killed by Pablo Escobar’
Feb 7 • 12 min
Colombian investigative journalist Maria Duzan fought drug cartels with her pen. When she worked as a journalist in Bogota, she had bodyguards 24/7 and was taught to fire a gun. Maria kept reporting even after her editor was killed by Pablo Escobar’s…
Flipper’s Trainer Turned Dolphin Saviour
Feb 6 • 21 min
Ric O’Barry was a star dolphin trainer in the 1960s. He created television’s first celebrity dolphin, Flipper. But after Flipper died in his arms, Ric made a dramatic U-turn and became an activist, determined that no dolphin should live in captivity. Ric…
The Mother Choosing to Love her ‘Enemy’
Feb 5 • 17 min
Latifa Ibn Ziaten, a Moroccan mother to five has been awarded the highest honour in France, the Legion of Honour, and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Latifa’s son, a French soldier, was murdered in Toulouse in 2012. Since then Latifa has…
The Triplets Separated by a Secret Study
Feb 4 • 24 min
When Bobby Shafran met Eddy Galland and David Kellman at the age of 19, they knew something very strange was going on. The three young men were identical. It took years to uncover the secret psychological experiment, which they were all unknowingly a part…
Bringing Down a Dictator
Feb 3 • 26 min
In the late 1990s, lawyer Jacqueline Moudeina took on one of the most important cases in African legal history – the trial of Chad’s former dictator Hissène Habré. He’s a man who had massacred and tortured his people, including members of Jacqueline’s own…
Hong Kong’s Rebel Pop Star
Jan 31 • 23 min
In 2014, Denise Ho was a Cantopop music sensation. After winning a major talent competition, she became one of the biggest stars in Hong Kong’s music scene and beyond. But when pro-democracy protesters took to the streets that year, she joined in not only…
Using a Tampon Nearly Killed Me
Jan 30 • 20 min
Toxic shock syndrome is rare, but it did happen to American model Lauren Wasser when she was using tampons. She tells Emily Webb her remarkable story. (Photo credit: The Select 7.)
What Stopped Me from Becoming a Killer
Jan 29 • 19 min
Like many Rwandans who survived the genocide of 1994, Hyppolite Ntigurirwa suffered enormously. He saw his father killed; relatives raped. He was just seven years old at the time, and grew up to be a very angry young man. But then he made a choice which…
The North Korean Diver and the Octopus
Jan 28 • 20 min
Park Myongho is a North Korean ex-military man who defected to the South, at huge risk with his family. He now works as a compressor diver making a dangerous living by catching octopuses under the sea where North meets South. (Photo credit: Moyoung Jin.)
Sewing to Survive
Jan 27 • 22 min
Rina Roat is a successful clothes designer and entrepreneur from Cambodia, but she grew up far removed from the world of fashion. As a child, she had been abandoned and left homeless by her mother. Too poor to buy clothes, she turned to dressmaking –…
Making Contact with a Remote Tribe
Jan 24 • 14 min
In November 2018, the Sentinelese tribe in the Andaman Islands hit the headlines after an American missionary was killed by arrows as he attempted to approach their isolated island. Very few people have come close to this remote community, but one person…
The Mountaineers Breaking Race Barriers
Jan 23 • 15 min
Rosemary Saal broke barriers by being part of the first all African-American team to climb America’s highest mountain when she was 19. Now she’s inspiring young black children to do the same. Image: Climbers from Expedition Denali Credit: Hudson Henry
A Sex Tape was Used to Silence Me
Jan 22 • 20 min
Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova was blackmailed with a sex tape after writing stories alleging corruption by Azerbaijan’s leading politicians. She’s also spent time in jail on what she says were trumped up charges, but tells Outlook how she…
The Story of My Face Transplant
Jan 21 • 81 min
Cameron Underwood tried to take his own life by shooting himself in the face, he survived, but with severe facial injuries. Doctors told his family his face was “dust”. He didn’t think he’d be able to smile again, until he met Dr Eduardo Rodriguez who…
My Life as a Millennial Yoruba Priestess
Jan 20 • 26 min
Beyoncé, mermaids and Satan? Outlook Weekend is in Nigeria looking at the mysteries and misconceptions surrounding the traditional Yoruba religion – and what it takes to be a modern devotee of this ancient faith. Reporter Laeila Adjovi travels to the city…
The Making of a Fashion Icon
Jan 17 • 16 min
André Leon Talley is an icon in the fashion world. His early jobs include working for Andy Warhol in New York in the 70s. He went on to become editor-at-large at the most famous fashion magazine in the world: Vogue. He is now the subject of the…
The Transgender Boxer Making History
Jan 16 • 17 min
In December 2018, 33-year-old Patricio Manuel made history when he became the first professional transgender boxer in the United States. He won his debut match in California in a unanimous judges’ decision. This was far from Pat’s first time in the ring…
Breaking the Silence on Domestic Abuse
Jan 15 • 18 min
Maira Maidana has become a campaigner against domestic abuse in Argentina after her own traumatic experience. She told Outlook’s Colm Flynn about her story. (Photo credit: Colm Flynn.)
