221 episodes

A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.

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A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.

    The Inside Story of Election 19

    The Inside Story of Election 19

    What lies behind Boris Johnson's overwhelming election victory? In this programme, Anne McElvoy talks to the key figures across the political spectrum about how the 2019 general election was fought and lost.

    To what extent was this a 'Brexit election' and how did the Conservative Party reach out to voters in places that it had not won for decades and in some cases generations? Why did the Opposition Parties agree to holding the election in the first place? What led to Labour's worst defeat since 1935 and why did Jeremy Corbyn's campaign fail to make the impact he had made in 2017? Why did the Liberal Democrats struggle to make the breakthrough that they had hoped for and what difference did the Brexit Party's decision to stand down in Conservative held seats make to the result.

    Producer: Peter Snowdon

    • 28 min
    Cyrano for Hire

    Cyrano for Hire

    It's hard to think of a more intimate, personal form of communication than the love letter. We seal them with our kisses, salt them with our tears, are present in every inky smudge. So it's a truth universally acknowledged that we usually write them ourselves.
    But not necessarily...

    Cathy FitzGerald hears what it's like to be a love-letter ghostwriter from Rebecca L. Pierce, who runs Love Letter for Hire. Whether you need a letter to make up or a letter to break up, Rebekah can help - but she'll ask you some searching questions along the way.
    Author and former ghostwriter Samara O'Shea introduces one of her clients, Steven, and together they share the story of a letter written in despair. And we hear about Vida Select, a company that offers "virtual dating assistants" who'll write flirty messages to potential matches for you on Tinder, Plenty of Fish and other online dating websites.

    Cathy decides to have a go for herself and sets up Cyrano for Hire. Her first client is Jason from Brooklyn - what will his girlfriend, Elke, make of her ghostwritten love letter?

    Presenter and Producer: Cathy FitzGerald
    Executive Producer: Steven Rajam
    Photo: David Gochfeld
    Interviewees: Rebekah L Pierce, Samara O'Shea, Steven, Chloe Rose Stuart Ulin, Scott Valdez, Jason Nunes, Elke Dehner

    A White Stiletto production for BBC Radio 4

    • 28 min
    My Name Is... Immie

    My Name Is... Immie

    "When I was in primary school, I remember being asked to draw our house. I drew our temporary accommodation, which back then was just an ordinary house. And I think about children living in these office blocks - what would they draw?"

    When Immie was growing up, she lived in emergency and then temporary accommodation with her mum and three sisters. Temporary can be permanent for many people, but today she feels much more secure. Then one day something odd happened. She was on the bus, on the to deck, looking into the first floor of an ugly office block on the side of the busy A12 in north east London. She could see it had been converted, and there were people living up and down all seven floors. In tiny flats. Some of them were much smaller than the government's minimum space standard.

    Immie wanted to know how this was possible.

    We often hear that there is a national housing crisis, but don't always understand what that means. Immie, who is just 22, has made over 80 freedom of information requests to find out how many people are being temporarily housed in office blocks. She discovers that it is perfectly legal to do this - developers can bypass normal planning regulations thanks to Permitted Development Rights or PDR. She meets an architect and a council leader who both say it's wrong, though their reasons are not the same.
    Features interviews with architect Julia Park of Leviit Bernstein; and Joseph Ejiofor, the head of Haringey Council ... plus some dramatic location recordings too.

    The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde

    • 27 min
    Code Red

    Code Red

    Eddie was set to become another statistic, another teenager killed by rising levels of knife crime.

    But Eddie’s life was saved by the new field of trauma science. It is revolutionising the way people are treated after shootings, traffic accidents or any injury that causes catastrophic bleeding.

    The doctors that pioneered the work call it Code Red. Your chances of surviving major bleeding are now higher than ever before.

    So what changed? Quite simply trauma medicine has been turned on its head. Before 2007, doctors would have treated Eddie’s catastrophic bleeding by trying to replace the fluid leaking out of his stab wounds. Salty water, called saline, and just one component of our blood – the oxygen carrying red blood cells – would be put back into Eddie’s body - in what's called a massive transfusion.

