300 episodes

A compilation of the latest Witness History programmes.

The History Hour BBC World Service

    • History

A compilation of the latest Witness History programmes.

    Pirate radio and the Velvet Divorce

    Pirate radio and the Velvet Divorce

    The launch of the first black music station in Europe - the Dread Broadcasting Corporation in London in 1981 - and why Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

    Plus the assassination of Burundian President Melchior Ndadaye, the Columbia space shuttle disaster and the bombing of the Palestine Post.

    Contributors:

    Michael Williams - former DBC station manager
    Carmella Jervier - DJ
    Dr Caroline Mitchell - Professor of Radio at the University of Sunderland
    Jean-Marie Ngendahayo - former minister in Burundi
    Václav Klaus - former prime minister of the Czech Republic
    Vladimír Mečiar - former prime minister of Slovakia
    Mordechai Chertoff - former foreign editor of the Palestine Post
    Admiral Hal Gehman - Chairman of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board

    (Photo: Radio Caroline Pirate Radio ship. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 50 min
    The death penalty and broadcasting bans

    The death penalty and broadcasting bans

    Max Pearson presents a collection of this week's Witness History episodes from the BBC World Service. Our guest is Chiara Sangiorgio, Death Penalty Adviser at Amnesty International, who tells us about the history of the death penalty and its effectiveness.

    The programme begins with two perspectives on capital punishment: Yoshikuni Noguchi recounts his time as a prison guard on death row in Japan in the 1970s; then we hear archive recordings of Albert Pierrepoint, Britain's most famous hangman.

    Poland's former-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Radosław Sikorski, describes how close he came to death in the 2010 Smolensk air disaster, in which the country's President was killed.

    Paul McLoone, the frontman of The Undertones, a punk-rock band, tells the bizarre story of how he became the broadcasting voice of IRA commander Martin McGuinness when the organisation was banned from British airwaves in 1988.

    Finally, Karlheinz Brandenburg explains how he revolutionised the way we listen to music through his invention of the MP3.

    Contributors:

    Chiara Sangiorgio - Death Penalty Adviser at Amnesty International
    Yoshikuni Noguchi - Japanese death row prison guard.
    Albert Pierrepoint - British executioner.
    Radosław Sikorski - former-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland.
    Paul McCloone - band member of The Undertones and the voice of Martin McGuinness.
    Karlheinz Brandenburg - inventor of the MP3.

    (Photo: Nooses. Credit: Rebecca Redmond/EyeEm via Getty Images)

    • 51 min
    Horsemeat scandal and the Miracle on the Hudson

    Horsemeat scandal and the Miracle on the Hudson

    Max Pearson presents a compilation of this week's Witness History programmes from the BBC World Service.

    These include memories of the horsemeat scandal of 2013 from the man who uncovered what was happening. We'll hear analysis of other historical food scandals from expert Professor Saskia van Ruth.

    Plus the last passenger off the plane, which landed on the Hudson river in 2009, shares his story.

    Also on the programme: secret schools for Kosovar Albanians, nuclear testing in Algeria and teenagers with narcolepsy in Sweden.

    Contributors:
    Professor Alan Reilly - former Chief Executive of the Irish Food Safety Authority
    Professor Saskia van Ruth - expert on food authenticity and integrity of supply networks, based at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Christopher Tyvi - lives with narcolepsy
    Abdelkrim Touhami - lives near former nuclear testing site in Algeria
    Linda Gusia - former student of Kosovo house schools
    Professor Drita Halimi - former Kosovo house school teacher
    Dave Sanderson - last passenger off US Airways flight 1549

    (Photo: Raw burgers. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 51 min
    Plastics in oceans and sea cucumbers

    Plastics in oceans and sea cucumbers

    Max Pearson presents a compilation of this week's Witness History programmes from the BBC World Service.

    You'll hear the story of how a marine biologist made a shocking discovery finding small bits of plastics floating thousands of miles of the east coast of America.

    Then, marine biologist Christine Figgener talks about the history of oceans.

    Also, the world's first transatlantic concert, a dispute over sea cucumbers in the Galapagos Islands, the world's first tidal power station and the first woman to win a Olympic windsurfing gold medal.



    (Photo: Garbage on beach. Credit: Getty Images)

    Contributors:
    Edward Carpenter - Marine biologist
    John Liffen - Curator emeritus at the Science Museum in London
    Marcos Escaraby - Fisherman in the Galapagos Islands
    Alan Tye - Conservationist
    Marc Bonnel - Brittany historian
    Babara Kendall - Windsurfing champion

    • 51 min
    Pussy Riot and other Russian rebels

    Pussy Riot and other Russian rebels

    Max Pearson presents a compilation of this week's Witness History programmes from the BBC World Service.

    You'll hear the story of how a protest led by the punk band Pussy Riot in one of Moscow's main cathedrals led to a trial which made the news inside Russia and around the world.

    Then, historian Robert Service talks about other examples of rebellion, from the time of the Russian empire through to modern day.

    Also, the man Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet wanted dead, the most bizarre football match of all time and the African man who travelled across the world to live in the Arctic.

    (Photo: Pussy Riot. Credit: Getty Images)

    Contributors:
    Diana Burkot - member of Pussy Riot
    Robert Service - Professor of Russian History at the University of Oxford
    Carmen Castillo - wife of Miguel Enriquez who led resistance against Augusto Pichochet
    Paul Lambert - former Scotland footballer
    Alan Matarasso - American plastic surgeon
    Tété-Michel Kpomassie - Arctic explorer

    • 50 min
    Food

    Food

    Stories about the history of food, including the creation of ciabatta bread by a rally driver in Italy in 1982 and the Maltese bakers' strike in 1977.

    Also, the invention of instant noodles in Japan, the start of the Slow Food Movement in Rome and the creation of Chicken Manchurian in India.

    (Photo: Different shaped artisan bread loaves. Credit: Getty Images)

    Contributors:
    Marco Vianello - baker and friend of the creator of ciabatta, Arnaldo Cavallari
    Noel Buttigieg - food historian
    Dr Sue Bailey - food historian, writer and lecturer
    Carlo Petrini - founder of the Slow Food Movement
    Momofuku Ando - colleague of the inventor of instant noodles, Yukitaka Tsutsui
    Edward Wang - son of Nelson Wang, the chef behind Chicken Manchurian

    • 49 min

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