Police Officers Killed Our Sons
Jan 14 • 22 min
Maria Hamilton and Doretha Lock were united by the shooting of their sons in the US. Maria went on to create Mothers for Justice, which is an organisation aimed at supporting the families of people affected by police violence. They told Jo Fidgen their…
Escape From Abu Ghraib
Jan 13 • 26 min
The man who said no to Saddam Hussein – in 1979, Iraqi scientist Hussain al-Shahristani was faced with an agonising decision: to help a dictator develop an atomic bomb or to spend his life in prison. Presenter: Emily Webb Producer: Maryam Maruf Image:…
The Pop Star with a Prison Past
Jan 10 • 17 min
In South Africa, Nathi Mankayi has been winning millions of fans, and many awards, with his heartfelt songs. He writes them from experience and he has had quite an experience. Poverty, crime and an eight-year prison sentence. But in just a few years he’s…
One of the ‘Most Dangerous People’ in the World
Jan 9 • 15 min
The British doctor Judith Mackay was labelled by some in the tobacco industry as one of the three most dangerous people in the world. Judith saw so many patients in 1970s Hong Kong suffering from smoking-related diseases that she started campaigning,…
A Sister’s Search for Justice
Jan 8 • 23 min
Stefano Cucchi’s name and face have been on the front pages of newspapers across Italy. It’s a name that’s been heard in press conferences, in investigations and also in court. He died in a secure hospital, having been arrested for drug offenses. He’d…
Discovering I’d Been Sterilised
Jan 7 • 23 min
After Navajo woman Jean Whitehorse had her appendix removed in the 1970s, she carried on with her life in the US. However, when she struggled to conceive, she was told she’d also been sterilised. Jean then went on to find out that she wasn’t the only…
Addicted to My Son’s Addiction
Jan 6 • 26 min
The true story behind the film Beautiful Boy - when David Sheff realised that his beloved teenage son Nic was addicted to the highly dangerous drug crystal meth, he tried to do everything to help him. Could this family break free from the destructive…
Cutting Stars’ Hair and Overcoming Addiction
Jan 3 • 23 min
US hairstylist Chris McMillan created some of Hollywood’s most iconic haircuts while he was addicted to drugs. He told Emily Webb about his journey to recovery. Image: Chris McMillan Credit: BBC
My Road Trips with Martin Luther King
Jan 2 • 18 min
Tom Houck was just 19 years old when he was asked by Dr Martin Luther King’s wife to be a driver for their family. It was 1965 and although Dr King had been awarded the Nobel peace prize the year before the country was deeply divided. Widespread…
The Volunteer Who Caught a Killer
Jan 1 • 26 min
When a millionaire farmer went missing in Sweden, an inexperienced volunteer called Therese Tang was drafted in to help search for him. She had her suspicions about a member of the man’s family - and found an unorthodox way to get to the truth. Image:…
I Learned My Mum’s Identity via SMS
Dec 31, 2018 • 40 min
In the last chaotic days of the Vietnam War, thousands of children were sent away to be adopted in safer countries. Four-year-old My Huong went to Australia and it would be many years before she returned to Vietnam and finally uncovered the extraordinary…
Extraordinary Senses: The Chef Who Couldn’t Taste
Dec 30, 2018 • 26 min
Grant Achatz grew up around his family’s diner, and by the age of 12 was working there as a cook. He insisted on putting parsley on the omelettes he prepared, which his father scorned as unnecessary ‘fanciness’. Little did his father know that it was this…
Rescued by a Cruise Ship in a Hurricane
Dec 29, 2018 • 21 min
At the end of summer in 2017, Edward Potter and his first mate Carl Sheperd headed out from Florida into the Gulf of Mexico for a fishing trip. While at sea, Hurricane Irma struck, leaving Edward and Carl at the mercy of high winds and huge waves. As the…
The Corrupt Cop and The Innocent Man
Dec 28, 2018 • 24 min
In 2006 Jameel McGee was arrested and sent to prison for 10 years, he was innocent. Two years later, Andrew Collins, the police officer who arrested Jameel was found to be corrupt. His lies had led to 62 people being jailed when they shouldn’t have been.…
Extraordinary Senses: Smelling Things That Don’t Exist
Dec 27, 2018 • 16 min