    It seemed like a good idea. Keep the blood pressure up, keep oxygen moving round the body and keep the patient alive. But that’s not what happened - around half of people died on the operating table. The principles were wrong. They were damaging the body’s natural way of stemming blood loss – clotting.

    It was around 2003 that the ideas behind the Code Red protocol started to take shape. The poster child of the new field of trauma science was revealing the vital role of clotting. Karim Brohi, Professor of Trauma Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, discovered that major trauma could disrupt the blood’s ability to clot within minutes of the injury, and patients affected were more likely to die. What's more, saline was diluting the blood and making the bleeding worse.

    Over a decade ago, the Royal London Hospital decided to do something radical. It introduced Code Red, also known as damage control resuscitation, and shifted the focus from blood pressure to blood clotting - get blood products into patients to get on top of any abnormalities there first.

    Making that happen took a huge culture shift. This is not a normal research environment. There’s no time to ponder, patients are hovering between life and death; and every second counts. But now the innovation has been accepted across the NHS, and recent research reveals a massive drop in the death rate of patients with catastrophic bleeding.

    Producer: Beth Eastwood

    • 28 min
    The Purity Spiral

    The Purity Spiral

    Journalist Gavin Haynes heads into the eye of two seemingly unlikely moral storms. He discovers bitter rows over diversity and racism within the world of Young Adult literature and Instagram knitting.

    You might think online knitting and teen fiction would be innocuous cosy communities formed around a shared love of craft and a good yarn. However, as Gavin reveals, both scenes have recently become embroiled in what he terms The Purity Spiral. These vicious cycles of accusation and judgement see communities engaging in moral feeding frenzies. As a result, individuals are targetted and savaged by mobs who deem them problematic.

    Gavin meets Nathan Taylor, an Instagram knitting star who unwittingly triggered a race row after attempting to reach out to people of colour using the hashtag Diversknitty. Nathan watched in horror as a wave of accusations of white supremacy and Nazism flowed into his inbox. This brush with the toxicity of a Purity Spiral was so severe that Nathan was hospitalised by his husband following a suicide threat.

    In Young Adult literature, Gavin discovers a scene similarly beset by ideological battles. We hear from the founder of the hashtag Own Voices which has come to symbolise books featuring minority characters written by authors from a similar racial or cultural background. We enter the world of the 'sensitivity reader' and meet author Laura Moriarty who almost had a well-reviewed book cancelled after hordes of people labelled it a 'white saviour narrative' despite the fact they'd never read it as it had yet to be published.

    Writer and Presenter: Gavin Haynes
    Producers: Gavin Haynes and Eve Streeter
    A Novel production for BBC Radio 4

    • 28 min
    Art of Now: Filth

    Art of Now: Filth

    In the hands of artists, smog, landfill and sewage become beautiful, witty and challenging statements.

    As the scale of pollution intensifies, Emma meets the artists who are finding original and compelling ways to make us understand and feel the crisis of filth.

    Zack Denfeld and Cat Kramer harvest air pollution in cities around the world, whipping up egg whites on street corners. They bake them into meringues and hand them out to the public who can’t help but react to eating the city’s pollutants.

    Mexican collective Tres guide Emma through their studio, piled high with collected rubbish: they’ve filled a gallery with 300,000 stinking cigarette butts, taken over the streets to preserve fossilized chewing gum and crawled for months on Australian beaches filtering through marine plastic.

    Nut Brother has courted controversy with his performance of dragging 10,000 bottles of polluted water from Shaanxi to Beijing while John Sabraw wades through Ohio’s filthy streams, capturing iron oxide from unsealed mines and turning sludge into glorious paints.

    Emma delves through rails of Kasia Molga’s costumes which glow red in response to carbon, she listens to an orchestra of Lucy Sabin’s breath and takes us down under the River Thames to meet her collaborator Lee Berwick: they're working on an installation about underwater sound pollution, experimenting with sounds in the Greenwich foot tunnel for an installation opening in March.

    These provocative and entertaining artists discuss the relationship between art and activism, taking us beyond the facts and figures to face head on and experience the contamination we are inflicting on the planet.

    Producer: Sarah Bowen

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

KristinMSM ,

Good series irrelevant presenter!

I like the series but who is Rhianna Dyllon and why does she get two name checks on every episode? How about having each producer introduce their own programme!

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