A window into our world – investigating, exploring and telling stories from everywhere. Original BBC documentary storytelling, bringing the globe to your ears. Award-winning journalism, unheard voices, amazing culture and “unputdownable” audio.
New episodes every week from our teams: documentaries, Assignment, Heart and Soul, In the Studio and OS Conversations.
Ken Loach: The Sequel
The shooting starts on The Old Oak and Sharuna Sagar is there to witness Ken Loach's unique style of directing. Throughout his career from Kes to The Wind That Shakes The Barley to I, Daniel Blake, the 87-year-old film-maker does not like to tell the cast what is going to happen in the next scene. He explains his reasons, while star Dave Turner reveals what it is like to be surprised every day on set.
BBC OS Conversations: The floods in Libya
Storm Daniel delivered 300 times more rain than expected onto the north-east coast of Libya, causing two dams to burst and water up to 30 meters high to tear through the coastal city of Derna. The immense power of the flood smashed everything in its path, claiming thousands of lives and leaving shattered buildings, bridges and mountains of mud. Since the disaster, we have been hearing from people in the city, who have been sharing their thoughts and experiences.
Heart and Soul: Poland's nuns lifting the veil
What happens when a Catholic nun in Poland chooses to leave her religious community? Nuns are rejecting their orders after experiencing what they now regard as abuse. Some say they have even been sexually abused by priests. Izabela Moscicka recently made this journey. She stopped being a nun and is now living independently in Krakow. She knows how hard it can be, so she is setting up an aid centre for nuns and former nuns, who are looking for assistance and refuge. For the first time, Izabela shares her life story, the realities of the day to day life of Polish nuns, and the difficulties they have if they decide to leave the church.
How a war has changed a Norwegian town
Kirkenes, in the far north-east of Norway, once thrived on its close ties with neighbouring Russia. All that changed after the invasion of Ukraine. Now it’s become home to Ukrainian refugees and a safe haven for some Russian journalists escaping President Putin’s media clampdown.
For decades this area popularised the phrase “High North, Low Tension.” Close economic and cultural ties developed with brisk cross-border trade. Hundreds of Russians settled in the town. But now new cross-border restrictions have been imposed and co-operation has ended. The local economy has taken a significant hit and cross-border cultural groups no longer meet. However, despite this being a NATO member, the Norwegian government is keeping the border open. Russian fishing vessels still unload their catch in Kirkenes but are no longer allowed to undergo repairs. The Norwegians have stepped up checks on these Russian boats amid concern of a rise in Russian spying and potential sabotage.
For Assignment, John Murphy travels to Norway’s Arctic to see how war has changed the town and to ask what’s next for this unique community.
Presenter: John Murphy
Producer: Alex Last
Production co-ordinator: Gemma Ashman
Series editor: Penny Murphy
(Image: Kirkenes, in the far north-east of Norway. Credit: BBC)
Cricket and the maidens
In March 2023, the first season of the Women’s India Premier League, the world’s second most valuable cricketing league, behind only the men’s IPL, was played. Five teams battled it out to claim the crown, comprised of international teams of women cricketers at the top of their game who earned ten times more than they can elsewhere. While Indian players dominated, there was another factor that marked them out - many Indian women cricketers are single. As Indian women’s cricket has shot to the top of the global stage, how does this rapid change reflect broader changes in Indian society?
In the Studio: Vhils
Alexandre Farto aka Vhils is a Portuguese artist, known for his striking huge murals that have appeared on city walls from Brazil and the US, to Senegal and Vietnam. He uses a bas-relief carving technique, which involves using chisels and even hammer drills to scrape away at the fabric of the wall, revealing the history in the layers below the surface. Abi McNeil talks to Vhils as he works on his latest project – a 31 metre long mural for the Paris headquarters of Unesco.
The podcasts are almost every time informative and well researched, but on some politically delicate matters you can definitely spot biased views, for example in the podcast silent wounds.
'Fighting fat-phobia' - more like 'fighting a healthy lifestyle'
Just call it what it is, please: Campaigning for obesity and the health complications arising from it to be normalized.
A real shame to see something like that being promoted here.
I know it's a journalistic habit deeply trained, to begin & to string a topos along with personal histories, subjective experiences, on-site-"it's really happening!"s, to add flesh to a story, to make personal contact with aufience experience. Alas, all this favouring anecdotes results in driving the audience apart in reducing facts & issues about the world to experiences, which are met by other, divergent, opposite experiences, & what remains is "so sorry this happened to you, but it didn't to me, so let me go on with my reality" subjectivisms. History is not stories.