When Alix Fox was 17 years old she had an extreme allergic reaction after finishing her shift at the pub where she worked. She was rushed to hospital, but never experienced another reaction like that again. However, after that, something did change. It’s…
Extraordinary Senses: The Cyborg Who Hears in Colour
Dec 26, 2018 • 19 min
Neil Harbisson has a condition that means he only sees in greyscale. Throughout his life people would talk to him about colour, but when your world is entirely black and white, it’s very difficult to understand. But when he was at university Neil met…
Extraordinary Senses: Amputee Who Could Touch Again
Dec 25, 2018 • 18 min
On the eve of 2004, Dennis Aabo Sørensen was at a party with his friends in the Danish city of Aalborg where he was given a faulty firework that exploded in his hand. His injuries were so severe he had to have his hand amputated. But 10 years later,…
Extraordinary Senses: The Attack that Made Me a Maths Genius
Dec 24, 2018 • 41 min
In the early 2000s Jason Padgett was interested in very few things: drinking, partying and girls. He says he was stuck in the 1980s and still donned a mullet and leather vests with no shirt. But one night in 2002 he was brutally beaten and sustained a…
Frank Sinatra’s Australian Showdown
Dec 23, 2018 • 26 min
In 1974, Australian concert producer Robert Raymond got the gig of his life – organising the comeback tour of his musical idol, Frank Sinatra. The anticipation in Australia was huge and the tour sold-out immediately. But when his opening night performance…
Eric Idle: My Life with Monty Python
Dec 20, 2018 • 24 min
Eric Idle was part of the surreal sketch comedy group Monty Python who burst onto British television screens in the 1960s and changed the face of comedy. His autobiography is called ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’. Image: Eric Idle Credit: Robyn…
A Note in the Wreckage of the Lockerbie Bombing
Dec 19, 2018 • 15 min
Thirty years ago this week, a plane travelling from London to New York exploded mid-flight over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. The town was strewn with debris, and the bodies of the 259 people on board as well as the 11 killed on the ground. Paul…
Sword Swallowing to Overcome Fear
Dec 18, 2018 • 19 min
MisSa Blue from Germany started shocking audiences with her highly dangerous sword swallowing stunts after recovering from bulimia nervosa and deciding to turn her life around. In spite of a life-threatening accident that happened while she was…
Finding Out if my Mum Tried to Kill Me
Dec 17, 2018 • 16 min
Annie Price grew up with the thought that her mother had tried to kill her. When she was just a few weeks old, she suffered burns in a caravan fire on the outskirts of London, and later she was taken away from her birth family and put up for adoption. She…
Fighting for Pakistan’s Condemned Prisoners
Dec 16, 2018 • 43 min
Sohail Yafat is from Lahore, part of the Pakistani city’s minority Christian community. In 2001, Sohail was filled with optimism. Although he’d grown up in poverty, he’d worked tirelessly to fund his education and it looked like it was paying off. He’d…
I Run a Radio Station from My Garden Shed
Dec 14, 2018 • 16 min
For decades, British DJ Deke Duncan has run a pretend music radio station from his garden shed, with his friends. Typically he has only one listener - his wife. But he is now broadcasting to thousands of people for the first time. Image: DJ Deke Duncan…
Top Peruvian Chef: My Recipe for Life
Dec 13, 2018 • 15 min
Martin Morales is an award-winning restaurateur who was forced to flee Peru as a child because of threats against his father by a guerrilla group. Thousands of miles from his home country he yearned for the food he had grown up with. He channelled that…
Escaping Dubai with a Princess
Dec 12, 2018 • 22 min
Earlier this year a princess from Dubai, Latifa, tried to escape and start a new life abroad, away from her father, the ruler. Her best friend Tiina Jauhianen tried to help her but Latifa was caught on a boat, and hasn’t been seen since. Image: Tiina…
The Bed that Saved Me from the Taliban
Dec 11, 2018 • 20 min
In January this year, a Greek pilot called Vasileios Vasileiou checked into the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. The hotel was popular with international visitors - and the Taliban knew that. On January 20th they launched an attack and the hotel was under…
T La Rock, The Man Who Forgot He Was a Rap Legend
Dec 10, 2018 • 23 min
T La Rock was one of the pioneers of hip-hop in the Bronx, but after an attack left him with 70% memory loss, he ended up in a Jewish nursing home, where he made some unlikely friendships and fought to recover his identity and memories. Image: T La Rock…
Putting My Hospital on a Tractor
Dec 6, 2018 • 16 min
Dr Evan Atar Adaha is the chief surgeon at a hospital in a conflict-ridden area of South Sudan. The hospital, where Dr Atar performs many surgeries a day, caters to hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people. He set up Maban…
I Found My Twin on YouTube
Dec 5, 2018 • 19 min
Anaïs Bordier had no idea her identical twin sister was on the other side of the world until she saw a YouTube video of a woman who looked remarkably like her. It turned out to be American film actress Samantha Futerman. Anaïs tracked her doppelgänger…
Persuading a Serial Killer to Confess
Dec 4, 2018 • 19 min
Kathleen Zellner is one of the most famous wrongful conviction lawyers in the US. At one point at the beginning of her career, though, she represented a serial killer. After Larry Eyler revealed the identities of many of the people he had killed to her,…
Mumbai Attacks: Playing Dead to Survive
Dec 3, 2018 • 14 min
Police officer Arun Jadhav and six of his colleagues were on duty during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks when their van was ambushed by two of the gunmen. The officers were on their way to a hospital targeted by the militants. The attackers seized the…
A Nightmare in Joshua Tree
Dec 2, 2018 • 25 min
Travel writer Claire Nelson was hiking in Joshua Tree, California when she slipped off a boulder and fell 15 feet into a canyon. She was trapped, and completely alone in the scorching hot wilderness, with limited water. How would she survive? Presenter:…
Steve Jobs: The Father Who Denied Me
Nov 29, 2018 • 23 min
Lisa Brennan-Jobs had an incredibly famous father - technology pioneer Steve Jobs. They had a complicated relationship, but were eventually reconciled as father and daughter. Emily Webb takes up the story. (Photo: Lisa Brennan-Jobs with her father Steve…
Watching a Pirate Film with Somali Captors
Nov 28, 2018 • 22 min
In 2012 journalist Michael Scott Moore was investigating kidnappings by pirates in Somalia when he himself was captured while travelling with an armed guard. The pirates took Michael to a ship they had hijacked, and he was held for two and a half years.…
The Breaking Point of a Child Gymnast
Nov 27, 2018 • 17 min
Eileen Chai was only 9 years old when she travelled from her home in Singapore to China alone to train as an elite gymnast. Her training regime was gruelling. Some days she was so tired she wouldn’t even have the energy to speak. She won medals but was…
The Teenagers Who Wrote Their Way to The Palace
Nov 26, 2018 • 39 min
Outlook makes a special trip to Buckingham Palace to celebrate four teenagers who have beaten thousands of entrants from around the world to win the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. We meet Zahra Hussain from Pakistan, Ng Woon Neng and Janine Shum…
South Africa’s Abalone Underworld
Nov 25, 2018 • 26 min
What have giant sea snails got to do with gang violence and crystal meth in Cape Town? For over 15 years, Shuhood Abader was a poacher, risking his life in Cape Town’s shark-infested waters to hunt a strange sea creature known as abalone. It’s a type of…
Looking for Grandad - from New York to Samoa
Nov 22, 2018 • 20 min
Charles Morse was a US soldier who served in the American Samoa in 1942. While he was there, he fell in love with a woman called Eppe. She was the daughter of the village chief – and they were not given permission to marry. Seventy years later, Charles’…
Regrets of a Punk Bank Robber
Nov 21, 2018 • 12 min
Gilles Bertin has had a remarkable life - from being the frontman of a famous punk rock group in France to taking part in a robbery and finally facing the consequences of what he’d done. He’s been telling Harry Graham his story. (Photo: Georges…
The Retiree who Broke the Lottery
Nov 20, 2018 • 18 min
After Jerry Selbee retired in 2002, he found a way to crack the lottery in the US state of Michigan. He and his wife Marge ended up making millions of dollars. Jo Fidgen takes up the story. (Image: Jerry and Marge Selbee. Photo credit: Rachel Koenig.)
The Homeless Woman Scouted as a Model
Nov 19, 2018 • 15 min
From being a drug-addicted teenager living on the streets of London - to directing documentaries for the big screen, Lorna Tucker has trodden an unusual path to success. Having realised a passion for telling other people’s stories, she’s now telling her…
Greg Louganis: the Death-Defying Diver
Nov 18, 2018 • 29 min
Blood, gold and secrets at the Olympic pool. Before Greg Louganis was a diver, he was a dancer. Tap dancing to Gene Kelly routines, he learned timing and rhythm. These skills would ultimately help him become one of the most celebrated divers in the world,…
From Prison to Rock God Video Director
Nov 15, 2018 • 15 min
William McLellan is an English artist and director. He’s best known for his music videos with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Lou Reed, The Eurythmics and George Harrison. But back when he was younger, in the 1970s, he was in a…
Asked to Prove My Loyalty with Murder
Nov 14, 2018 • 23 min
Sonja Larsen dedicated her teenage years to working for a communist revolution in the United States. It was being planned by a shadowy organisation, and scheduled for February 18th, 1984. Sonja wanted to belong in the group, so considered committing…
Confronting The Nun Who Despised Me
Nov 13, 2018 • 17 min
69-year-old Elizabeth Coppin lived through prison-like conditions when she attended so-called industrial schools and worked in the notorious Magdalene laundries in Ireland. The institutions were run by the Catholic church and there have been many stories…
The Locksmith and the Love Letters
Nov 12, 2018 • 11 min
Humberto Restrepo from Medellin in Colombia is a locksmith by day, but outside his working hours he plays Cupid by writing love letters for other couples. Outlook’s Clayton Conn went to meet him and find out more. Image: Humberto Restrepo Credit: Clayton…
Adventures of the Counterfeit Catching Brothers
Nov 11, 2018 • 26 min
Rob and Jason Holmes were first recruited as undercover agents when they were children. They were in Atlantic City on the lookout for black market goods - like replica designer clothes, sunglasses, watches. Their employer was their private detective dad…
Spying on My Estranged Father
Nov 8, 2018 • 22 min
Artist Jessamyn Lovell turned her camera on her estranged father. She told Jo Fidgen why she decided to become a private investigator. Image: Jessamyn Lovell with her camera Credit: Noor-un Nisa Touchon
Winning a Boxing Title while on the Run
Nov 7, 2018 • 15 min
Martin Murray is a boxer, with British and Commonwealth titles to his name, and an eye on the world title in his category. But back when he was younger he used to get into a lot of trouble. When he won his first big title, fifteen years ago, he was on the…
At the Centre of a Match Fixing Scandal
Nov 6, 2018 • 19 min
Nchimunya Mweeta is a Zambian footballer who’s made headlines for the right and the wrong reasons. He’s been playing professionally since he was 15, but when he moved to a Finnish club, he became embroiled in a scandal. He was approached by match fixers…
The Story of Spain’s ‘Stolen’ Babies
Nov 5, 2018 • 15 min
Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno discovered they’d been bought by their families as babies. When they went public, they discovered that thousands of others had been through the same. They told Neal Razzell their story. (Image: Demonstration against…
The Great Escape of Bonga
Nov 4, 2018 • 25 min
Bonga Kuenda is one of Angola’s most notable musicians, a master of the semba - a genre of traditional Angolan music. He was born during Portuguese colonial rule, and before music, Bonga had forged a career in athletics. In the 1960s, he emerged from the…
Telling My Dad’s Khmer Rouge Story
Nov 1, 2018 • 17 min
When filmmaker Neary Adeline Hay was a child, she had so many questions about her father’s past in Cambodia. The story he told her was so shocking she decided the world needed to hear it. The documentary she made is called Angkar. Image: Neary Adeline Hay…
Held Hostage on the Chechen Frontline
Oct 31, 2018 • 18 min
Russian woman Elena Nikitina was held hostage on the Chechen frontline during the 1994 war after being kidnapped off the street. Image and credit: Elena Nikitina
Kony 2012: My Breakdown After Viral Fame
Oct 30, 2018 • 23 min
Jason Russell was behind the video Kony 2012, which at the time was called the most viral of all time. But with the fame also came the scrutiny that led Jason to have a breakdown. Image: Jason Russell pictured with Jacob, a Ugandan boy who had been…
Coming Out of a Coma to a Media Storm
Oct 29, 2018 • 16 min
On New Year’s Eve 2013, Dr Kate Stone was out celebrating in rural Scotland when she was gored by a stag. However, when she came out of the coma she had an even greater shock - seeing some of the headlines about her in the national press. Image: Dr Kate…
The Mafia Bride Who Fought Back
Oct 29, 2018 • 26 min
When she was 17 years old, Piera Aiello was forced to marry into a notorious Sicilian Mafia family. After witnessing the murder of her husband, she became a police informant. However the decision meant she had to go into hiding - giving up her name, her…
The Fraud and the Missing Boy
Oct 25, 2018 • 22 min
In 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay went missing in Texas. Several years later, he apparently resurfaced in Spain, and he was reunited with his family. But all was not as it seemed. Private investigator Charlie Parker knew he had an imposter on his…
Trapped Inside a Flooding Elevator
Oct 24, 2018 • 17 min
In August 2018, Toronto experienced severe rains and flooding. Because water was leaking into the basement of their office building, Klever Freire and Gabriel Otrin decided to move their cars. They were heading down in the lift when the elevator stopped,…
Confessions of an Art Forger
Oct 23, 2018 • 19 min
Over many years Shaun Greenhalgh created art forgeries in his garden shed in the English town of Bolton. He fooled the art world into thinking his paintings and sculptures were lost masterpieces by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Gauguin and Degas. The…
The Stalker Inside My House
Oct 22, 2018 • 15 min
Amanda Playle’s ordeal at the hands of a stalker began in 2014. She was living a quiet life with her husband and three daughters when she got a friend request on social media. Her stalker would turn out to be the last person she suspected. (Photo credit:…
The Mystery of Ecuador’s Lost Mastertapes
Oct 20, 2018 • 30 min
Daniel Lofredo Rota is an Ecuadorian DJ and musician on a quest to unravel a decades-old family mystery. His eccentric grandfather has left a clue: a grimy, battered suitcase filled with old tapes. Inside are songs, secret loves, and the resurrection of a…
Inside the Mind of a Forensic Pathologist
Oct 18, 2018 • 22 min
Dr Richard Shepherd has worked on some of Britain’s most high profile crime scenes including the site of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. (Image: Dr Richard Shepherd. Credit: BBC)
Our Near-Death Sub-Zero Border Crossing
Oct 17, 2018 • 21 min
On the 24th December 2016, a freezing storm hit Canada. Caught up in the middle of it were two Ghanaian men Seidu and Razak, who were at the border, trying to enter the country undetected to seek asylum. They were stricken with frostbite and battling for…
Bringing Down the Man Who Gave Us HIV
Oct 16, 2018 • 22 min
When Diane Reeve found out her boyfriend was cheating on her, she uncovered a much darker secret – that he’d infected her and other women with HIV. Image: Diane Reeve Credit: Alyssa Vincent Photography
Fighting Discrimination with a Fairytale
Oct 15, 2018 • 16 min
Valeriu Nicolae is a diplomat and NGO worker, who describes himself as a strategic survivor. Back when he was a child he was spurned by other Romanian children because he’s Roma. He came up with an ingenious way to win them over, involving funerals and…
My Dad, Muhammad Ali
Oct 13, 2018 • 22 min
What is it like to be the daughter of a sporting legend? To many, Muhammad Ali was known as The Greatest, whether as a boxing hero, a pioneering civil rights campaigner, or a world-class entertainer. To Hana Ali though, he was the man who put on magic…
Injured By A Boat Propeller
Oct 12, 2018 • 15 min
Australian mum Sandy Laverty was on a fishing trip with her family when disaster struck. She and her family were setting up crab pots on the Cato River in Australia’s Northern Territory in June last year when her boat spun out of control in the crocodile…
Refusing To Be Ashamed After Rape
Oct 11, 2018 • 15 min
In the summer of 1980 Sohaila Abdulali was out walking in the hills in Mumbai with a friend when she was attacked and raped by a group of four men. Sohaila was just 17 at the time, but she refused to be ashamed by what had happened to her. She wrote a…
Crossing Continents to Find my Parents
Oct 10, 2018 • 38 min
Tuy Gentry Buckner was born in war-torn Vietnam in the 70s. His birth mother left him at an orphanage hoping he would have a better life. Tuy contracted polio when he was three, which left him disabled. Life changed for him when he was adopted by an…
Opening my Romanian Secret Police File
Oct 9, 2018 • 20 min
When American anthropologist Katherine Verdery worked in Romania during the Cold War, she had no idea the country’s secret police thought she was a spy. The Securitate had compiled a nearly 3,000 page dossier on her. The file contained reports from 70…
Helping Pakistan’s Forgotten Prisoners
Oct 8, 2018 • 15 min
Haya Zahid is one Pakistan’s top human rights lawyers. She was destined for a glittering and lucrative career in corporate law but threw it all away to help thousands of people who’d suffered miscarriages of justice. Haya started working on human rights…